This is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, creative coach and dreamer in Nashville, TN. His passion lies in helping others fulfill their dreams. You can read more of his posts at his personal blog or find him on Twitter - @unknownjim.
Be sure to thank Jim for his time, thought, and contribution!
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Maybe you picture yourself on a tropical island with your feet in the sand. You might even picture a log cabin and yourself with a book nestled by the fire. Or it could involve a certain mouse, his friends, and a castle.
While I wouldn’t mind visiting any of those amazing destinations, the truth is I have the amazing ability to focus on discontentment—even in paradise. I am quicker to complain than I am to give a compliment. It’s easier to whine, moan and groan about my circumstances than to actually do the work. I sometimes even like to point fingers toward others instead of being a catalyst to bring about change myself.
Please learn from my mistakes.
Whining and complaining only lead to a shift of the blame. These are only techniques for avoiding responsibility. You can rationalize ANYTHING if you shift enough of the circumstances away from yourself. But it is a lie. Take responsibility for your own actions.
The blame game is pointless and a waste of time. Nothing good comes from the blame game—when you give excuses and blame others for your problems and/or issues. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle; I blame my problems on you and you blame your problems on me.
But the REAL problem is discontentment. It is often what drives my actions. The blame game is just a symptom of the problem.
But none of those bring long-term satisfaction or contentment. Sure, they are a great quick fix. And they might even work for a while, but at the end of the day, If I rely on those for my happiness, I’m not remotely fulfilled.
Discontentment is used to sell products and services you don’t really need. You don’t need to buy anything for happiness. You already know this. But yet you do it anyways.
So, what’s the answer? Is there a way to fix this?
Sadly, there is not one simple fix for these issues, but there are several steps you can take.
1. Fill yourself with positive influences. Talk with uplifting friends. Read an interesting book. Spend some time in prayer. Watch a positive movie. Listen to some music. You have many options available to lift your spirits.
2. Avoid negative influences.I try to avoid politics and watching the news. If you have a friend who always complains, ask them to be more positive as it brings you down too. If they still persist, nicely but firmly say that you can not be around them if they are negative. I know this is easier said than done, but keep in mind you are want to live life to the fullest, not just aiming for the status quo.
3. Focus on the positives, not the negatives. This attitude adjustment is key to this. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process. If your car has a flat tire, don’t freak out. Know that you will get it fixed and you will still have a great day.
4. Pay Attention to your attitude.If you are having a lot of negative thoughts, know that your attitude needs to be readjusted. Take a break. Go for a walk, giving your attitude a chance to realign. It’s amazing what a difference a 15 minute break can make.
5. Find someone you can vent to. This might sound like it contradicts #2, but it really doesn’t. EVERYONE needs someone they can just vent to, whether it be a good friend or a spouse. I think the key is to tell the other person that you have to vent. You then get 5 minutes to vent. No more, no less. Once you unload, rant, and rave, you have to move forward. I believe this is a healthy way to manage your emotions and get it out of your system instead of just letting anger, stress and frustration build up. You can even call it “rant time” if you’d like. Remember, this time is no longer than 5 minutes.
I truly hope you can learn from some of my mistakes. There is no one quick fix. Discontentment is a real problem. But as with all problems, it is important to unite together to find a solution. You can move toward the solution today by being a positive influence, not a negative one.
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Question: What do you do to avoid being discontent?