You know that ’90s Bill Murray movie where his character, Bob, has a therapist who is famous for his book Baby Steps?
If you know that movie, great. We grew up with parents who have a similar sense of humour who exposed us to some classic ’90s comedy. But my Baby Steps blog post title isn’t about a man who drives his therapist crazy.
It’s about acknowledging where you are in life, and practicing thinking habits that help you appreciate and value where you happen to be.Maybe you don’t need to learn how to see the good right now. Maybe you’re in Jamaica, reading a book because you’re actually interested it, and not because your English professor told you to. Maybe you just started dating the person you think could be “the one”, and you wonder how your life ever seemed satisfying before you found him or her. Maybe you just got accepted into your dream school, or maybe you’re about to embark on the backpacking adventure you’ve been saving for for months.
Or, maybe you’re struggling to get through the second semester. You’re in a course you’re required to take, but it’s so challenging you wonder whether or not you’ll pass. Maybe you’re in the thick of a break-up with the person you really thought could have been your be-all-to-end-all. Maybe life just seems to suck right now.
Despite all the crappy things each of us deals with, I think one thing we are wrong in thinking is that we don’t deserve to be facing the awkward, sad, or frustrating things we deal with. By acting like we’re higher than life’s curveballs, we suggest we are somehow more entitled than the guy you sit next to in class, the girl on your soccer team, or the old man you see on the bus every day. When actually, that old man you see on the bus has his own set of challenges to do deal with. They’re likely just different than yours.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
Anyway, I digress. My point is happiness comes from within. It’s not something to find. It’s something to make. Happiness is seeing through the negative noise that tries to pull you astray.
Positive thinking is like practicing mindfulness; you need to come back to it over and over again. It’s about the baby steps. I’m definitely not a vet at positive thinking, but it’s something I try. Each of us is going is always going to have something going on that we would rather not deal with. What matters is how we approach these things that makes the difference.