Life Pro Tip #7: Focus on something awesome

“Reality” is a pretty damn slippery concept. What you consider to be reality is mostly what you focus on, and somebody else’s reality will be totally different.

If you focus on all the reasons there are to be miserable, you’ll end up being miserable sooner or later.

If you focus on all the reasons there are to be happy, happiness is inevitable.

Let me show you an example of two different ways of focusing on life in 21st Century America. Put yourself in the shoes of these two people and see which perspective you prefer.

Bob: This world is going to shit! Nobody sends letters anymore, and young people just spend all their time writing ungrammatical texts. If I had written CUL8R in a note to my father back in 1959, he would’ve slapped me across the face with a big-ass Bell telephone and sent me to bed without dinner. And speaking of dinner, nobody eats just a plain Campbell’s tomato soup anymore! It’s all multiple-ingredients-this and chipotle-that! I don’t know who’s brilliant idea it was to just start turning everything into Mexican food—and by the way, have you heard about the massive migration of Mexicans into the service industry? In my day, Mexicans knew their place: it was in the fields, picking strawberries. Women were in the kitchen cooking, and men were in front of the TV, watching Johnny Carson and drinking martinis. HAVE YOU EVER MET A YOUNG PERSON WHO CAN MAKE A BLT LIKE WE DID BACK IN VIETNAM? Never met a young person who could kill without flinching either. Young people today, I tell you, they’re a bunch of lazy good-for-nothing delinquents who can’t make a BLT or slaughter a whole village of women and children. Bunch of pansies, I tell you!

Or, if you prefer:

Bill: Holy Shit! The 21st Century is AWESOME! So many boring-ass infectious diseases have been basically eradicated, so I don’t have to worry about coming down with a cold one day and being dead 3 days later! I can communicate with almost anyone, anywhere in the world, instantly. I can travel basically anywhere I want by plane and be halfway around the world in less than a day, whereas people a century ago would have had to walk most of the way. I have the freedom to select my job and to make my own way in the world, and I’m not obligated by society to spend the rest of my life married to the first woman I ever have sex with! Food is so ridiculously abundant all over the developed world that I’ve never really been hungry in my life, in fact my problem is that more than likely I’m obese from having access to so goddamn much cheap food. And if that weren’t enough, I have access to more information on my iPhone than anybody in history ever had before me: I whip this baby out of my pocket and can find out something that my parents would have spend half a day in the library researching. And if I want to see people naked, I don’t have to sneak a look at my mom’s Sears catalog when she’s out walking the dog—I can just log onto tumblr! Literally 75% of the things I do every day of my life would have been considered to be voodoo or witchcraft of some kind by people in my great-grandparents’ day. I tell you! It sure is a great time to be alive!

Do you see that? Same reality, two different interpretations!

I laugh every time somebody says that society is going to hell. They’re so trapped in their miserable little world that they can’t see any of the millions of awesome things happening around them at all times!

Have fun feeling good!

More Pro Tips?

Daniel
 

How did I end up in Madrid? Why am I still here 12 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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