42 – February 11
“The sun is always shining. Even though clouds may come along and obscure the sun for a while, the sun is always shining. The sun never stops shining. And even though the earth turns, and the sun appears to go down, it really never stops shining.”—Louise Hay
When I was young, my sisters and I would sometimes run home to mother, crying over some tragedy that had just befallen us. We would be heartbroken because the boy we liked didn’t ask us to the prom, or we lost the election, or didn’t get the part we wanted in the school play. Whatever the problem was, mom would always hold us and murmur sympathetically, letting us know she was sorry for our hurt—for about five minutes. Tops.
Then she would say, “Well, let’s play the glad game!” (I think she got this from the movie, Pollyanna.) She would brighten up, smile and get us to think about all of the things we had that were positive, that we were grateful for, or glad about. It wouldn’t be long before we were happy again, having learned to move on from the bad things, and to reconnect with all that was good in our lives.
This became a life-long habit for me. Whenever something bad happens, I cry about it for a while, have my little pity party, and then focus on what’s still good in my life. It lifts my spirits immediately. For example, one Sunday afternoon, after visiting an art affair with friends, I walked back to my car and tried to start the engine. Nothing happened—it was dead as a doornail. “Rats!” I fumed (or words to that effect). “Why did this have to happen?” I spent a few minutes being angry about it, then called the Auto Club to come get me. That started my grateful list: “I’m glad I belong to the Auto Club…I’m glad I have a car phone to call the Auto Club…I’m glad it’s daylight and I’m in Beverly Hills and not some bad neighborhood in the middle of the night….” You see how it works? I got my attitude back to gratitude: There are a lot of good things in life, and I have a lot of them. The cup is half full, thank you.
A car that won’t start is a small thing. But playing the glad game works with big events, too. I used the glad game to get me back to positive thinking after my divorce, after losing a $300,000 per year account, after losing a friend to cancer. It takes more time, but the process it the same. I mourn my losses, and then I refocus on my abundance. It is a coping strategy that keeps me in a state of happiness and well-being most of the time.
“My attitude of gratitude creates more and more blessings in my life.”
If you ever hope to be successful in business or in life, you have to look on the bright side of the equation. You can’t be thinking about what’s wrong, what’s missing, the goal you didn’t reach, the client you didn’t get all the time. If you thought about that every day, you wouldn’t get out of bed, pick up the phone, or make another phone call.
It’s really hard sometimes, when things break down, when the client isn’t happy, when yet another prospect says no. You can easily get depressed when that happens and go spiraling down the drain of “nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going to go eat worms…” as the old childhood song goes.
But then you get an email like this one:
I just wanted to write and thank you for your fantastic book; I’ve really enjoyed the 365-day format, which is easy to dip in and out of and your personal stories and experiences make it all the more real.
There are lots of corners turned over now as I flip back and fore to the most relevant bits for me.
Keep up the good work.
Julie (Dolphin J)
A note like that immediately brightens the world for me again. I remember the Glad Game, that people I don’t even know are being helped by my work, that I have made a contribution to the world. I remember to be grateful for every person who ever said yes to me, smiled at me, read my book, or took my Financial Stress Reduction® course and helped me make my living from this wonderful work I found to do.
It doesn’t matter how many ships run aground or hit an iceberg and sink. There are always more ships to send out, and there are always more that come in. It doesn’t matter how many people decline to love you – hold fast to the ones that do. They are precious, and reason enough for anyone to be glad.