"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -Shakespeare, Hamlet
Once again, I had a very different blog post planned for today.
It was all ready to go...except, last night, when I sat down to schedule my post, my internet went out.
I am not the most tech savvy person, so computer and internet snafus can make me a little less than happy. Let’s say, my initial reaction is usually on the irritated and impatient side.
I spent a good 45 minutes with my boyfriend trouble-shooting, on hold with the internet company, to no avail.
And, then? I did something my old self would have never done.
l let go. I surrendered.
The situation was out of my control. I had done all I could do on my end, and there was nothing left I could do but wait for the internet gods to return power.
We had dinner, we talked, we laughed, we spent a lovely evening together telling stories and cracking one another up.
Before bed, I checked my computer one last time. Still no internet.
I had an immediate sense of disappointment. Then I had to remind myself there was nothing I could do. I was attaching my emotions to an expectation.
It was a reminder to me that while I had no control over the situation, what I did have control over was how I chose to react to it. I had control over my perspective.
"Our research shows that one of the most powerful causes of a person's happiness is that person's own view of the world...Whether riches, health, or friendship cause you to be happy depends entirely on how you see things," say Professor William Scott-Jackson and Dr. Najat Benchiba Savenius.
They go on to say, “Scientists have known for many years that our pessimistic or optimistic view of the world can be modified and is largely explained by the way we interpret positive or negative things that happen to us.”
Looking back on the evening, I had was filled with happiness thinking about my romantic, connected, and fun-filled night with my man. A night I would have missed out on if my internet had been working.
Call it Pollyanna, call it making lemonade out of lemons, call it what you will - that shift in perception changed what could have been a stress-filled, frustrating night into something very different.
Sure, I was only dealing with failed internet. A very surface, First World problem. But, I think most of us can agree, that when left unchecked, these are exactly the sorts of things that can get us worked up, triggering an avalanche of other frustrating events and negative emotions.
In fact, studies suggest that only ten percent of our happiness comes from outside sources. The rest is made up of genetics and our intentional thoughts and behaviors. That’s right, 90 percent of our happiness is made up of what’s inside.
Today, I wonder where you can channel your inner Pollyanna? Where can you surrender to what you have no control over? Where can you let go of expectation? Where can you shift your perspective?
Next week...You’ll get this week’s blog post ;). Until then, wishing everyone a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend!