Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rash of "Feel Good" TV Messages

There's no doubt about, America needs something to celebrate life and living to our fullest potential. That's why I turn to TV to get my dose of "living life to the fullest." I need a TV show that takes up an hour of my precious life to tell me to get up off that couch or out of that lounge chair and go sky-dive, or write a novel or marry the one you love. Thank goodness for the network shows or else I wouldn't understand that in these trying times of job losses, economic ruin, war casualties and overall insecurity, I need to stop and smell the roses or do a random acts of kindness or drink from the cup half full.

If I record the shows, then instead of giving up an hour or a half-hour, I only have to give up about 45 minutes or 22 minutes. I can speed through the commercials which will ultimately give me back some time but waste someone's advertising dollar requiring the ad company to lay off people because the client is not happy and possibly requiring the client to lay off people because their product isn't selling. Is Ford the only American car company because it placed its vehicles in Knight Rider, the TV Show? Can't skip through the placement during the whole TV show. But, alas, you can skip the whole TV show when it is brain numbingly stupid.

So, I'm trying to learn to not be an "armchair life liver." At times I have my moments like the really cool vacation when we are white water rafting Snake River...the same river that Evil Knievel jumped in the 70s. Or I feel like I'm living life when I'm at the homeless shelter serving food I cooked for them. Or when I'm playing with my dogs just for the pure joy of play.

Is optimism a genetic thing? I watched the Michael J. Fox documentary on optimism. Now, there's a guy who is definitely a glass half full guy! There are all sorts of studies going on now about optimism. In one study, there actually seems to be a genetic indicator in your DNA that indicates if you are an optimist or not. I'm not sure I believe that. I think you have to open your brain, your logical side, and your heart to see the good things in a bad situation. Perhaps it is a genetic disposition that allows you to change the way you think. On the flip side of that coin, it is so much easier to buy into the cup half empty scenario, especially if you are surrounded by negative people. Someone drives that giant bandwagon of doom and gloom and you can see the people running along side to jump on board.

I'm trying to optimistically look at the obstacles I need to overcome. I think I can make it over these hurdles. I have to accept that it is a work in progress. Somewhere along the journey of life, I've become a bit OCD. I think that in order to be successful I have to have everything available and ever obstacle resolved FIRST. And then I should be able to skip along the path and achieve the goals that I've set for myself.

Life doesn't work that way. Some obstacles are actually brick walls that you have to find a way around. You can't get over them but you need to take different routes. And sometimes the road around the brick walls allows you to see and smell flowers you've never seen before. Not from an armchair but from your "Feel Good" journey.

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