Putting Things In Perspective

One of my favorite quotes is this:

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments,

we would all be much happier.”   John Wooden

Isn’t that so true? Do you find that you often tend to replay your disappointments, your bad memories, your poor choices, over and over again in your mind? It becomes a self-defeating cycle in which our negative thoughts overrule and overtake the joy and blessings that surround us on a daily basis.

One trick that I have developed for putting things in perspective is this – I have actually made up a physical list of 10 memories that I always want to hold onto. You know, all those great moments that fill your heart and your soul and your spirit with so much warmth that you say, I will remember this every day of my life!”  Well, how come you don’t obsess about those memories? What I do is to take that physical list and look at it once a day. I make it a point to choose one of those memories and consciously come back to it again and again throughout the day. The beautiful thing about the list is that it never fails and it always grows!

Try it. Let me know how it works for you. And have a beautiful and blessed day, reveling in the happiness that the  joys of your past are never gone and can make your present so much happier!

By the way–the picture is Fontana Del Papa in the north of Lazio, Italy. Putting Things In Persective below I love to cook and two years ago took my wife to Italy to celebrate her birthday. She surprised me by making reservations at this beautiful spot for a cooking lesson in the kitchen of a lovely Italian villa. I learned to prepare a fabulous meal from a woman who spoke almost no English! She led by example, smiled often, corrected gently and once in a while shooed away the cow who kept sticking her nose on through the door!  The joy of that day, the beauty of the Villa, the aroma of the meal, and, most especially, the overwhelming love and gratitude I felt toward my wife is one of the moments on my list.

9 thoughts on “Putting Things In Perspective

    • Betsy, thank you so much for your comment! Being joyful and grateful not only enhances our lives, But enhances the lives of all we meet. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”

      • Barry, this is a great reminder for all of us to cherish all the good things we have experienced in life and a reminder that there will be more good things to look forward to in the future!

        • Hi, Candi, and thanks for your comment. We all have a vast reservoir of happy moments we can draw on. Although we cannot control fate and bad things are sure to happen in our lives, we ARE in control of how we choose to think about them!

  1. This is a valuable coping tool every person in the social services should teach. We would have fewer kids on meds and label them with a DSM diagnosis. Thank you for keeping life in perspective.

  2. Barry-

    You make some great points. I agree with you completely. So this morning I posted a story on FB about the Aurora shooting and automatic guns. While it is an important issue, your blog made me think about those positive, uplifting stories. So I Googled uplifting news stories and I got numerous websites. Time to bring these stories to the forefront.

    • Robyn,

      I think the media learned a lesson after the Virginia Tech story, when everyone was running stories about the mind of the deranged killer. This time, the focus has been more on the heroes and the victims. Just as constant images of violence on TV can create a culture in which violence seems a more acceptable solution, perhaps the reverse might also be true. Constant images of volunteering and charity might help create a culture of care and compassion. Obviously the media must report on tragedy, but it can also show more than death and destruction.

  3. I need to come back to this, Barry. I really like the piece and the thought. It is so true. In reading it I immediately thought of several moments that were so memorable in my life that had made me happy beyond all things that had been weighing be down. These are the kinds of moments that I need to write down and concentrate upon. There are many more, I know that I can add, but some are so very special. I will definitely do some POSITIVE remembering.

    • Hi, Marilynn,

      I have found that positive memories can be very, very strong – but that sometimes we have to actively bring them to the front of our minds, while negative memories just seem to pop up.



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