I just finished helping with a small portion of a project my father was working on. He asked me to help hang joists for the rebuild of his deck. I had no objection to assisting him since he has provided support to me during the roughest years of my life (2007 to present) and will continue to help as I get back on my feet.

*On a small related note – If someone asks you for help, consider helping them, especially if they’ve helped you. On the other side of the spectrum, don’t be offended if you’re busy and your buddy/family member doesn’t offer to help. Just ask. You don’t know how they stand until you bother to find out. Most of the time they care, they just stay out of the way until showtime (I bet you wish the unsolicited advice-givers would do the same). The universe doesn’t come to you and offer a better life. You have to ask for it, then take appropriate actions to get there.

WHOA! a little deep, eh? Not really, just trying to clear the air. Some people act differently with adversity than others. You just have to understand how life plays together.*

Anyway, back to the backyard project. Not only did I help hang joists I also moved lumber from pallets dropped in the front yard that morning. While I was moving the wood I couldn’t help but think negative thoughts:

  • I just wanted to relax today.
  • It’s hot out here.
  • I’m getting tired and there’s still more wood to move.
  • This is heavier than I can handle.
  • I hope I don’t get a splinter.
  • This is boring.

As things went along, I took a mental note of the negativity and turned it into positive feelings:

  • It’s been a while since I’ve been outside. I’m glad I can enjoy the sun and breeze.
  • I’m glad I can be of assistance to my father.
  • It’s good to sweat. A great opportunity to get things flowing.
  • Yes, there is more wood to move. I’ll just knock it out 1 piece at a time and enjoy the outdoors.
  • I can handle this, even the big pieces.
  • I haven’t got a splinter yet and I’ll be careful not to get one. If I do, so what.
  • This is a great opportunity to exercise and mix things up a bit.

And what do you know, I felt great and still do. I have a great attitude and best of all, my neck and shoulders aren’t bothering me. What a day!

This special technique I did is one of the keys to success. You better believe I will use it again. It’s easy to complain and think degrading thoughts about you and the situation. Take control of yourself and your thoughts and put yourself in the mindset of an accomplisher.

It doesn’t take much. In this case, I acknowledged the negative feelings and cast them out. I replaced them with positive feelings and transformed my duty. The only other thing I could have done to make this day better was to make sure I was properly hydrated. I had to take at least 3 water breaks over the 6~ hour work period.

Try it the next time you’re doing something uncomfortable – say, exercising to lose weight! Say to yourself, “You know self, this fat won’t go away on its own. This sucks now, but it will be so worth it when I’m healthier.”

Oh and yes I know the title of this post should read “Would” and not “Wood.” That mizspeeling (more of a dad pun) was on porpoise.