How you view the events in your life is a major portion of your emotional state and mental development. Has today been a good day? Has today been a bad day? If you ever answer yes to the second question, I believe you are missing out on what life has to offer. I never view any day as a bad day. I do not look back on any part of my life in regret. Whenever someone asks me what I would change if I could travel back through time, I tell them there are no events I would ever consider changing.
My guess is that you are currently thinking that that is a bunch of nonsense and that I could not possibly view my life that way. Well, I do. There are two reasons why. First, every event in our lives is an opportunity to grow. They provide us the chance to learn more about ourselves, and to strengthen our character. Second, I believe the events in our lives shape our personalities, memories, knowledge, and wisdom. If I had skipped any of the events in my life I would be a slightly different person. I like who I am, and therefore would not want to change the events that have honed my view of the world.
In January of 1996, I suffered through the most traumatic physical injury I have endured so far. That injury caused both physical and emotional agony. It was very difficult to live through. Yet, I do not regret taking the action that caused that accident. From that incident I have learned a great deal about my mental state, what I can endure, and how meaningless regular pain is. That injury has improved my mental well-being, my confidence, and my wisdom. Why should I view that event as a negative influence on my life? Yes, it was difficult. Yes, it caused a lot of pain. However, it helped me grow and it benefited me in the long run.
I do not even view the death of a close friend or family member as a negative experience. Just a week before I wrote this page, one of my family members died. I feel sad that I will not see him again. It is unfortunate that he will not be around to influence our lives. However, death is a part of life and if we accept that than we can learn from each death we must bear. While at his funeral I thought about the fact that I will not see him again, I thought about the torment his children and grandchildren were experiencing, I thought about the fact that he will not be directly influencing the world anymore, but I also thought about how his death could benefit us. When someone close to us dies, it makes us remember their lives and think about all the ways they were important to us. That process alone strengthens us if we let it. As we are thinking about their lives, we think about the good they provided the world, we think about mistakes they may have made, and most importantly, we think about how they touched our lives. If we let them, each of those aspects of their life can help define the shape of our personalities, can increase our wisdom, and can show us how to touch others the way this person touched us. It is very healthy to grieve and feel your loss. It is healthy to examine that loss and learn from it. As long as we do not allow that loss to overcome us as we learn from it, we will become stronger, better people.
This has not always been my view of life. I used to become depressed easily and was definitely a pessimist. When I reached the lowest point of my life, I realized my life would have to change and that would only happen if I changed my view of the world. That was a very difficult task and took a great deal of time and will, but my view has obviously changed. Indeed, it is still changing. My view of the world changes every day. I actively examine the events in my life looking for knowledge and wisdom. That knowledge and wisdom never fails to alter my perception.
Do not try to change your emotions!
It is unhealthy to attempt to change your emotions. Instead, concentrate your efforts on your analytic mind. If you force yourself to think about how you benefit from each situation, your emotions will grow and mature. As your analytic mind becomes used to thinking about how you are benefiting from each situation, your sadness, grief, anger, and disappointment will lessen. At the same time, your happiness, joy, love, friendship, and excitement will grow and become more frequent. Your self image and confidence will also develop and strengthen. Life is much easier when it is full of joy.