Be GratefulThere are two categories of human behaviour or thought patterns which interest me, when I see it in those around me, most of it seems to be learned behaviour, which is why we can ‘get stuck’. I’m sure you know people who, no matter what good news, blessing or positivity comes their way, there will always be a ‘but’ or ‘it could have been better’.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague and we were discussing humanity in general, the focus turned to sports stars and how ‘well off’ my friend thought they were, my colleague went on to talk about the confidence and arrogance of a famous boxer, and how rich he was. He went on to talk about his riches and that although he did ‘some’ good work for charities and worked tirelessly to raise the profile of an illness the star was suffering from, my colleague felt that he could have done more.

If we look hard enough at some of the great humanitarians the world has now, in the past, and probably in the future most of them will probably have been unremarkable at some point in their lives, and then when something ‘moves’ them to action, its then they may become synonymous with a cause, is it fair to judge them on what they didn’t do?

It’s an interesting way to look at a person’s efforts, to say they did some good things for others, but that they could have done, or do more. Shouldn’t we be pleased that they did something? I prefer to think that way. I find that people who can see a negative in a positive will always struggle to see the good which goes on in the world, glass half full or glass half empty.

We can struggle with the negatives in the positives in our own lives, the ‘yes its good, but I wish it was better’, the thing is if we adopt this way of thinking the positive loses its buzz, and actually doesn’t feel a plus at all. Try using ‘and’ instead of ‘but’ and see what a difference one small word can make.

Paul Parkin – online counsellor

5th June 2014