Monday night after a Labor Day weekend packed with activity I had a chance to fantasize a bit about the great weekend, the entire summer and its unofficial end on Labor Day. As summers go this one I thought was a particularly good one. From a weather standpoint it seemed that just about every weekend was punctuated with plenty of sun, warm ocean water and, because of these, plenty of company to enjoy the beach with. But it was ending (unofficially). And it wasn’t long before I realized that as I was thinking more and more about the summer winding down I was slowly, but surely beginning to bring myself down.
Here is the thing, often when we fantasize about the past and future what we are thinking isn’t real, but simply fantasies of how things seemed to be or of how we would have liked them to have been. I’m pretty sure my Labor Day fantasizing met both of these measures. Does this mean we should never think about the past or the future, never try to reflect on our past experiences? Hardly, but it does mean we might need to make a change (at least I needed one). So I turned my attention to more productive activities, among these catching up on my emails. This is where I read this quote by Dr. Seuss sent to me by someone else doing a bit of their own fantasizing about summer’s end, “Don’t cry because it’s over smile because it happened.”
This particular email struck me immediately. I do have a choice about how I think about everything (we all do). I realized I should be smiling because this summer did happen. And a single day (Labor Day) can only take my smile away if I choose to let it. Every one of us needs to be conscious and aware of what we think about and the choices we make. Or, we will simply lapse into habitual behaviors, which can be a drag (as I was finding).
As a coach I know how important my (and your) thoughts are for everything from everyday growth, progress and success to real happiness. And I also know that without some effort to change, for most of us it’s our learned habitual thinking that rules.
Reading this email brought to mind another article I wrote some time ago about people who actually look forward to a rainy workday, called pluviophiles (according to a someone apparently versed in the loves of “philes).” In this article I also quoted Dr Seuss from the famous “The Cat in the Hat” children’s book, “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” Thinking about this I went on to write in this article that when it rains, when it is wet, when you’re heading out to work and the sun is not sunny, nothing good comes from wallowing in.
How true this is! Confucius said, “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” I stopped wallowing and started smiling. It made a hugely positive difference for me and I’m sure for everyone in my world.
William “Bud” Hart is a certified “Mindset” Coach, Accountability Partner and Business Consultant. Visit Hart Group, www.hartgroupma.com for more on coaching.