Until you accept and like yourself, no matter how much you achieve or obtain, it will never be enough to make you happy. Happiness is the result of liking who you are. You can’t turn on yourself and feel happy or motivated about your life. You can’t beat yourself up and feel content and encouraged. Self-criticism will never motivate you to succeed. Catch your self-degrading thoughts. Catch them in the act. Interrupt the train of self-bashing. Stop it. —sn
A scene in the first episode of The Beverly Hillbillies has Jed Clampett talking to his elderly Aunt Pearl about moving from the back-hills of Tennessee to Beverly Hills. “Pearl, what d’ya think? Think I ought to move?” Jed asks her.
Pearl replies, “Jed, how can ya even ask? Look around ya. You’re eight miles from your nearest neighbors. You’re overrun with skunks, possums, coyotes, and bobcats. You use kerosene lamps for light and you cook on a wood stove summer and winter. You’re drinkin’ homemade moonshine and washin’ with homemade lye soap. And your bathroom is 50 feet from the house and you ask ‘should I move’?”
“I reckon you’re right.” Jed answers. “A man be a dang fool to leave all this!”
You are the primary force determining your life today. Other people or situations are not driving your life. Your attitude of mind is. Your belief in yourself is. Your regard for yourself is. Recognizing that is the beginning of awareness of any thought patterns that set you up to be emotionally used. If you have an unhealthy relationship with someone it’s because you have an unhealthy relationship with yourself. Once you experience a good relationship with yourself, you will experience healthier relationships with other people. Accepting and believing that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect is a necessary step towards protecting yourself from people who can hurt you. That dignity and respect needs to begin with yourself–you need to treat yourself with dignity and respect.
Is the glass half empty or half full? This is a common question, generally used rhetorically to point out that a situation could be optimistic (half full) or pessimistic (half empty), or as a overall litmus test to indicate a person’s view of life.
At any time of day, wherever you are in the world, you can tune into media sources and be informed of the latest troubling events of our planet. It can be a challenge to maintain a glass half full mentality in a world of negativity. The norm of today’s culture is to complain and gripe about daily inconveniences–the traffic was horrible, the weather is miserable, or the lines were long. It can be easier to give in and look at the negative aspects of daily life instead of focusing on a positive view.
Research has revealed that pessimists often suffer from stress-related physical problems such as migraines, high blood pressure, tummy disorders and a weakened immune system. A pessimism outlook may lead to fears, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
In Healthy Pleasures, Robert Ornstein and David Sobel define optimism as the tendency to seek out, remember, and expect pleasurable experiences. It’s an active priority of the person, not merely a reflex, that prompts a person to look on the bright side. It’s not a surprise that researchers have found that optimists live longer and experience better overall health.
If your outlook tends to include a doom and gloom attitude, what can you do today today to change that pattern? –sn