The Power of Spin
A lot of us seemingly trundle through this experience in a constant state of despair. Despair in our job. Despair in our relationships. Despair in the angst that is the life of human experience. We think that if only we could get that job, or get that car, or get x amount of money then we would be satisfied. We would be satiated. We would be happy. But would we?
I spent the longest time desperately longing for the determination and resolve to quit smoking. I knew it was unattractive. I knew it was killing me. And I knew I did not like it in the least. Yet I kept on doing it. All my attempts to thrust down those carcinogenic little cancer sticks unto the floor once and for all were scuppered by my own self-loathing and adamance that I was already fucked anyway, so why bother. With each inhalation of the serotonin supplemented smoke I could hear the cigarette's laughter at my weakness. As it filled my lungs with tar, I filled my mind with disdain.
I hated smoking and I hated myself. I hated myself for relying on a crutch that I despised. I hated myself for palming it off as a habit, and not an addiction. I hated myself for being unable to quit in the face of obvious and undeniable facts about what I was doing to my body. I hated how useless and powerless to it I was.
Until I stopped, that is. I became aware of the delicate nature of motives. I had been spinning it the entirely wrong way. I should not have been trying to quit because of how much I hated myself for doing it. I should have been trying to quit because of how much I love myself and love being alive. And boom, with that new mantra I struck a newfound balance. I smoked one last cigarette, and...
... just like that, I was done. I have not longed for another cigarette since. Of course, I had the withdrawal symptoms that came in the form of exaggerated anger over menial things, but it was incredibly fleeting when reaffirming the reason as to why I was doing it.
I made the decision to take that same logic into my attitude about work. I am in a dead end job that, whilst being easy and alongside people whose company I genuinely enjoy, has absolutely no prospects. I do not awake in the morning, joyous at the fact that I have woken up at 5:45 in the morning in order to cook geezers breakfast. And for the longest time, much to the resemblance of most of my previous jobs, I was getting fairly depressed about what I was doing with my precious time. I am not ashamed to admit that it became a fairly frequent occurrence that I would break down between custom about the fact that I was aimless, stuck in a job(s) I detest(ed), not being (egotistically might I add) as talented or revered or as successful as I had thought I would be, and stuck in a constant cycle of incurring debt at a faster rate than I was able to pay it off.
Again though, one day I simply decided to spin it in an entirely new way. To view it as a learning curve, and as a guide to step in the right direction. Rome, after all, was not built in a day. Immediately I started to appreciate what I was being taught by this previously tedious grind, I started to feel genuinely good about what I was doing, and I started to take the initiative to begin taking steps towards something fulfilling.
It blew my mind how powerful a concept simply spinning perspectives in a different direction is. And yet, myself and countless other people were and are stuck in these negative feedback loops. Why, I pondered, don't all these people climb out of these trenches that they have dug for themselves? Are they comfy? Do they enjoy self-degradation? Or is it nothing drenched in such nihilism? Is it in fact simply far more difficult to realise that you can climb out of the trench, than the actual act of climbing out of said trench? It would make sense. But how can it be spun it in a way that will make them realise their capability of climbing those muddied walls?
Imagine this. You are sat in your car. You are stuck behind a sloooooow arse driver, or you get cut up on the dual carriageway, or someone steals your right of way at a roundabout. How quick are you to immediate and scathing anger? Putting aside for a moment that those other people are human beings with flaws and may have a reasonable explanationn as to why they have performed this obviously personal and vindictive action, think of what you are doing to yourself in those moments of pure rage... Imagine that a fly on the wall has been filming you for your entire life. Now imagine they made a compilation of every single time you have gotten unnecessarily angry or upset or abrupt or horrid to or about or over someone or something absolutely meaningless, and they were played to you back to back...
How long would that video be?
2 minutes? 2 days? 2 weeks?
How much time have you wasted?
How about you spin it that way. I can think of no quicker way to genuinely start making an active effort to be a happier, more content human being.
At the time of writing this I am sat in a room with french doors. Meaning 4 walls, but 1 of which is mostly glass. This is my view:
I feel like it sums up the sentiments I have just described perfectly; most people, I think, are like the kitten in the bottom left corner. They are stuck in this box, perfectly able to see the wide open space and freeing nature that comes from a healthier mindset, but they are unable to obtain it. They are unaware that all they need do, is slide open the door and step out, because the handle is on the inside of the box in which they are trapped. All they need do is spin whatever is holding them down, in a different direction.
I know this is cliche' and sounds as if it should be on a fridge magnet, but cliche's tend to have the advantage of being explicitly true; happiness is not 'out there' in the world somewhere, it is within you. Simply spin your perspective a full 180° and stare inward with intent, for there you shall find it resonating and awaiting reception.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!