The other day I asked my wife, “Do you think I’m a doofus?”
“What’s a doofus?” She replied.
Turns out, it comes from the word doof which is German for “stupid.”
Even though I know I’m smart, there are days when I’m just plain stupid.
Groggy, I got up and made coffee and forgot to screw the lid on properly. Coffee leaked all over the kitchen floor.
I spent 15 minutes cleaning it up and made more coffee.
Then I forgot to screw the lid on properly and coffee leaked all over the kitchen floor – again.
My wife said, “What a doofus!”
I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Spilling coffee all over the floor didn’t do much to improve my mood.
My Life Sucks
On days like today, everything looks dark. I can’t seem to think of anything that’s positive.
Today is one of those days.
It’s raining and that doesn’t help either.
So, I’m sitting here writing. Looking at this pathetic screen and listening to the rain and writing pathetic words that probably no one will ever read.
Not that I care.
I know I should go the gym. Because I just read on some stupid personal development blog that when you’re feeling low you should go to the gym.
Because going to the gym is GOOD for me. So is sarcasm.
I’m tired of doing things that are GOOD for me.
I’m human. I’m allowed to have down days. It’s okay if your life sucks.
Seems like humans spend way more time thinking about negative experiences than positive experiences.
We think about what went wrong and how our life sucks.
Then we think about ways of improving or fixing it. Or what we might do differently the next time.
We think about what we don’t have or what we might have. And we obsess over it. Until all this negativity brings us down.
It’s almost as if we create a habit of depression.
It’s almost as if we get attached to it and actually enjoy our depression.
If we’re not careful, it becomes our identity.
How Not to Feel Worse
They say never try to figure out your life when you’re having a bad day.
I might be a doofus but I’m smart enough to realize that being positive is an option.
Because… I know it’s GOOD for me.
So I watched a video by psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman. He’s been called, “The Father of Positive Psychology. “ He’s an expert on depression and happiness.
Ah, just what I need.
He talks about re-directing our attention away from negative thoughts toward more positive thoughts. He shared this simple exercise that you can do everyday that will create a positive momentum in the way you look at your life.
It’s called “Three Good Things” and it’s really easy to implement. And it’s been scientifically proven to be effective.
Three Good Things
Each night before you go to sleep:
1. Think of three good things that happened today.
2. Write them down.
3. Reflect on WHY they happened.
Step 1: Think about three good things that happened to you today.
Just think of anything that seemed positive or happy for you. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental or important. It might be something totally mundane. For example, you might recall just how good your coffee tasted after making it for the third time.
Step 2: Write down these three positive things.
Step 3: Reflect on why each good thing happened.
Paying attention to the “WHY” of the situation is the most important part of the exercise.
For example, you might say that your coffee tasted really good this morning because your wife went to the store and bought your favorite blend. Or that after failing to make the coffee two times, it tasted that much more satisfying once it was finally brewed.
Wow – this could really be powerful. Imagine re-reading your journal chock full of positive stuff!
What a great way of bringing more awareness and gratitude to your life.
Okay, so I finished this article. I got something done. My life doesn’t suck anymore.
I’m going to the gym.
Three Good Things That Happened Today
Here’s an awesome illustration made by my creative friend, Ella Birt. She is a personal development blogger and Transformational Coach.
Ella helps readers and clients strip away layers of programming, empowering them to create more meaningful relationships and careers. Learn more at http://existentialella.com/
P.S. I love to connect. Shoot me an email and share your thoughts. What’s the worst that could happen?