The number one thing I’ve learned during this crazy year is; in just about any circumstance YOU HAVE TO SEE THE GOOD. I know, hot take right? Never heard that before. In my opinion it’s almost become such a cliche to say, that we seem to have lost the true understanding of what that really means. It seems like everywhere we look these days, there is constant negativity: how the world is going to end if Trump gets re-elected, people attacking each other on the internet, or how we’re all going to die from covid. I believe that seeing these things so regularly diminishes our sense of hope and changes the way we think and interact with the world on a day to day basis. You start to see and think about things in a worst case scenario negative feedback loop. With that understanding I have recently been making a conscious effort to see the good. See the good in people, see the good in yourself, see the good in the small things. It can be the smallest positive interactions that can influence our mood and change the way we think about everything for the rest of the day. How can you live your fullest and happiest life when you’re viewing everything through a cynical lens? I mean I’m not saying it’s easy, but even when it seems like nothing is going right and everything is going to shit, I bet most of the time if you look hard enough you’ll find something good. That’s not to say to completely ignore the bad. There can be value and lessons from those experiences as well, but be aware of the impact it can have on your mindset. It’s all about how you receive and interpret information. Are you going to assume the worst of someone? Or are you going to give them the benefit of the doubt? It’s a conscious decision that we make probably way more times in a day than we realize, and like a lot of things your mindset runs on momentum. The more often you choose to see the good the easier it gets and eventually it’s just second nature.
There are a few key experiences that have led me to this realization. First off, earlier this year I had quit my job to go racing full time for the summer and was interested in finding a new career path. I had been at this job for 10 plus years and when it was time to go, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Funny enough once returned home from racing, I ended up temporarily back at my old job while awaiting thumb surgery. As the first couple weeks went on I started to recognize all of the things I missed about working there. It felt like 5 years earlier when I was the guy that got excited when I was asked to work late. I was so caught up in the “grass is greener” mentality that I completely overlooked all of the things I actually enjoyed about my job. I think we have all probably fallen into something like that at some level. Buying a new car or even something as small as getting a new pair of shoes, for it to bring us a very short lived joy and next thing you know, it's just the new norm. We get so wrapped up in always looking for that next thing instead of embracing all of the good around us. It seems kind of inevitable though, as racers and athletes that’s how we are programmed. Always trying to find that half a second a lap or trying to hit that tricky rutted corner a little cleaner the next lap. Always searching for that next thing that can make us a little bit better. It can be a great mindset to have. For me it’s how I have lived most of my life, forming a good work ethic and leading me to a fairly accomplished life so far. But what is the point of accomplishing things if you won’t let them bring you joy for more than 5 minutes or even enjoy the process of working towards them? I think there can be benefits to both ways of thinking, but it’s difficult to balance when to strive for more, and when to be content and grateful for what you already have.
By far, my biggest influence on this way of thinking, isn't just something I’ve learned this year, but something that has taken me my whole life up until this point to really unpack. This has shaped me more as a person than anything else ever could. My brother, my hero, Parker, the most inspiring person I know. When I was 3, Parker was born with Cerebral Palsy. Although I was much too young to understand what was happening at the time, I watched my brother grow from then on, into the incredible young man he is today. Anyone that knows Parker, knows that he is always laughing and is the happiest guy in the room (except when the Flames lose). Parker always sees the good and never has anything to complain about. Think about that for a second… nobody I know closely has had a harder life, and yet he is the most positive, happy person I know. He chooses to see the good everyday. All he wants to be able to do is the simplest tasks that we all bitch about everyday. Like anyone, I know he has his bad days, but he is able to pick himself back up very quickly. He looks at the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. Yes everyone has very different circumstances, we all have different struggles, we’re all going to have days where we feel like the world is crumbling around us, but at the end of the day we can’t lose sight of all the great things we have to live for. That sense of hope, that’s what Parker has taught me.
If there is anything we wish to achieve with Bent Methods, it is to have a positive impact on peoples lives. So if there is any experience that you wish to share with our community, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature it on a segment of See The Good.
Thanks for reading,