When we were children, we were constantly pushing our boundaries, learning what we can do, and then going beyond what we have done. This involves taking risks, trying new things and learning about the world. For a child, everything is an adventure and horizons are constantly expanding.
As we get older, it is easy to become jaded—life becomes routine and we lose our ability to see new things even when they are right in front of us. We begin to acquire commitments and responsibilities, and we tend toward living safer, more stable lives. But does that mean that we shouldn’t continue to take risks or do exciting things? Absolutely not.
Adventure and stability are not mutually exclusive.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing; we can be just as intensely excited about everyday things as we are about big, important things. In fact we should be.
Excitement is one of my keystone emotions. It is one that I constantly pursue and use to gauge the quality of my life. I like to be excited.
Excitement can come in many forms and from many sources. When some people think about being excited, it is often in anticipation of some big event or trip. But if we only get excited during experiences that are designed to give us excitement, we are missing out on all the things that have the potential to be exciting if we pay closer attention.
Everyone, from Alfred E. Newman on, seems to offer advice about how to handle worry. But at some point or another, we all do it.
Nobody makes a conscious choice to worry. It’s a very unpleasant feeling, and it generally doesn’t fix the problem. It can also rob us of our peace of mind.
Everyone worries, but by recognizing it for what it is and acknowledging the effect it has on us, we can minimize those effects. In my experience, once I recognize and accept a negative feeling, it brings it out into the light of day, and this somehow makes it less scary.
What do we do when negativity rears its ugly head?
We can try to always be positive and optimistic, but we can’t control it when others are negative.
However, by categorizing others’ words or actions as negative, we necessarily attach our own judgments to them and actually contribute to those words or actions being negative. We feed their negativity.
But what about inconsiderate drivers, rude retail clerks, catty relatives, surly teenagers, arrogant coworkers (I could go on all day)? Aren’t these people’s words and actions inherently negative? Maybe, but it’s not that simple.