Lessons from Mom and Dad

My mom always tells me that in order to get what you want, you have to have a positive outlook on life and live every moment.

Her ideas about the power of positive thought are probably no surprise to anyone who has read her weekly column over the past year, but trying to put those ideas into practice is an entirely different story.

Like most people, I look up to my parents and the lessons theyíve tried to instill in us. My dad was always the more practical one. He taught me to be prepared, to work hard, to know how to do things for myself and to call him and ask for help whenever a problem was too big for me to face on my own. Because of him, Iím not afraid to use power tools, or try to tackle issues myself Ė but I still know that when I need help, heíll be there without a complaint. Like when I got really, really, really stuck in my driveway a few months ago or when my furnace stopped working for no apparent reason at all.

Mom taught the more abstract lessons, those that sound easy but are really more difficult to put into practice. For the last few weeks, my mother has been sending me daily inspirational quotes, encouraging me to be positive, focus on the things I want to get out of life but at the same time not focusing on the fact that I donít have them.

When she explained her theories on positive thinking and energy, I thought it sounded easy. Why not try to focus on how great you want your life to be, the goals you want to achieve and the future you want to have? Iíve always been an overly optimistic person, so concentrating on those things seemed like it would be simple. Unfortunately, getting your brain to stop worrying about all of the problems and issues youíre dealing with on a daily basis is not nearly as easy.

I can picture how perfect I want my house to be, but not without thinking about the windows that should be replaced and that spot where the roof leaks. I can focus on a million different positive things I hope to accomplish, but so far, I canít do that without worrying about how Iím going to find the time and energy to do any of them.

If it were anyone other than my mother telling me to institute these practices, I might be a little more resistant to the idea. After all, it really is easier to learn how to change a tire, check your oil or fix a leaky faucet. To anyone else, I would probably say the concept was silly and impossible, but mom always was pretty convincing, so if you see me with a silly smile plastered to my face, just remember, Iím working on the power of positive thought.

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