The Evening Meal

Your tired, it’s been a long day. You arrive home late for supper. What do you talk about while you eat? It might be the news, the weather, or more likely, do you moan about your boss or the heavy traffic on the way home, the difficult customer, the delay on the train, the spilt coffee, the soggy sandwich for lunch.

It’s easy to focus our conversation and energy recounting the negative aspects of our day, unloading the pain and hardship onto partners and loved ones. But what effect does this have on us? What about them? Is it helping your relationship and the connection you share?

I listened to two things recently that struck a chord concerning our focus on negative events rather than positive ones. Les Brown, the motivational speaker, said

“Don’t talk about stuff unless you want it to keep happening to you.”

The second was from a Ted Talk by entrepreneur Bert Jacobs. He grew up in a family of eight. Like most large family gatherings, the evening meal was a loud and boisterous affair. But with a significant difference. His mother wouldn’t allow them to complain about their days. Instead, they were each asked to

“Tell me something good that happened to you today!”

This question is clever as it gets the children to focus their thoughts and attention onto the positive aspects of their day and their experiences. Remembering Les Brown’s idea that what we talk about will keep happening to us. Then we can see the power of talking about and dwelling on the positive things.

In life, it is more fun to be around positive people. Glass half full kind of people. We can foster this kind of thinking in ourselves, even if it is not our natural disposition, by the stories we tell. So tonight, when you get home. Make the first story you share about something positive and good that happened today.

Watch and feel the different atmosphere this positive story will create. Then use that energy to tell more positive stories. In the end, we are the product of the stories we tell ourselves. Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

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