Flipping the Conversation

Image may contain: eyeglasses, sunglasses and textOctober is anti-bullying month.

Schools, in particular, tend to be breeding ground for bullying. Having throngs of kiddos on the playground who have all had different life experiences and who do not have a teacher hovering over every interaction can make opportunities for things to go wrong.

Unfortunately, bullying has lost its luster over the years. We use it to describe things that make us uncomfortable. Interactions that don’t rise to the level of true bullying. And as with anything, the overuse has dulled its meaning and the urgency with which we treat it.

My school decided to go in a different direction this year. Change the perspective. Our message to students this October and all year is to “Be Kind.” Be kind and the rest of the mess takes care of itself. We’ve got our orange t-shirts with the message in bold. This may be one I wear fairly frequently.

It got me to thinking about how sometimes flipping your perspective on things makes them more doable. More palatable.

I fight daily against doing the things I know will help me feel great and work at optimum levels. I’ve tried to figure out why but even when I think I know why, it doesn’t really have an impact.

What does have an impact is when I don’t think that doing the good thing will deprive me of anything. The good thing is the thing that will help me get where I need to go.

For example, I know I should eat better. But every time I start to fix a plan for myself, I think about what I’m missing out on instead of how I feel after I eat the good or bad thing.

Exercise? Same. Budgeting? Yup that too.

It’s so counterintuitive but it’s there.

If I exercise, I might miss out on sitting at home relaxing with a glass of wine watching tv.

Instead of…

If I exercise, I’ll get stronger, feel great afterward and not fall asleep at seven o’clock.

If I make a plan to eat healthily, I would miss out on that amazing thing that probably involves chocolate and pasta and all the things I love.

Instead of…

If I eat healthily, I will sleep better, have more energy and be more fit, something I’m always looking for. I can still have occasional treats but a diet of chocolate and bagels is probably not something that’s going to make me feel good.

If I budget, I’m going to have to make some choices about what to purchase and what can wait rather than fill that want immediately.

Instead of…

If I budget, I don’t have to worry about the future. I will take care of the emergencies that crop up. I’ll have a cushion that allows me to do all of the big things that I’ve dreamt of doing.

Well jeez, when I put it like that…

Flipping the conversation with yourself or others can change the game for you. What kind of changes do you want to make? What’s holding you back? What do you think you will be missing out on?

And be honest about what you may miss. It may be like that comfortable sweater with the holes in it. Once you get rid of it you forget you had it.

For me, the plusses far outweigh the minuses. The changes will propel me in the right direction. Healthy in mind, body, and spirit. And that stuff I think I’ll miss? I won’t.

Sometimes all you’ve got to do is to look at things through a different lens. And when you do? Everything changes for the better.