The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Attitude poster

I’ve always believed in the innate good in people.  Many would argue with this statement, and I understand why when we merely have to turn on any news channel to see the barrage of horrendous stories coveting our television screens.  I’ve witnessed people behaving badly with a ‘mob’ mentality in a crowd situation where they would otherwise behave in a much different manner.  I don’t want to write about my theories as to why this occurs, as I am sure every one of us can come up with reasons that supersede the next; and so on, and so on, etc.  We could debate the, ‘nature versus nurture’ premise until the ‘cows come home’ (I’ve always quite liked that saying).  We could talk about the misguided souls, and their wrong-doings on the planet.

But I want to talk about you.  And by ‘you’ I mean every person as an individual.  There is no other experience we can live other than our own (no major shock to your sensibilities there, is it?).  What if we take a moment and focus on our own internal checklist, as opposed to what many of us have developed as a, “couch quarterback mentality” as they say here in the United States.  By that, I mean instead of sitting on the sidelines and yelling at the television in berating tones at a perceived, “half-attempt” when a football player fumbles, why not redirect that energy into something more action-oriented within ourselves.

And so, I’ve created a little list of sorts that will (hopefully) give us something to think about the next time we find ourselves quick to view the external world and its problems (as a couch quarterback) without thinking about what we can do that won’t create more than an exercise in futility:

(By the way, I certainly haven’t attempted to create a new and improved wheel here; this is just my own wee list that might strike a chord with you):

1.  Help others whenever you have the opportunity; if the opportunity doesn’t appear, create it.

2. Take time to learn (even one thing) about a cultural group different from your own; your culture is equally as different to them as theirs is to yours.  Familiarity might result in a better understanding of others.

3.  Practice or, “train your brain” to re-frame knee-jerk assumptions about others; most people do or act a certain way because of what is going on in their internal world (anger, fear, lack, frustration, sadness, confusion).

4.  Take responsibility for your own happiness; it is never because of someone else when it comes right down to it; your state of happiness is too much pressure to put onto another person when truly it resides entirely within you.

5.  Check your ‘gratitude meter’ daily; thinking about what you are grateful for each day allows you to get a much bigger picture of the blessings bestowed upon you, as opposed to the microcosm issues such as forgetting your umbrella on a rainy day.

6.  Give yourself a break now and again.  Withholding a much-deserved break from yourself can cause the ‘ripple effect’ of undeserved crankiness toward others, decreased precious positive energy, and a cycle of negativity which can only be stopped by, well, you stopping your propensity to ‘do it all at once’.

7.  Finding ‘the funny’ in a situation that might otherwise not seem that way changes the energy from negative to positive just like that! (though never at the expense of someone’s feelings).  (*Mascara in the rain comes to mind for myself as a good ‘haha’ example!*)

8.  Calmly and quietly remind yourself that just because you disagree with a loved one’s opinion (or vice versa) does not mean the love is any less (it’s not a trade-off; your difference of opinion doesn’t equal less love, or that you [or they] are not a good person).  Take the pressure off yourself for thinking you must do and agree with others in order to be liked or loved.

9.  Practice what you preach.  Try not to set any standards for others you would not accept for yourself.

10.  Have patience with yourself and others (this one I saved for last on my list because it is my personal cross to bear and I work on it everyday).  The opposite of patience can create a lot of undue hardship in our lives and for others.  Impatience is always surrounded by the inability to allow situations to unfold as they should in their own time.

There is my little food for thought list on a Friday morning here in Chicago!

Happiness poster

 

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35 thoughts on “The Friday File: Food For Thought!

