Last in a three-part series
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. -- George Bernard Shaw
My late wife Anne became a strong proponent of the power of positive thinking in the late stages of her very courageous struggle with cancer. Several months before she passed away, she requested a copy the book "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought" by John Roger and Peter McWilliams.
I'm not sure if she ever got to read any part of the 622-page publication after receiving it.
When working on the previous post several days ago and looking for inspiration, my hand casually fell on the book which had remained undisturbed on a shelf for at least 10 years. Upon opening it to the forward, I was surprised to find that the binding had yet to be broken. It was a surreal moment that I cannot quite put into words.
I spent the remainder of the evening with the highly-acclaimed book and countless hours since. One very brief chapter in particular caught my attention, "Live Your Life Now". In only eight paragraphs, the subject of procrastination -- putting off things that you've always wanted to do -- resonated with me. That is what I have rather awkwardly tried to get at in several posts recently.
We all put off unpleasant activites, but we also put off enjoyable ones too. We dole out pleasure, contentment and happiness as though they were somehow rationed. The supply of these things is limitless, yet we seem to do the rationing ourselves, ie. "I'll do it when I have more time" or "I'll do it when I have more money" or "I'll do it when I'm a little older". If we look, there are always perfect reasons why we shouldn't enjoy life or why we should postpone doing things that we have always wanted to do.
In life we have either reasons or results. If we don't have what we want, we usually have a long list of reasons for why we don't have them.
Roger and McWilliams answer to that is to focus attention on all the positive things taking place in ones' life. "If you can't find something positive about your environment, look again -- with fresh eyes. Try another point of view. Be creative. What good are you taking for granted?
"If you can't find anything, hold your breath. Within a few minutes, you will really appreciate breathing."
If you are not enjoying life as much as you could or should, don't put it off until later...You are already in your "laters". Start now before it is too late!
I think that is what Anne would say.