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A Year in the Life of Larry Buzzell
It was Larry’s birthday the other day and he decided to post a year of his life in photographs on our WalkWithMeNow.com Telegram channel.
He spent quite some time picking the photographs that reflected his life from July 2022 to July 2023. At the end of his sharing, he looked back at his life and smiled.
This morning, the day after his birthday, he told me that he was surprised at the amount of comments his photographs had received, and showed me some of the personal messages people had sent him.
Many of the messages expressed how impactful, and even life changing, the collection of photographs had been for the person looking through them.
He then expressed that as he was working through them, choosing the photographs to share, he realized how amazing his life was. How, by expanding his awareness to the entire year, he saw that the great majority of his life is incredibly good, positive and amazing. And that he also realized that the negative bits, like the details he might moan about, were so small and insignificant they hardly existed at all.
BUT, at the time, those moany bits seemed so big, so important, so impactful. It almost felt like those moany bits were everything and his life sucked big time.
I asked him for an example.
“Like, doing the dishes. It feels like I have to do the dishes all the time, and it is so tiring and exhausting. But in truth, compared to the rest of my every day, it is a ‘nothing’. Like really, it takes no time and it is insignificant.”
For many years, as I had mentorees (mentees for those who don’t like the invented word “mentorees”), my students would state a problem with becoming public figures or even having their own business. Or even working for a company. This problem was the same problem for all of them, and it was a bit like Larry’s example of the dishes.
The problem was, “everyone/everything that I do is bad. No one likes it or me”.
Here is a made up example that explains this statement:, a person would give a class on healing herbs. Twenty people arrived for the class and as they leave, they all shake the person’s hand stating how wonderful the class was, except for one. One student, as they leave, demands their money back and tells the person they suck, the class sucked and they should get a day job.
I ask the student, “after the class, what do you spend 100% of your time thinking of. The 19 happy people or the 1 unhappy one, or something else entirely?”
Invariably, the student would tell me, “the unhappy person.”
Fascinating, isn’t it? How a small and insignificant negative feedback would take 100% of a person’s time afterward when the majority of that experience was positive.
Our lives are mostly filled with positive experiences but we often forget them. We don’t even acknowledge them as being positive. For example, doing the dishes has the fact that we have running water, hot running water, nice soap, a dishwashing machine, nice views, beautiful dishes to wash, excellent food and drinks in our bellies that were on those dishes. Excellent company we ate with. Or even if we live alone, the fact that we don’t have many dishes to clean!
It reminds me a little bit of when I was looking out of the window at the rain and wind, marveling at the site of it all. It was so beautiful and amazing! A friend walked in, and said, “nasty weather we are having. I hate the rain.”
I was speechless.
We looked at Larry’s pictures and smiled and smiled, laughed, and remembered several days of happiness, magic and wonderment. Plus he had lots of photos of me in there, which I was very pleased about.
“We have an excellent life,” he said. And I agreed.