Focusing on your saddest days probably won’t make you happy.

Say you wanted to achieve excellence in a particular sport.

Maybe you’d have your eye set on competing in some big event.

Perhaps even the Olympics?

It’s going to take complete focus.

A huge amount of work.

Real belief in yourself.

Instead of practicing like there’s no tomorrow, would it make sense to spend every day thinking about how bad you were before you started?

To concentrate on your weaknesses?

To dwell on your lack of potential?

Of course not.

So isn’t it rather odd that when our moods are low, we can be inclined to pass all our time wondering about why we feel this way?

We desperately seek a reason for our state of mind, thinking that this will help in some strange way.

Do you think the champion high jumper wastes weeks trying to work out why she kept knocking the bar off when she was in her teens?

I don’t think so.

Thinking about being unhappy is very likely to leave you feeling, well, unhappy.

So what do you think might happen if you thought instead about being happy?

Surely it’s better to focus your energy on getting yourself back into a better place than it is to agonise why you got into a bad one?

3 thoughts on “Focusing on your saddest days probably won’t make you happy.

  1. Hi Jon,

    Thank you for today’s email. I’ve been struggling to see the point in life this morning but your message has lifted me just far enough out of the miry clay to help me see that there is more to life than my current situation and that things can be better.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sinar,
      Things do generally get better, but when we are so low, it is really hard to see any further than the problems you’re encountering.
      The fine, well-worn saying ‘this too will pass’ is needed sometimes…because like the fleeting moments of a fun-filled day whizz by, so do the worst of days…but sadly, maybe just not as quickly as we would want and need.

      I do hope you continue to see that how you feel today, will pass. Keep looking up as there are many of us like Jon, who are ready to lift you up and out of the ‘miry clay’..Karen x

  2. Thanks for this, Jon. I think there’s a lot in this, and am experiencing these negative thoughts about past-into-present at the moment, ‘thanks’ to problems at one of my workplaces (not, thankfully, my main one). I have tried to focus on happier, more successful times, but am beginning to question whether these were the result, at least in part, of ‘enthusiastic’ and hyper-energetic, manic periods which resulted in performances which were beyond my ‘normal’ capabilities. The other problem I have in recalling these periods is that, as I am now in my sixties, they are now more than twenty-five years in the past, some of them thirty-five or more, whereas nearly all my recollections of negative periods are much fresher in my memory. How can I counter-act this imbalance, especially when those around me have shared the more recent events?

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