happy negative new year

This year I plan to use negativity to help me appreciate what I’ve got. It works like this: close your eyes now, and see (or not) if you can make your way to the bathroom with the intention - when you’ve got there - of cleaning your teeth, or maybe performing some other personal need. 

Not easy, right? 

This soon makes you appreciate what a gift it is to have eyesight. Just a few seconds of visual (or any other) deprivation gets the message across: that there are miracles within our conscious awareness we take for granted; even when we're having to encounter something we don't want to encounter.

This is the power of negative visualisation. A cast-iron Stoic technique. A technique that tells you: you've already got more than you need. 

It can also help you reset your hedonistic set-point. For instance, go back just a hundred years - to 1919 - and imagine the comforts your great great grandparents never had compared to what you take for granted now: like, no social media to contact a loved one a continent away; no tumble drier to quickly dry a jacket that got soaked in the mid-winter down-chuck; no take-away to conveniently call-up, or movie to instantaneously, and giddily, download. You and I could easily create a list of such set-points. 

Here’s another thing: I bet your great, great grandparents were as happy as you think you are now. Maybe they were happier. What’s more, if they played the eyes-closed game to the washroom in their time they’d most likely be scrambling for the back door latch so they could make their way to the less than comfy commode outside. Negative visualisation helps in this way too. Do it in the now. Then set it in the past. That way you get to reframe what sights would be revealed to you now compared to the sights you would have seen in the past.

It’s amazing what we take for granted. By the same token, with a bit of imagination, it’s amazing how quickly we can use our imagination to remind ourselves of what we’ve got.

Negative visualisation is just one way of helping you hardwire some appreciation for the life you happen to be experiencing, now.

Forget the resolutions. You're already blessed.

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