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  • Lijing Cobb

Positive self-message

About a year and a half ago I wrote down this list of things I want in my life:

To be happy.

To make others happy.

To help whenever I can.

To teach my kids positivity.

To have enough means to do the things I want to do.

To have the freedom to do what I want when I want.

To have a good relationship with mom.


While I chip away at all the other items on the list, I can no longer do anything about the last item. This look back at something I wanted such a short time ago reminds me today that I really shouldn’t wait on anything I want to do, because time is fickle and unforgiving.


So today in my journal I wrote down these sentences: “A really quick mopping in the morning that made me feel really good. Keep it up LJ. You make such a difference in your family’s life every day.”


And the most important thing is that, before I wrote down that sentence, I didn’t really know and appreciate my contribution to my family in those exact words. When I was writing it down, the suspicion was confirmed. I fully believe in that statement, and it makes such a difference in my outlook of life.


The immediate effect of what I do every day on the lives of my kids and husband cannot be understated. If I can positively affect 4 other people every single day, those 4 people carry that positivity into their own lives and pass it on to 4 other people each, and so on… the ripple effect is tremendous. I’m doing so much good!


On the other hand, if I affect my family negatively, that negativity gets carried through these same people as well, and so on. I’d be doing so much disservice to my community!


I’m sure that I’m not the first one to come up with this way of thinking, but since I had this epiphany today, I’d like to share with whoever reads this that whenever we do something good in our own life that makes us feel good, and we pass on that good feeling to the people in our immediate vicinity, this positivity reaches far and wide, and impacts so many more people than we think. In other words, positivity has no boundary. Negativity doesn’t either. And it is entirely up to us to choose which one we want to spread.


If all we ever do is what makes us truly happy, what kind of world would this be?


3 years ago yesterday my family and my mom went for a hike. The ground was muddy at spots but most of it was dry and easily passable. Yet at one point on our hike my mom managed to step in a puddle of mud at the far side of the path and lost one of her shoes. I couldn’t believe it and quickly got annoyed. How could that have happened? Why did she have to avoid all the safe space to put her foot on and step into an out-of-the-way mud puddle? Anyway, as I stood there befuddled and annoyed, my husband took a big stick and started to dig in the mud to try to find the shoe. After about 15 minutes of nonstop digging he gave up, and took off his own shoe and gave it to my mom. My mother had the biggest goofy smile on her face. My husband’s kindness made her day.


I now see why my mom lost her shoe in such an impossible way. The universe wanted to show me that there are always alternatives to being grumpy and annoyed. It wanted me to see that I was married to a man with the answer. It also wanted me to realize that I could do better, much, much better.


Because my shoe would have fit my mom’s foot better.



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