Click the picture below to enlarge it. What do you see?
Now click the image below. What do you see?
Both pictures display the exact same image. The only difference is what’s in focus.
In the first photo, your eyes likely went to the big thorn.
In the second photo, your eyes likely went to the beautiful red bloom.
It’s not so different from what we encounter in our lives every day. Blooms and thorns are always present. (Unlike roses, there is no “thornless” version of life!)
So the question, then, is, What will we choose to focus on?
Train yourself to choose the bloom.
A good place to start is by taking time each day to write down and think about three things you’re grateful for… and why. This forces us to look beyond the “thorns” and focus our minds on what is good in our lives. Research has shown that this practice reduces depression and increases happiness, and in time, this spirit of gratitude will become a more natural disposition.
Put this exercise to the test right now — for five minutes — and see how you feel afterward.