We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
– Albert Einstein
Each day the sun rises, it’s a new day. We get a fresh start. If we do all the same things we did yesterday, we’ll get the same results we got yesterday. Make sense?
So, along that same line of thinking, if we want different results today, let’s think of one thing to do differently. One thing that’s more positive. One effort toward friendship or hope or optimism we overlooked yesterday.
My friend Dimitri has struggled with a glum outlook all winter. When there’s less sun, he gets less motivated, feels isolated, lonely, and emotionally – as well as mentally – dull.
So he decided to try a new approach. Based on Einstein’s idea that solving his glum outlook would require something new in his effort and behavior, he decided to knock on the door of the lady next door and offer to help her shop for groceries.
His neighbor is a friendly, happy sort, 81 years old, and a little unsteady on her feet. She always waves to him in the summer when she’s watering her flowers and he waves back. But in the summer, he’s too busy with his own activities to give her much attention.
So it occurred to him to do something for someone outside himself. It was hard because he felt listless and without energy. But he did it. He knocked on her door and offered to help her with her next trip to the grocery store.
As fate would have it, she was needing to go today, since she’d run out of milk, bread, and her favorite tea. He helped her into his car and they drove to the store to pick up the things she needed. She chattered away the entire trip, telling him about the birds she’d been watching out the window, hoping they were finding the seed she set out for them, the squirrels and their nuts, and the little shelter she’d created for stray cats to get warm on the really cold days.
By the time they had each bought the provisions they needed and driven back home, Dimitri noticed he was feeling just a little brighter than he had before he left. He helped his new friend into the house with her groceries, and told her goodbye.
When he got home he was tired. Really tired. But he realized the outing with an upbeat friend had actually helped a little.
I hope Dimitri tried it again the next day…looking for something he could do that was different than his routine.
Some of our problems in outlook come from our lifestyles, and we forget to do the things that keep us feeling good about ourselves and our lives. Giving is one of those things. Time with positive people is another.
What can you do today that’s different?