“If you think that you can do something, and have a great reason to do it, you will find a way.” Braco Pobric
Before taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were: Beat me with a hammer, slap me, kick me, whip me, it won’t really matter. People such as me don’t change our overall demeanor or habits. You can provide all the tools all day long, I just don’t get it!
Rethinking what I thought about habits
Positive Psychology opened my eyes in one area that is of the utmost importance for many, at least for me, thinking habits. As we all know thinking habits are extremely important. How we think determines our actions and emotions. I, being a very analytical type person with more than a dash of negativity, needed to find a way to consistently reset my thinking. I have never been diagnosed with any true form of depression but I recognize the symptoms as part of my person. So it was very necessary for my becoming more open to Meta cognition or “thinking about what I am thinking”. It is one thing to attempt to quit thinking about a particular subject, but finding a replacement thought or habit that would not allow my negative thought to return could be a problems/ challenge. Two or three little items could possible change this one challenge without much pain.
Seeing a new perspective
First thing I did was incorporate my idea of the five breathes at the beginning and ending of each day. Not a difficult addition since my wife has a ritual of prayer at night and our following our Christian beliefs. I have found that by my giving a quick thanks for family and such in the morning truly prevents my being “a grumpy ole man” before I get started. Second, I have always recognized the small wins, but now I am learning to appreciate them, and more importantly slowing down long enough to actually acknowledge them! To try to put a picture on it to clarify my meaning. Instead of saying good job to myself, I attempt to stop and reflect as to how I got there with this conclusion. Hopefully this will bring a little better understanding as I attempt to continue the journey to its completion, whatever that might be. In the past, even though I knew a task needed to be broke down into sections, the fact that it was big allowed me the excuse to fail. What I mean it was of my choosing as to when to declare failure. As I now understand the small habits win better, the allowance of failure is removed and replace with an element known as the “how long will it take” component. If this holds true I have actually found the key to no more failure! One might think this as being a bit gullible, but playing it over and over in my mind it seems feasible….. if not fun trying!
About the Author: Terry Chenault is a 62+ years life learner. He has been married 38years and is raising his two adopted children in the the Philippines. “Now that I have grown up I decided to go back to school and get a degree in Psychology”. He retired from the Navy in 1993 as a MAC/E7.