Decades of psychological research has demonstrated that we construct our worldview based on what we pay attention to, not what is. Who we are, what we think, feel, do, and love is the sum of what we focus on.

Want to see for yourself? 

For the next several minutes, look around and ask yourself a few questions, paying attention to how it impacts your mood: What’s right about this environment? What am I okay with? What can I enjoy, admire, and even celebrate? It doesn’t take much of this before your heart begins to warm.

Bask in the good vibes you’ve created for a minute, and then, let’s turn them off by doing the opposite. 

This time, look around and find what’s wrong with your current environment, what bothers you, and what should be improved (and if you want to spoil the fun even faster, consider who’s likely to blame for all of it). 

Notice how quickly the glow fades?

Objectively speaking, nothing has changed between these exercises. You’re still occupying the same space and surveying the same environment, which still contains things that are both wonderful and woeful. 

How you feel about these realities, though, is determined by your frame of mind. Choose to see the good, and you will feel good; choose to see the bad, and you will feel bad.

We have far more control over our emotions than we often think, and we “turn on” positivity almost on command by simply controlling our attention.