How Your Thinking Could Be Making You Unhappy

You Simply Can’t Believe Everything You Think:  How Distorted Thoughts Contribute to Unhappiness

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?   If no, you lucky duck!  If yes, you lucky duck, too, because isn’t it great that we have eyewear options to help us see clearly?  We’re blessed either way.    It’s all a matter of perspective.

Those who’ve been examined for eyeglasses or contacts will be able to relate to the metaphor I’m about to share.   I think everyone else can get my drift, though.

I’m near-sighted.  I can see my computer and can read books just fine without assistance,  but forget about driving or watching a movie without glasses or contacts … it’s all a big blur.

how your thinking is making you unhappy

Every year, I go to the eye doctor.  The routine is always the same, I go in prepared to answer the same basic questions over and over as the doctor asks, “Can you read this line?”  I read it easily.

“Can you read the next line?”  I read it, but not as easily.

“Can you read the next line.”   This is typically where, at best, I’m able to guess what the letters might be based on the vague shapes that my eyes can make out.  That is usually the point where the doctor gives up on my reading any more lines.

Then I get to go through a few more questions:  Which is better, this lens or that lens?  Frankly, I’m convinced many of those lenses are duplicates, but that’s not really pertinent to the story, so I’ll go on.

After I get through all the questions, I’m usually handed a new prescription that’s slightly different from the one I had before.   As is always the case, my left eye is always significantly weaker than my right eye, so each requires a different strength lens for correction.

Off I go to have my glasses made.  One hour later (or a little more) and I have a new pair of glasses that work just great.  Unless, of course, they don’t.

I often find that when the prescription changes, the new lenses give me headaches at first.  This usually goes away, but a few times it hasn’t, so I’ve had to go back in for an adjustment.

One time, though, I found the lenses didn’t work at all.  I couldn’t see a thing.   I told the optician working with me that something was wrong.  That’s when I got the “it takes time to get used to the new lenses” speech.   I had to assert, no, this was more than that.  Something was really wrong.   So the person assisting me took the glasses to the back room to have the prescription re-verified.

“Oh my,” she comes back explaining.  “I’m so sorry. They put the right eye lens where the left eye lens should be, and the left eye lens where the right eye lens belongs.”

Now imagine what could have happened if I’d have just said “this must be right” and walked out with those glasses.

Would you want to be on the same road with me if I was driving around town with glasses that made it impossible for me to see?   Your life and mine would have been in jeopardy.

Here’s the main point: How you view your life … the lenses you choose … makes a HUGE difference in what you’ll experience.

Every day I get to choose which lenses I will see my world through.    If I view my life through messed up lenses, I’ll experience a pretty messed up life.   So if I’m viewing my life through the lens of …

  • Negativity … all things will appear negative.
  • Scarcity … all I’ll ever see is lack.
  • Fear … I’ll be scared all the time.
  • Doubt … I’ll always doubt myself.
  • Selfishness … I’ll drive others away.

If I want to experience a great life, I have to put on the right lenses every day.   Here are a few good lenses I like to choose …

  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Enthusiasm
  • Kindness
  • Adventure
  • Creativity

Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not advocating putting on rose-colored glasses that completely distort the realities of your world.  I’m just saying that when I choose to see my life in the best possible light, then what I experience is usually aligned with that viewpoint.

How I view my life is how I’ll experience my life. I choose to see my life as really great!


One more note on lenses:   The telescope and the microscope 

Through the lens of the telescope, we easily see large things that are off in the distance.   They’re actually huge, but through the telescope, they appear small to us.

Through the microscope, we can look at tiny, tiny things and through the power of the microscope’s lens they appear large to us.

Both the telescope and the microscope have their use.  To recap, one makes big stuff appear small and the other makes small stuff appear big.

As you choose the lenses you use to see your world, make sure you’re not making the big stuff (i.e., the really important things and people in your life) small.   Likewise, don’t make the small stuff bigger than it deserves to be either.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~ Wayne Dyer


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