I recently had my annual check-up at the ophthalmologist. Since 2008, I’ve been wearing glasses with a minor prescription. After having me read the letters through the lenses on that monstrosity of a device that hangs from the wall; the doctor informed me my vision has actually improved and I no longer need glasses. I told him, “I didn’t get Lasik surgery. How is that possible?” He responded by explaining, “You’ve consistently worn your glasses and by doing so you’ve sort of retrained your eyes; as a result your vision is actually better than 20-20 again.”
I think this is an apt metaphor for life. What type of lens do you view the world through and what are you focusing your attention on? I ask you this because what you think about expands.
A client of mine is overly negative, he knows this about himself and the majority of our work is on mindset. To anchor the coaching I am doing with him I gave him a pair of glasses to keep at his desk. Not to wear but to serve as a constant reminder for him to change the lens he views the world through. How are you reminding yourself to see the good not the bad?
When tragedy and pain strike our lives; train your eyes to focus on the good not the evil. Watch the first responders; those who are rescuing, comforting, helping, healing, and saving. When I think of the tragedy of 9-11, I try to think of the fire fighters service dogs police officers and volunteers who made a positive difference. It is what I will choose to think about now in the wake of the most recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. It’s not just advice for national tragedy its advice for every day adversity no matter how big or small.
Your eyes are the key to your perspective, focus them on the positive not the negative and watch your vision (and your life) improve.
The day after the 9-11 tragedy, a school teacher asked Fred Rogers what to tell the children about the terrorist attacks. The advice he gave her was the very same advice Mr. Roger’s mom gave him as a child. He said, “Any time tragedy strikes, tell them to keep their eyes on the helpers.” This is something I think about often and especially now after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. It gets harder and harder to see the good. It’s easy to see death disaster and negativity; it tends to be exclusively what the mainstream media feeds us. When you can look at a situation the way Mr. Rogers suggests it becomes a different picture. Bad people and bad events still exist but when you keep your eyes on the helpers you’ll see that no matter what happens there are always good people there to help lift others up. Considering the shootings in malls theaters schools and hospitals in recent months; changing my focus helps restore my faith in humanity.
I like what Mr. Rogers said, but I don’t think it’s the be-all end-all. What I do think is even better than just watching the helpers, is being a helper. How can you be a helper today? Follow Sandy Hook Elementary School’s motto “Think you can. Work hard. Get Smart. Be kind.”.….. People are watching