Unlike a camera that we use to focus on the image we want to capture, our eyes and our mind tend to wander, largely ignoring the wonders around us and often seeing things in a critical light. As a result we tend to mainly notice the ugly, the evil, the negative and the disheartening which in turn makes us frustrated, critical and whiners about everything around us. While it is true, that there is ample unpleasantness that we are subjected to, overlooking the brighter side of life would make us despondent and anxious. More importantly we fail to allow the wonders of life soothen our spirits, cheer us up and discover the elixir of life.
To focus better you need to adjust the lens of your heart first and the eyes will soon focus more clearly. Adjusting the lens of your heart involves 4 steps
Being grateful – Just being alive is a miracle for every day we read a number of obituaries and we also become aware of so many others who are not as fortunate as us. While that is big miracle we are also fortunate to be well educated, economically far better off than the vast majority, enjoy reasonably good health, have the love of family and friends and have the courage and hope to improve our life. Have you taken all these for granted or are you consciously grateful for the numerous gifts you are bestowed with. Once you can identify all that you are grateful for you have already begun to adjust the lens of your heart.
Seeking joy – Joy is found in the simplest of things provided we seek them out. The new bud or the blooming flower in the garden, the chirping of birds, the appearance of the rainbow is natures of way of providing you joy. The gurgle of a child, the giggle of a teenager, the hug of a friend and the blessings of elders are joyful bonuses given to you to make you feel richer even when you don’t have a dime in your wallet. Find joy in drinking a refreshing glass of water, in the unexpected lift you got to a far of destination, in an unexpected email from a long lost friend . Soon you will graduate to saying ‘ it could have been worse’ and find joy even in your time of trails and grief. The lens of your heart is now focusing even more clearly.
Sharing more – Give of your time, your talents and your possessions and the joy these bring are immeasurable. A smile costs nothing and the same is true of a word of encouragement and appreciation. Making a sick visit or a visit to an elderly and lonely person would bring the other person joy for sure and double your own joy too. Nothing stops you from giving away what you don’t need; it also helps clear clutter not to mention that is will surely help you experience the joy of having done a good deed. Go and volunteer for that is when you commit what you really value- your time; for it can never be replaced. Your heart is clearly filling up with joy for the lens just needs a slight adjustment now.
Be forgiving – You can never experience joy if you carry a hurt, nurture a grudge or seek revenge. Letting go of the past, letting bygones be bygones and being magnanimous enough to forgive would be both a test of character and the key to happiness. No sooner you let go of the negative emotions and feelings and whole heartedly forgive those who have wronged you, the last bit of blur in the lens of your heart clears up. You can now see the world around you in its pristine glory, appreciate fully the blessings showered on you, acknowledge with pride and a joyful heart that ‘life is wonderful’!
Try it now no matter what your age, gender or status; awaken and experience a new person.
- List 2 ways in which you will give of your time, talent and possessions. Put a deadline in which you will implement each of your 6 commitments.
- Choose from this list of activities and attempt to do at least 3 in the coming 3 months
- Volunteering to help in clearing up a hill slope / river front / an open space
- Donating blood at a blood donation drive
- Signing up for eye/ organ donation
- Spending half a day at least at an old age home/ orphanage / prison/ mental asylum/ school for the blind / a home for the physically challenged
- Teaching at a school for the under privileged
- Organizing a fund raiser for any one of the above activities
- Seeking pardon from someone whom you have wronged and apologizing for the anguish you caused the person
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