Just Another Day in Paradise…
Any fan of Phil Collins will instantly hear his familiar voice singing in their head after reading the title of this post, however this blog is neither about music nor about Phil Collins. It seems to be very common within our society to look for the negative in every situation or at least to point it out. I myself have been very guilty of this on many occasions but its a condition I am attempting to remedy as swiftly as possible!
Throughout my years wandering the globe I have turned to many professions to ‘make a buck’ and earn an income, a small minority of these jobs I have enjoyed while the vast majority I have loathed in some form or fashion or at the very least, mildly tolerated until I decided to move on. It was while I was working at one of these rather mundane and inane jobs that someone I lived with at the time remarked, rather sarcastically, upon my post work demeanour by asking “how was your day in paradise?”. At the time I believe I either A) ignored the comment completely or B) made some wisecrack about the difference between ‘paradise’ and my current place of employment. As I have grown (and hopefully matured…at least slightly…) I have become more aware of this ever present urge to focus on the negative rather than the positive. More recently I was convicted again of how important it is to remind yourself on a daily basis how blessed we truly are. One only has to switch on the 5 o’clock news or read a newspaper to hear of the horrendous crimes that are taking place everyday. In many countries a ‘good day’ is considered to be one where there is food AND water, both present at the same meal, on the same day! And even in our own country here in Australia there are many hard working people who cannot find enough work to support themselves or their family…and yet, even when things are going well I still find something to complain about. What is it about the human mind that, when un disciplined, defaults to a mindset of negative, sarcastic, selfish attitudes? I wouldn’t consider myself an overly selfish person. Sure I have my moments but who doesn’t right? And overall I wouldn’t say I put myself ahead of others in an unhealthy way….yet I find myself in ‘paradise’ more often than I’d like to admit. Complaining about lack of sleep (when I know there are insomniacs out there who would pay good money for even half of what I get in a night), bemoaning my lack of a paycheque or the price hike in fuel or even the weather when it decides to be completely obstinate and have warm sunny weekdays and cold rainy weekends. Am I somehow odd? Or strange in this? Well, on many things I would indeed class my self as rather out of the ordinary but on this occasion I do not believe that I am very far from a place where you too have visited. Am I wrong? If so please forgive my impudence on this matter! But since I do not believe I am erroneous please indulge and continue exploring…what is it in you and I that makes us turn our nose up at what we do not like or, often, can’t control instead of rejoicing and enjoying our blessings? The truth is, my ‘paradise‘ is actually just that…’paradise‘. I have a beautiful wife who supports me in all that I do, I have recently had the joy of becoming a father for the first time and even just looking into my daughter’s eyes makes all my worry wash away. I have a loving and supportive family and network of friends all the way around the world. I live in one of the wealthiest nations on earth and in a country that has escaped the brunt of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis), I am blessed enough to travel the world with like-minded musicians playing songs we wrote and I believe in a God who has saved me from all that I have done wrong. What more could I want? I have a physical body that has no major ailments or deformities, I have my sight and my hearing and (last I checked) my heart and lungs are both functioning perfectly. Just another day in paradise right?
Negativity may be all around and it may be a default of mine that I run to when I grow tired or irritable or bored or simply lose sight of all that I have, but no longer will I allow myself to succumb to a mindset that drags me down to seeing only the impossible, difficult, mundane, damaging and imperfect. There will always be someone better off than me, someone with more money, more success, more this and more that; but there will always be someone who has less…the truth is...this is paradise. I challenge you to start your new day with a new mindset, look for the things you love about your life, count them, name them, meditate on them. Before bed think of the things throughout the day that make YOUR life so unique, the things that make you, well, YOU! The things you are thankful for. YOUR paradise is not a distant destination but rather a state of mind and heart that you can create and it starts with your outlook…it begins with the way you start your day and it continues every minute and every second of your day.
The truth is…this IS just another day in paradise and I am so thankful for the paradise I live in.