By Mark Rockwell

A couple evenings ago I was sitting on the sofa in the family room with my two bulldogs, scanning LinkedIn, when I came across a post by what appeared to be an attractive 40-something professional woman. She bemoaned the fact that although “nothing has gone wrong, I hate everything.” She further remarked, “I hate the work project I need to focus on, and my kids are doing nothing wrong but are driving me insane.” It went downhill from there.

She continued to express her anger about a Facebook group she is a member of; being upset over photos of people failing to social distance.


She wasn’t having a good day, and everything was driving her bonkers. I found myself mentally composing a response to her that wasn’t kind.

But it occurred to me, her frustration is the way many feel, except perhaps for the part about wanting to tell the world.

Solving the Frustration Problem

So what’s the remedy?

It’s all about where we choose to place our focus. When we think about the negative, that influences how we feel. The way we feel affects our self-talk and the way we act. It all becomes part of an endless downhill loop.

The solution is a conscious choice to focus on the positive: the thousand wonderful things in our lives taken for granted, given little or no thought. We are blessed with things much of the world only dreams about:

  • A safe place to live
  • Food on the shelf
  • Clean drinkable water
  • Toilets that flush
  • A hot shower in the morning
  • A car that starts and has good tires

These just scratch the surface of what we have to be thankful for.

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A Wonderful Day

I recently read the book Will It Make Your Boat Go Faster. It’s about a not-so-good British rowing team that determined to break from its mediocre past and win Olympic gold. The team’s mantra on the road to victory: “Today is going to be a wonderful day because we’re going to make it a wonderful day.” This is similar to the attitude described in the famous quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I’ve found most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

There’s an old hymn “Count Your Blessings” which goes in part: 

Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

It’s simple but true. When we count our numerous blessings and realize how fortunate we are, clouds begin to part and the sun shines through.