Every Friday, we do a little thing in our private FaceBook group called ‘Bright Spot Friday.’
How we do this is simple: we ask folks to share things that have gone well for them over the previous week. This could be a PR in the gym, a new promotion at work, traffic patterns normalizing after the back-to-school rush…anything that you are grateful for and proud of counts.
Why we do this, the idea behind it, is a bit deeper: Our basic human nature dictates that the body cares about one thing only: survival. A good way that we have survived is by learning that certain plants and animals are poisonous and that if poked or agitated, lions and bears can snd will kill us. Therefore, we learn the negative consequences and avoid those things. The very survival instincts that we use have also taught us to focus on the negative. In our modern world, at least where we live, we don’t really have to worry about lions and tigers and bears (OH MY!). Snakes, sure. Alligators too. But you get my point – we’ve got it pretty good these days.
Yet people still dwell on the little inconveniences in our daily lives to the same extent that our ancestors worried about a tiger mauling them while they slept. This isn’t healthy.
The first reason I wanted us to adopt this practice of focusing on our bright spots is to practice gratitude – the realization that we have an abundance of things to be genuinely thankful for. Yes, things could always be better. That’s the journey that we call life. Yes, its also true that sometimes it is hard work to come up with anything to post on ‘Bright Spot Friday.’ But what I’ve learned in doing this for a few years now is what I call the ‘snowball effect’: once you find one bright spot, it usually leads to another, then another, and then before you know it you’ve typed up more than me writing about mindset!
Today, on this Friday, I challenge all of you reading this right now to list at least three bright spots in your life. Don’t just go through the motions; give yourself time for self-reflection and put down something truly meaningful.
Next week, I’ll follow this up with Part 2 – an even more practical reason for embracing this practice.