1. You ascribe intent.
Another motorist cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a motive to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be insulted? You allocated bad intent to these otherwise harmless actions. You took it as a personal insult, a smack in the face.
Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.
2. You’re the star of your own movie.
It is little wonder that you consider the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very focus of every experience you have ever had.
You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the screenplay. You know how you want it to develop. You even know how you want it to culminate.
Unfortunately, you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are uninformed of the role they are supposed to perform. Then, when they screw up their lines or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you an advancement, your life seems is ruined.
Lose your script. Let someone else star once in a while. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.
3. You fast forward to Armageddon.
I have a bad practice of fast forwarding everything to its wickedest possible outcome and being pleasingly amazed when the result is slightly better than utter ruins or jail time. My mind needlessly wrestles with events that aren’t even in the least likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.
Negativity only raises more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will tug you below.
4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.
Among their many deficiencies of your family and friends is the cruel reality that they cannot read your mind or forestall your whims.
Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to flatter over your tribal tattoo?
Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your misery in life. Minimize your expectations, take full advantage of your joys.
5. You are waiting for a signal.
I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving an indication. I presume she is waiting on a broadcasted announcement from God. She is frequently paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than being governed by it.
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