I don’t know where the saying “when nothing goes right, go left” originates from, but I find it to be a brilliant centralization of a positive approach to life.
I do my very best to live by this constructive attitude, too.
Maybe I like this saying that much more, because it reminds me of the way I used to panic as a new driver when missing an exit while driving with my navigation device on, because I’d misinterpret the voice announcements.
To my defense and for a better understanding, why the panic, I got my driver’s license at 18 and didn’t need it for 12 years, afterwards.
It was only when I moved to Germany and needed a car that I actually started driving.
So, on top of the new everything, unusual activity and lack of reflexes I had to improve, there were completely new surroundings I had to deal with, too.
All these newness sometimes threatened to interfere with the appointments I had to make, simply because I had missed an exit on my way to them.
It was only with time, practice and patience that my driving skills improved, I learned to rely on my sense of direction and got to know the surroundings better and, most of all, I learned to not let the panic take over anymore by telling myself that my GPS will simply recalculate the shortest route to my destination, so all is well.
Not to mention how much more it helped not to drive off focusing on the fear of taking a wrong exit or route, but with a positive attitude and excitement over the drive ahead.
It might seem trivial, but it was essential to first change my attitude toward the challenge I was facing, before getting to tackle it.
This kind of realization applies on so many levels - there are no mistakes, but simply different routes to our destination.
There is no single angle of view, there are many different perspectives, color shades and ways to reach a goal or different kind of solutions to the same type of problem.
And not allowing discouragement to knock the wind out of our sails by concentrating on the positive aspects is the first step in moving forward.
Although my intention to constantly dive in a zen-approach and focus on the full half of the glass sometimes slips out of sight and thus on the wrong track, I stubbornly start my journey to it over and over again, because I believe it to be the healthy view about life and strive to reach a state of inner calm and joy.
It is out of this state of inner calm and joy that I am able to fully enjoy my day, my loved ones and life in general and create artwork that fulfills me emotionally and gives me a sense of purpose through self-expression.
There will always be situations or people who will challenge our intention to see the full half of the glass and enjoy the positive aspects this perspective brings.
It doesn’t matter. Our first reaction to whatever comes our way can still be neutralized by the second one, when the surprise effect has worn off and we consciously take action, better prepared than we first did.
There will be better days and there will be days when everything seems to be a little off.
When confronted with a less positive day, just remember to take it easy, breathe deeply in and out before reacting to any remarks that infuriate you and, most of all, step away from the computer to chill out, before answering an e-mail that shortly threw you out of your zen-track.
I promise, it helps :)