Even in tough times, life is on your side

  • By Barton Goldsmith Scripps Howard News Service
  • Monday, January 25, 2010 5:07pm
  • Life

Albert Einstein said: “We all need to see the universe as friendly.”

Believing that life is on your side reduces the fear that the world is out to get you. It also increases your confidence because you won’t be looking over your shoulder for the other shoe to drop.

Making friends with life allows you to enjoy playing with life as well as be a player in it.

If you really feel that the world, your boss or the government is out to get you, your life will turn into one giant conspiracy theory. Feeling like you’re in a battle puts you constantly on the defensive, especially if the enemy is some invisible force or a false belief that someone or something is out to get you.

I know life is not easy or fair, but the world does not punish us; we are far too good at doing that to ourselves to need any assistance. Just living in that type of fear is like putting a tourniquet on your emotions and abilities.

We all have disasters in our lives, but that doesn’t mean our life is a disaster. Everyone is capable of being pessimistic, but when it becomes a lifestyle, you must make some changes in order to move forward.

To break this negative cycle, you first have to realize that you may be a little more of an Eeyore than a Tigger and start accentuating the positive. This realization alone is a strength-builder, and every action you take in that direction empowers you more.

Things go bad and then they get better. Recessions end, people find new jobs and relationships. Life goes on. If you approach it with just a little positivity, you will get so much more from this experience.

I see life as a limited window of opportunity and choose not to spend much time dwelling on what didn’t work. Instead, I do what I learned from Einstein: I see that the world is truly on my side.

When something doesn’t work out the way I want it to, I know that I simply need to focus in another direction.

If you look at your life, I believe that you will see that almost everything you have done — relationships to sports to business — has added to your experience and knowledge. And all that energy gets recycled.

Barton Goldsmith is a marriage and family therapist in Westlake, Calif. E-mail him at barton@bartongoldsmith.com.

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