Changing Your Perspective for a Positive Mindset

And just like that, it's been 13 days without alcohol. Honestly, the first 2 weeks have flown by and there have only been a fewwww times I've been tempted to cheat. But I'm feeling very determined and know that I'll make it to the finish line

Today I wanted to talk (write) a little bit about perspective. It's crazy how big of an impact a small shift in perspective can make in your happiness. I'm groaning at how preachy that sounded - but stick with me.

Changing Your Perspective

Wednesday was a long day. I was out the door by 5:00 a.m., on a flight to Pittsburgh by 7:00 a.m., at a coffee shop working by 9:00 a.m., in a meeting by noon, back at the airport by 3:30 p.m. and not back through my apartment doors until 8:00 p.m. 

But as my plane descended into New York City, I looked out my window and below me, the entire city was sprawled out. A city inhabited by 1.6 million people - including little old me. It might take me an hour and multiple subway transfers and plenty of frustration to get from the Upper East Side to Chelsea on a Sunday - but from 30,000 feet up, the island of Manhattan looked so much simpler. 

Changing Your Perspective

I could see the Freedom Tower and Central Park all at once. I spotted the Empire State Building and the reservoir, and I thought to myself, "WOW Central Park is beautiful and kind of massive, I can't believe I run around that whole thing on the regs!" (Yes, I even use embarrassing abbreviations in my head, obvs). 

Then, as I sometimes do, I started to get a little teary-eyed thinking about the fact that I live in THE New York City. THE Central Park is my backyard. I could look down and point out where Harlem Hill is and Cat Hill and my favorite trees that arch over the reservoir loop. And I could point at MY apartment - or at least the general vicinity of my apartment. 

changing Your perspective

Something about being that high up, and looking down at my entire life/world from such a distance had me feeling really emotional. 

When I landed, and waited in the taxi line, and waited in traffic, and finally got back to my apartment (because NYC isn't EVER actually simple when you're in it...) I dropped my bags and bolted to the park for a walk around the reservoir at sunset. From looking at Central Park from 30,000 feet up one hour to being smack dab in the middle of it the next hour - I had a really ridiculous feeling of contentment. 

How to Have a Positive Perspective

But the thing to remember about changing your perspective, is that it doesn't always mean going up 30,000 feet and literally changing your perspective. It's often a conscious and active decision that you need to make to view things in a different way.  

It's like an Instagram filter, for your life. 

Every day you have the choice to choose between Clarendon (a personal fave), Hudson, Valencia or Nashville (but let's be honest, no one chooses Nashville unless they're IN Nashville and trying to be clever). And every day you have the choice to filter your life to focus on the positives or the negatives. The "LIFE IS GOOD" filter or the "EVERYTHING SUCKS" filter.

Shall we go over some examples from my week? 

  • I could have chosen to focus on the fact that I lost my passport and need to pay $200 to replace it in time for my trip to Canada. 

    I'm not suggesting that I choose to view this as a positive thing - it's not. But instead, I focused my attention on the fact that I luckily found a copy of my passport that will make filling out the application for a new one easier. Instead of harping on the pain in the butt that it's going to be to get it replaced, I gave myself a little pep talk that sounded like this: "Lauren, you're going to get it replaced because you have to. So why are you going to freak out? It's going to get done."
  • I could have chosen to focus on the fact that the Billy Joel concert I was supposed to go to was cancelled last minute.

    Instead, I invited Callie over and we cooked a delicious dinner and caught up and then I laid in bed and lip-synced to my favorite Billy Joel songs and sent the videos to my friends so that they weren't sad we missed out on the concert. Because my rendition of Piano Man is essentially the same thing as Billy's. 

    Instead, I appreciated the fact that I got to bed earlier that night ahead of my 4:45 a.m. alarm for my flight. 
  • I could have chosen to focus on the fact that my Cuisinart wouldn't start and Callie and I couldn't blend the almonds into the sauce we were making.

    Instead, Callie acted as a human food-processor and chopped the almonds really finely and we improvised and shrugged our shoulders and laughed and guess what? Our dinner still tasted delicious (we cooked these Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Buddha Bowls from Hummusapien!)  
Staying Positive
  • I could have chosen to focus on the fact that my entire day was taken up by my work trip on Wednesday - leaving me super tired and not giving me the chance to exercise. 

    Instead, I used that spectacular landing as inspiration to get into the park for a 2+ mile walk on a gorgeous night!
  • Wednesday was Global Running Day and at the moment, I can't run. I could have easily spent the day upset about my injury, bitter at all of the running posts flooding my social media channels, and angry at my legs. 

    Instead, I liked every running picture that I saw, went for a walk in the park, and thought about how running and the NYC running community has changed my life. Showing up to a Jack Rabbit group run 5 years ago is the #1 reason this place feels like home. 
Changing Your Perspective

So basically what I'm saying is that choosing to view your day from a positive perspective is just like choosing your Instagram filter. Make the right choice.