Could be the lack of sleep that shaped my mood. Whatever the reason, the day seemed a bit blue when I opened my eyes. Concentration was poor, energy was quite low, and chances were, this could turn out to be a day without much content. A day I would hardly remember - even looking back tomorrow.
And what's wrong with that, some could argue; Not every day has be positive, mindful, happy or meaningful.
Sometimes we need to face reality, deal with our problems and accept that life doesn't only sparkle.
Sometimes life even sucks. So deal with it.
Some has also argued that Facebook, and other social medias have created an unhealthy culture where we only share our ideal self, and while doing that, we place a huge pressure on others.
And least but not last, some has argued that e.g. positive psychology, "the mindfulness wave", and the emotional awareness approach individualizes conditions as e.g. depression, stress, anxiety and eating disorders, neglecting social responsibility and neglecting the feeling of inadequacy that can be the result of "the appreciative inquiry cult".
I totally get these valid arguments, and I see them as inevitable backlashes to years of intensive focus on positivity and personal development.
And I think they are right, those critics. Non of us lead a perfect life. No one is, or can be, happy and thankful all the time. Having worked in consultancy for almost 15 years now, having listened to the stories of hundreds and hundreds of people, I know that even the most perfect looking surface has cracks, and even the most powerful person can feel vulnerable. I've also personally experienced how inadequate you can feel when you try to bring light into the life of a loved one suffering from depression. A positive mindset isn't the solution to everything.
But I have also witnessed hundreds and hundreds of times, how mindset and thoughts shapes feelings and actions. And I've seen how much energy and determination there can actually be established when someone starts dealing with their mindset and thoughts.
Energy and determination is indeed needed no matter what challenges, problems, hopes and dreams you might have, even if you want or need other people to be involved or to cooperate with you.
So in my opinion it's not either or.
It's not focusing on gratitude at the expenses of dealing with whatever challenges you might face.
It's not focusing on joy or happiness at the expenses of acknowledging pain or sadness.
It's not taking individual responsibility at the expenses of involving other people, asking for help or holding someone else accountable in certain cases.
And it is not focusing on own feelings and inner state at the expenses of social engagement or the bigger picture.
It all co-exists.
And for as long as we have the choice, why not then try to aim for moments that brings us joy and gratitude? Maybe even a glimpse of happiness?
On days like today, I could easily choose to "stay true" to the feeling that first occurred to me when opening my eyes. I could choose to get my mind occupied with the things in my life that is not the way I would love them to be, and I could allow such thoughts to turn me blue as a smurf.
I could also ignore the feelings and the thoughts, and just do what has to be done.
Or; I could drink a lot of coffee, get dressed, and then go chase the winter sunbeams between the naked threes.
Which - for the last part - was exactly what I decided to do.
And the result? Well, the blues was gone within less than 10 minutes, thoughts shifted, focus was gained, and I returned home after 2 hours un-smurfed and red-cheeked. And it actually turned out to be a pretty nice Saturday!