Programmed to See the Lack

thoughts Jun 21, 2018

A math professor walks into class one morning and starts the day by writing a 2 column chart on the board. He numbers them 1 to 10 in the top row and then proceeds to lecture about the "9 times table" marking the first box with a "1" and then putting a "9" below it.
"One times nine is nine", he announces.
"Two times nine is eighteen". And he proceeds from there.
"Three times nine is twenty seven".
"Four times nine is thirty four".
"Five times nine is forty five". Hands go up.
"Six..." More hands go up.
As he wraps up with ten and nine, nearly the whole class has their hand raised and is eager to point out that nine times four is, in fact, thirty six.

"You are correct.", the professor concedes, "I got that one wrong. But it's very noticeable that you all were quick to point out the one I got wrong without anyone commenting on the nine I got right."

We see the lack before we see the plenty. As humans we are pattern-matchers by nature, that part is normal but it's our propensity to look for absence that gets us. Instead of "I can’t wait until Friday…" "If only my vacation would hurry up and get here…", and "Is it five o’clock yet…" trying being grateful for where you are and what you DO have is difficult. Focus on being grateful right now, in this moment, where you are, however you are. Take one thing that is in the abundance you enjoy and marvel at it. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.

As you start looking, you will find more and more things to be grateful for. Talk about those things and your subconscious will hear it. Share them with others, if you can, and you'll see a depth that you had not experienced before. It starts a virtuous cycle that will lift you up and make you more aware of just how good your life is regardless of the challenges or circumstances of the moment. Life is a journey not a destination so stop looking to the next big milestone and appreciate the people/efforts that are right here with you now. You have WAY more than you think going for you.