I Was Enjoying a Beautiful Sunday Morning Until . . . Focusing on Fixing
This particular Sunday morning was spectacular! It was one of the first warm, spring mornings where I could sit outside in my PJ’s on the deck and not get chilled. There were so many birds singing, I could hardly make out the different songs.
I could smell the lilacs and see the multitude of different greens as the new leaves were starting to open on the trees. The bright sun was lighting up our freshly mowed yard. It felt like paradise and I sat and soaked it in. Ahhhhh!
Then I started to notice things. Hmmmm. We’re going to need to stain the deck again this spring. I could see some spots where it’s wearing off. And there’s a couple of trees that are sprouting some small branches from the base of their trunks that need trimming. And the patio table is full of pollen. I definitely need to get that cleaned before we eat out here. All these to-do’s started popping into my awareness. Yuck!
Luckily I caught myself and remembered that this tendency to focus on all the things that are “problems” is wired into our brains. And as adults, our work experience reinforces this tendency. Our jobs are all about fixing problems and getting things done. That’s what we get paid to do, so that’s what we notice. We don’t get rewarded for paying attention to the things that are fine or good, so we don’t spend any time focusing on them. After all, what’s the point?
Remembering this helped me tune in and switch back to enjoying the beautiful morning. Ahhhh!
Can you remember a time when you were enjoying something, maybe a person, a situation, etc. and then you started thinking about the problems – what needed fixing or doing? How could being aware of this tendency help you catch yourself getting sidetracked into “focusing on fixing?”
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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association