On a Sunday evening a few weeks ago, I was totally looking forward to the week ahead. I knew that the coming weekend was almost free of appointments. Also, the work that week was more relaxed than previous weeks. I had also taken a lot of time to write and read, which are more or less events I look forward to. But the best part was that the following work week was only from Monday to Wednesday since I had submitted vacation. So I was already full of anticipation two weeks in advance.
What two good weeks have to do with a philosophy blog you ask? I noticed something during this time. And that is that out of my anticipation almost everything seemed nice and good during these weeks. Even activities or events that I would have considered not so nice in a normal case. The Indian Yogi Sadhguru once gave a very motivating speech in which one of the topics was our perception. Here you can find the Article to his speech.
On Monday, which followed the original Sunday, there was a lot to do in the store. In addition, the air conditioning was set much warmer than before. This may seem like a positive thing to some, but I'm a hot-tempered guy, so I was just sweating more than usual. More work and warmer air is not something that makes me happy. But since I was in a good mood anyway with the days ahead in sight, I took this with a smile. Even at my second job, there were a few tasks that I disliked, but even those were only half as bad, simply because I was already in a good mood either way. In one of those moments, I remembered a quote from author Dale Carnegie: "Two men sat behind prison bars; one saw only mud, the other the stars."
At first glance, this does not seem to be a particularly great insight, that if you are cheerful, you can better overcome setbacks. However, I was fascinated by the way in which one took it all in stride. It reminded me strongly of one of the philosophical principles of the Stoics. That you can't influence external circumstances, but you can influence how you deal with them. In this article you will learn more about the Stoa, who they were and what made them tick.
It has definitely shown me that I want to try to start every day in a good mood, if this is at all possible. However, it costs nothing to try it. If you start your days with the right intention, you can only see what will happen. What could happen? That we have a worse day than we talk ourselves into in the morning? If that's the worst case scenario, you should definitely be willing to try it, don't you think?