  1. mewhoami says:

    This is a great list and I agree 100%. #4 sounds like something I’ve been saying to a family member of mine all week. And #7 is something that I always try to do. By finding the funny or even looking at the positive side of things (there always is one), even the worst events can be easier to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you so much! I am so glad these resonate with you! Interesting that #4 on the list sounds like something you’ve been saying to a family member this week! Oh yes, me too with #7! I find that at the time a situation might not be funny, but if I can change it into something humorous it makes for a good story and makes me feel much better about the situation! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments my dear! Cher xo

      Like

  2. John says:

    Great perspective Cher. Some of this has come into my life since my wife and i started marriage counseling several months ago. It’s amazing – years of doing/saying things that were OK years ago just don’t cut the mustard these days. Uhg…. Change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, John! Change is sooooo hard, isn’t it? But we both know that growth never happens without change. The two go hand in hand (ugh indeed) but so worth it as you will find I’m sure!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. John says:

        oh yes, our marriage improved much. Older i get, the more difficult change becomes – so cruel!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        I know as we get older it is much harder to change EVERYTHING! *grin* I’m glad to hear that things have improved though, John!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting list Cher. I agree with you and must say that the last one is a fight for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, Irene! Well I’m glad I’m not the only one! *LOL* The list is my own internal ‘keeping myself in check’ or sorts, but I was hoping others will find it useful as well (or at least some of the points)! Thank you, my dear! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All your list is useful Cher. It was just this one as I noticed that I need to work with.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Good to hear they are useful, Irene! But believe me my dear, that is my biggest challenge so I know how you feel! *LOL* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you so much! I really appreciate that a lot! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Erika Kind says:

    That’s awesome, Cher! Every point is a ray of light. Number 10 is something I really have to make an effort to practice… with myself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, thank you so much for you lovely comments, Erika! I really appreciate it a lot! Oh yes, I struggle sooooo much with #10!!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erika Kind says:

        Good to know I have a co-struggler… lol 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        *LOL* You sure do my dear! *LOL* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Cher this is a wonderful Post and great check list to live by.. 10 out of 10 for each one spot on.. 🙂 ❤ wishing you a beautiful weekend full of Happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you a million times, dear Sue! That means the world to me! Bless you my dear! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome.. have a wonderful weekend Cher ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        And to you as well Sue; thank you! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. oh, i loved this! Especially smiled at the “mascara in the rain” example! 🙂 Keeping it all in perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      *biggest grin* Thank you soooo much, dear Kimberly! Indeed, we must keep it all in perspective. This is funny; I am literally getting ready to head out the door. I looked outside and it’s cloudy and appears to show some possibility of rain. The first thing I thought about was my mascara comment (which has happened to me on numerous occasions!) Cher xo

      Like

  7. Thank you for the inspiration…I need to print this out and hang it on my frig! You are 100% on target! Now I have to implement them in my life…jump over the hold I feel…
    Thank you for your visits to my blog—they are very encouraging! and cuts the isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, thank you so much for that, Johann! That is so nice of you to say! I really do have a tough time with patience #10 for myself! Thank you for your visits as well my dear! Cher xo

      Like

  8. Reblogged this on Sunshinebright and commented:
    Cher, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for your great advice! I am so pleased to reblog this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh my goodness dear Carol! I am humbled and honored by your comments. Thank you so much and as well for the reblog! Truly grateful to you, my dear! Cher xo

      Like

  9. Don says:

    There’s no doubt that each principle you have given here Cher leads us in to a greater amount of understanding and empathy for one another. They profoundly lubricate and enhance our living together. I can also see that you passionately seek to live your life according to them and I deeply admire you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      My dear Don, I cannot even begin to tell you how much your comments are appreciated! That is precisely what the list means to me. It is the understanding and empathy (as you stated) for one another that I feel is such a strong connector. It’s when we understand others that we begin to see how we are all connected. I also feel we do ourselves a great disservice when we easily judge others yet negate looking at ourselves for our happiness. Ah, huge thanks for that, Don. I do try hard to live by these principles. I laugh at myself though, as I must be a rather slow learner with patience since I’m always being tested! *grin* And not with others as much as with myself. Thank you, Don!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. RMW says:

    #4, #5 and #7 are my personal favorites. Once I figured out those three things my entire life changed and everything fell into place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Well done my dear! I think that is fantastic! It sure does make a difference when these things ‘click in’, doesn’t it? I am so incredibly happy to hear you’ve mastered them! It isn’t easy, is it? Thank you so much for your lovely comments! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for the list and suggestion – great reminder! I agree with you and number 9 is not easy to be done but it does matter to do so! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, dear Indah! Yes, it is definitely not easy to be done but it really does make a difference when we can, doesn’t it? Ah, and you as well my dear; thank you so much! Cher xo

      Like

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