Wellbeing is Often an Interpretation

Reposted from http://wholelifewellbeing.com/ where Kimberly has been invited to be a founding blogger for this new site led by Dr. Jerry Wagner, Presidents Office, Director Institute for Wellbeing, Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska.

Over the years I’ve noticed that my sense of wellbeing has more to do with my attitude and interpretation of my circumstances than my circumstances. Certainly some circumstances have made it easier for me to feel a sense of wellbeing, and there have been other circumstances that made a sense of wellbeing more elusive. But lately I’ve come to realize that I could turn any “average” day into either a good day or a bad day just through the stories I tell myself about the day. For example, I’m showering in water clean enough to drink. Should I feel overwhelming gratitude for my good fortune, or should I despair because over 1 billion people don’t even have clean water to drink? I have to admit I often feel both, but what matters is what I do with these interpretations of my circumstances.

On a day where my wellbeing needle is pegged against the 100% mark I am awestruck at my good fortune, and determined to help build another well in Africa to make a positive difference. On other days I sink into the icy couch of despair and eat another bon-bon. What’s the difference? My own interpretation of my circumstances, and the thought – perhaps the ILLUSION – that I can make a positive difference on Planet Earth. It all depends on the story I tell myself about so-called “reality”. The “story in my head” is in my control. That’s a double edged sword, because it leaves me no one left to blame for my lack of wellbeing, but it also gives me more power to make a difference in my own life and the lives of others. When I focus on being grateful for what I have, and looking for ways to make a positive difference to others, I feel well. When I take my eye off of that prize, I want to curl up in a ball and suck my thumb under the kitchen table! I want to share these kinds of insights with others interested in wellbeing. That’s why I’m writing for this blog, to encourage people to make a positive difference in their own lives and the lives of others – starting with an interpretation of their circumstances that inspires them to focus on what’s possible. What’s possible for you today?

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