We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference. Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.
We are always learning. I continue to make mistakes and progress on a daily basis. I’ve learned that we’ve got an important decision every day that can shape our moments and our lives. It starts and ends with our attitude. In the past few days, I’ve seen some really interesting examples of people choosing (what I think is) the wrong attitude in a situation that could bring them so much peace, togetherness and discovery. You can choose your attitude and many times, it’s the easiest solution to choose the most positive outlook.
Most of these suggestions would take less than 15 minutes–usually just a moment, but an important moment–to make a real, lasting change.
You could spend your time enjoying the moment. Every week I watch my husband play softball and let my kids play in the sandbox. They usually get so dirty we have to shake out their clothes before they get in the car and put them in the bath when they get home. They play great together, I can see them from where I’m sitting, they come to me only when they need something and I get to watch the softball game in peace.
There is a mother who comes to the games and micro-manages her daughter every minute of every game. This kid gets told “No” more in an hour than I tell my kids “No” in a week. If this is how she wants to parent, fine–I’m sure others question my methods. But parenting styles aside, I bet she’s exhausted. Watching her stresses me out, and I’m not even involved.
Think about how you’re treating others and spending your time. Are you enjoying the moment or are you spending all of your time worrying about what others are doing? Set yourself up for success and enjoy the moment.
You could use your words to build your relationship. We went to a theme park a few days ago and the couple walking in front of us was trying to get down stairs with a stroller. The husband helped the wife and as he turned around she tripped and nearly fell down the stair (not stairs, one stair). She made an exasperated comment and blamed the situation on him, then they went on to have a fight.
Hmm, Dear “the Wife”: you tripped over your own foot, calm it on down. I watched it all happen and I know you’re fine. It wasn’t a 50 foot drop to your doom. It was a 1 foot gentle step down. And you’re fine. What would have been better is to thank your husband for his help, thus building your relationship.
I know I need to work on this one regularly. Many times I have to stop and think before I answer to say a supportive statement, and I don’t always handle these situations correctly. But guess what, when I do the right thing, it always makes me feel better to support my loved ones and it makes for a healthier relationship. There are many defining moments where you can visualize hurtful or helpful words. Choose the right one and it will grow your relationships by leaps and bounds.
You could discover a strength in a new situation. I know someone who needs to learn a new skill and learn it quickly. And she’s freaking out. I’ve heard her downplay and negate this opportunity many times. Not good. Instead, suck it up and start learning what you need, sure new things are scary, but it’s a learning curve that is beneficial for everyone. We need to change, to learn and to grow to stay alive.
I’ve found that my positive attitude is easier to maintain the more I exercise my positive words. When I think positive and act positive, I feel more positive and I am more positive. You’ll be happier and healthier if you make the best of every situation. I promise you have time and energy and the attitude to make this happen.