Well in an effort to keep this light hearted I thought I would start with a story. I was out one night and got a flat tire. I should have brought asparagus. 🙂
Well with a real tire that is a true statement. It’s a flat tire and is not going to take you anywhere until properly repaired or replaced. Sometimes in life we feel like we are running on a flat tire. Problems arise and we lose the air in our “life tire”. With our lives we need to not only focus on whatever part of our “life tire” is losing air, we also need to look at the entire tire or more correctly, our life. We need to think of the things in our life that are working. There is no “air pump” to fill the hole in our life tire. We need to think positive and instead of just focusing on the flat part of our life tire, we need to look at other parts of our lives that are good. When we look at just the flat it takes air from us. If we can step back and look at the whole tire we can get air by pumping ourselves up and realizing it’s only one part of our life tire that is flat.
I admit it’s easy to focus on the flat. I know it’s hard to step back because we all want to fix things that are broken and we want to fix it NOW. In reality the “flat” part of our tire might be flat so that we are forced to slow down, step back and look closely at our flat. Maybe we are heading in the wrong direction. Maybe as we slow down we can and should take the time to appreciate all the good things in our lives. When we say things like “poor me” or “why me” we focus on the “flat”, the negative. Negative feelings begin to cloud our judgment. We can become depressed or overwhelmed which is a waste of our energy and does nothing to improve the flat. We need to realize that as a whole we are more than just the flat part of the tire. We might lose our job through no fault of our own or we are not the perfect parent or friend that we always wanted to be and that’s OK. Work to be better but don’t dwell only on what we are not.
Lets shift gears quickly and think of our life as a pie instead of a tire (pie – it sounds better already!). Now slice it into slices of our lives. All of us are sons or daughters, that’s one slice. Most of us are brother or sisters, that’s another slice. Mom or Dad another slice, friend another slice and dare I brag Grandparents, that’s half the pie! One slice of the entire pie is each of the above. One slice of the pie or part of the tire might not be perfect but keep looking, that pie still looks mighty good!
The perfect solution might not be available. So instead of saying it can’t be fixed because the perfect fix isn’t available, work on what can be fixed. It might not be exactly the fix we want. It might not get fixed as fast as we want but we are human and can only do what we can. Even if it is not the perfect solution at least you are moving in the right direction, forward.
You don’t eat a pie in one bite! Break your problem into fork size bites. As you keep positive thoughts and work towards the best fix available, you are moving. Sometimes we take a step backwards but it might be the direction we need to correct our course. We need to keep thinking and being positive. As we move (forward or backward) we might see our flat from a different vantage point and realize it’s not as bad as we thought. If you can’t keep going for yourself, do it for friends and family around you. What you do and how you react to “flats” in your life lets others around you know that positive things can come from negative.
If you don’t believe it, FAKE it. It takes practice to break old habits. Find a word or a mantra to say to yourself when you feel like you need to complain. It’s not fair to exhaust those around you because you won’t take the time and energy to retrain your thoughts. YES, you need to retrain your thoughts from negative to positive. One more time, YES you need to retrain your thoughts from negative to positive. Don’t dwell and complain about your flat, it’s not fair to wear others down with your flat if you are not willing to do the work. Nobody wants to be around a person who is negative, who wears their flat proudly, complaining constantly about it, repeating the negative mentally and vocally over and over again. Try to remember those around you affect you and you affect those around you.
We all handle things differently but however you handle it, don’t be the negative force in someone’s life. Listen to your words you are saying to others and listen to your thoughts. Old habits die-hard but you need to know what you are thinking. Negative thoughts are easy, positive thoughts are a lot more difficult. Fill your thoughts with positive and listen to what your thoughts are saying! Are you thinking a positive thought?
You might have to fake it at first – whistle, sing, work in the garden, cook or whatever you do when you are happy. It’s possible to fake ourselves and you might even catch yourself actually happy. Maybe only for a minute. That’s a minute of air. A minute of doing what we need to do. A minute in the right direction. Only a minute you might be thinking? Maybe only a minute but it’s a good minute.
The good news is our life isn’t a tire and we can continue to run even with a flat. In fact that’s exactly what we have to do. Pump up the tire with the positive in your life!
My “go to” is if my flat was a loved one’s flat, what would I tell them? Would I say, -“Go sit in the corner and pout / -There is no way this will ever get better / – What a failure you are!”. NO WAY! I would say “It’s not as bad as it seems. It will get better. Be positive. We love you, this flat isn’t you, it’s a bump in the road. What can I do to help?” So if we look at our flat through the eyes of people who love us, it’s not as bad as when we see it through our own eyes. We have all heard we are our own worst critic!
Be positive, be around friends and family, be the person you want to be. The only way to fix that flat is to get pumped up by those around you and seeing you as a whole, not just the flat.