Choose Your Outlook

March 3, 2015

Categories: Thoughts

Texas is bad at dealing with snow and ice. We simply aren’t prepared for it. It doesn’t snow very often, so I think the attitude is that it isn’t worth investing in a bunch of snowplows and salt that might only be used once or twice a year. So when it snows, everything shuts down. We basically just wait for the snow to melt.

The university I work at sometimes makes late decisions about closing the school due to weather. The slow decision making is a problem for me, because I have a long commute to work by train. The other day, they didn’t make the call to cancel classes until 9:30 in the morning. I had already woken up early and completed my commute.

I began to feel grumpy. “Why can’t they get their act together and make an earlier decision?” I thought to myself. “I woke up early and came all the way out here for nothing!” The more I ruminated about it, the madder I got.

Here’s what I didn’t realize at the time: Because they canceled classes, I had a break for the rest of the day. I could do whatever I wanted. I was able to catch up on some work, do some reading, and have dinner with a friend of mine. It actually ended up being a pretty great day.

Usually in life, things are a mix of good and bad. Our outlook has a huge impact on our mood and how our day turns out moving forward. This was certainly true of my experience. I got the afternoon off. (Good!) I had to get up early and make a long commute even though my class was canceled. (Bad!) But my outlook determined my mood going forward. I could have continued to be mad and had a bad day. Or, I could have let go of my frustration even earlier than I did, and had an even better day.

My guess is that if you think about your day right now, it has probably been a mix of good and bad. But you have a choice about what to focus on. Your outlook has the power to influence the rest of your day.

Discussion: When your life is a mix of good and bad, do you tend to focus more on the good or more on the bad? Try shifting your outlook (even just a little), and see if it has a positive impact on your day.


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