…we’ll get to that in a moment.
I have this big mental paintbrush that tends to roll over my recent past with a thick coat of misery paint. I remember the bad things that happen, but not so much the good things. As a result, I tend to feel like I’ve had a really awful week when really, only a few difficult things have happened in a slew of good stuff.
I found a way to combat this.
One of the things we talk about in the Usual Error presentations is the power of endings. For example: think of a book you particularly enjoyed, right up to the ending, where something awful happened in the last five pages with no explanation or denouement. Think of a movie where the main character dies right at the end for no good reason. Even if the movie was fantastic, it’s likely we won’t remember it well. It’s all about endings.
Our brains remember the most recent events most clearly, except for bad or challenging or difficult things – those we remember with eerie clarity. They’re big black spots on our mind-maps. In an effort to help myself remember the good stuff without such a heavy focus on the bad, I’m using the power of endings to my advantage.
Every night before sleep, but after I get in bed, I review my day. My family and I, all cozied up in bed together, talk about the good things that we remember happening throughout the day and discuss how happy those things made us. We don’t even discuss anything negative; the point is to just relax and focus on the positive of our day. Now, as I look back on my week, the good things are there, standing out among the bad – they now have equal importance and equal marks on the mental map of my life.
This is outstanding! How this one simple thing has really changed my life!
Today was a good day because I wrote this blog entry. I had one of my favourite lunches. I spent several hours curled up on the couch with my lovely wife. I cleaned up my office space so I could work in it again. I finally installed my camera software so I can upload my new pictures to my Flickr account. I found some money squirreled away in my desk! I watched some of my favourite shows and had a really yummy dinner, played fun games with my family, and snuggled a lot.
What an awesome day!