Deep down, we all know it’s true: If you took a snap-shot of even the happiest person in the world’s life at any given moment, there would be all kinds of shit they didn’t want in it. Awkward and embarrassing moments. Things they mean to say “no” to but can’t stop blurting out “yes” to (or vice versa.) Addictions of all shapes and sizes. Irrational fears.
And I suppose that short of isolating yourself in a bunker, Hitler-style, there’s very little you can do about this stuff. It’s just a fact – no matter how great your life becomes, it will always contain some quantity of undesirable matter.
Some realise this and become apathetic. They see trying as futile – what’s the point, if my life is never going to be perfect anyway? Well, that’s just it. It’s never going to be perfect, no. But wouldn’t it be a fascinating experiment – and completely worth it – to see how close you could get?
Imagine the shitty things in your life as magnets, pulling you away from your joyful centre. Now, instead of paying too much attention to them, and trying to resist their magnetic pull, you could instead provide a counter-balance by deliberately inserting as many of the things you do want as possible. The things that light you up. The things that get you off. The things that make life a beautiful adventure.
These additions will help return you to your centre, and not get so swamped and overwhelmed by the negative elements in your life. You are not seeking perfection, but helping to create an ever-more favourable ratio of desirable to undesirable elements.
I’ve been doing an experiment with this over the last week. I made a list in my red notebook of ten very small and easy things I want to do every day, and I’m trying my hardest to tick them all off every day. There are things like picking up a novel, picking up my guitar, doing at least one pull-up, spending at least half an hour outside…
I’ve managed two days with all ten little habits ticked off, and I’ve hit at least seven every other day. And on the outside, my life is of course just the same as it was last week. But on the inside, I do feel a little bit different. I feel a tiny bit more in control of myself. I feel a little bit more indifferent to the negativity. I feel a smidge lighter.
Mostly, I feel ever so slightly more immune to having a bad day.