Grades are coming out soon and it always reminds me of how fragile happiness can be. Of course you recover, but getting a bad grade, especially after you feel you’ve worked really hard, is deflating. It can kill ambition and knock the wind out of your sails—if you let it.
Have you ever noticed how succeeding at something or receiving good news can be very exciting momentarily but getting bad news or doing poorly at a test or a basketball game (whatever it might be) can bring you down for hours, if not days? It’s similar to getting a compliment or a critique. When someone compliments us we often shake it off and disregard it. Or it makes us smile for a second and we move on. But when we hear someone speak ill of us? We can’t get it out our heads—it can be drowning.
I think it’s time for a reverse.
How bout we take the positive praise in our life—all the kind words, good grades, nice smiles—anything happy that comes our way and magnify it in our lives? Why don’t we make THAT the center of our life? Instead of focusing on someone’s negativity about your appearance, your personality, whatever it may be—reflect it back with all the GREAT things that are going on with your life.
When someone gives you a compliment, don’t forget it. I actually have a file on my computer where I save messages and emails from people who have taken the time to write something thoughtful to me. It may seem silly, but these words of love make a huge difference when you have days that feel completely evaporated of love. Make the compassion you’ve received in the past handy so that you can remember all the good that is in our world. It’s there—give it the attention it deserves.
On that note, just as others have taken the time to send you love, be sure to give it back. Doesn’t it make you smile when someone sends you a thoughtful email, just because? It’s the best kind of surprise. Flatter someone, make their day. There’s no shame in telling someone you admire them. Not to mention, it builds stronger relationships. These thoughtful acts benefit both the recipient and the sender.
Now if you’ve been hurt by someone or something, of course you need to allow yourself time to heal. It’s okay to be sad—it’s healthy. But don’t ever let yourself forget the light left in the world. The longer you stay in darkness the more your eyes will be shocked by the sunshine. Stay familiar with the joy and keep it present in your life.
So next time you get a great grade—celebrate it and let it add to your happiness exponentially. Let all the little successes and celebrations pile up and surmount any sadness you’ve had. Don’t let one negative event bomb away the hundreds of good things you’ve been storing up—protect it with all your might! No one can take your happiness away from you, only you have that right.
Let the good outweigh the bad—simple as that!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook