Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Lord of the Pipes - Sweet Stench of Success!

My kitchen sink drain recently got clogged, barely draining at all. Oh, the humanity! I poured a gallon of drain cleaner down before going to bed one night. It was the traditional approach. I hoped that my problem would be solved overnight. My sweet dreams included the pleasant sound of a mountain stream. When I checked the sink the next morning, there was no flow.

I thought of disconnecting some of the plumbing under the sink, jamming a plumber’s snake down the pipe, and turning it till I drilled a hole through the clog. However, I knew there was no chance of pulling that off without making a mess. The next option would be to call a plumber friend of mine. Having a friend who’s a master plumber is great, but paying eighty dollars per hour is still a little hard to swallow.

Then, I thought of going after the clog from the other end. Approaching the clog from the outside pipe leading back to the drain seemed unorthodox to me, but it also seemed like it could work. I knew there was a large pipe sticking out of the ground that all the other pipes drained into. However, I did not know that it was there for doing exactly what I was thinking of. It’s the Pipe of Power. When I removed the cover, it wasn’t hard to see which adjoining pipe led back to the kitchen. It was drip, drip, dripping.

My first attempt to get the plumbing snake through the clog didn’t work. I tried one more time the next day. When I broke through that clog and heard water gushing toward the septic tank, it was music to my ears. I was overjoyed. Ah, the sweet stench of success!

Sometimes the solution to a problem can be found by looking at it from another angle.

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Related articles on positive thinking.

Positive Assumptions.

Habitual Optimism. 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Kids in a Candy Store - The Power of Positive Memories

Research at Cornell, San Francisco State University, and elsewhere indicates that investing in experiences produces more satisfaction in the long run than purchasing things. For example, if you climb to the top of Everest or you hike a significant portion of the Appalachian Trail, you will have the satisfaction of that accomplishment for the rest of your life. If you buy an expensive car, you’ll enjoy it for a number of years but the feeling of satisfaction from owning it may fade relatively quickly.

Fun vacations with our three children have been a big priority for me and my wife. We have been to New England, California, Texas, and many places in the Southeast U.S. The emphasis was always on fun and togetherness. We did things on a shoestring but we still had lots of great times as a family.
The Power of Positive Memories
My posse hitting the trail near Acton, CA.

Of all the vacation memories, one that stands out for my children happened in Maine while visiting one of my aunts. She has a relatively comfortable life. She took us to a candy store – the type that has walls lined with bins full of all kinds of candy. Then she told the children they could get whatever they wanted. and she didn’t set a limit. My kids were confused. They looked at me and asked, “Can we do that?” I shrugged and told them to go ahead. They were like kids in a candy store.

We had a similar experience during a stay in the Florida Keys. We saw lots of sights, snorkeled, and generally had a great time. Breakfast at a clubhouse was included with our rental. My kids’ favorite part of that vacation was going to the clubhouse in the mornings without me and my wife and eating whatever cereal they chose. They were at an age where that was very empowering.

Although my kids don’t remember what kind of candy they got in Maine or which cereal they chose in The Keys, they remember the experiences very well.

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More articles aboout positive thinking.

What my dog taught me about optimism. 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

From Murphy’s Law to Positive Thinking - Murphy’s New Revelation.

Murphy's Law and Positive Thinking
I don't always wear rose-colored
glasses, but when I do,
I prefer Dos Lenses.
Murphy's New Revelation: Murphy’s Law must eventually apply to itself. When Murphy’s Law goes wrong, whatever can go well does go well.

When I worked in comedy in the 90s, my primary schtick revolved around Murphy’s Law.

“Everybody’s heard of Murphy’s Law, right? Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Well I’m Murphy… The optimist sees the glass as half-full. The pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. Murphy breaks the glass…A rolling stone gathers no moss. Then it rolls over Murphy…Into each life a little softball sized hail must fall.”

The comedy business didn’t work out for me. Surprise, surprise.  Since then, I’ve seen some light. I’ve come to understand that Murphy’s Law must eventually apply to itself. When Murphy’s Law goes wrong, whatever can go well does go well. I call this Murphy’s New Revelation.

Thinking positively is natural for some people. Not everybody is wired that way though. For some, positive thinking is a challenge. I’m like that. Some bad things happened to me when I was young. I had three concussions when I was twelve. When I was twenty, I nearly got killed in a brawl with a guy who punched like an Olympian. I've taken lots of shots to the head. In any case, if a friend told me to be positive, it was irrelevant because I did not know how. There’s no switch on the back of my neck for that.

I’ve discovered that there are simple things people can do to reprogram their minds. This blog is going to be about how to think more positively and how that can help things to go well. There will be a good dose of humor and inspiration. I’m optimistic that readers will share their insights as well. I’m feeling very good about this!

Staying positive isn't always easy. What do you do to shift from a negative outlook to a positive one? Leave a comment. 

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Habitual Optimism.

Switching from negative thinking to positive. 

Shaking down the highway with positive assumptions.