Focus on positive aspects of life

PRE-CMCO 2.0, a new student attended my yoga class. She looked around perplexed during the first 10 minutes and when I asked her if she was okay, she said: “I’m not used to instructors not demonstrating.”

So I promptly rolled out my mat and resumed class while demonstrating.

Not long after, she exclaimed: “I’m not used to instructors not adjusting me.”

The regulars and I experienced quite a number of “I’m not used to” throughout the 90-minute class.

To help her, the studio manager and I discussed with her what may suit her the best after class.

She seemed to have reservations or objections to everything suggested to her.

Finally, I advised: “Maybe the best is to attend any class, whether here or elsewhere, with no expectations.”

She blinked at me and said: “Actually, I came to class with an open mind.”

It was then my turn to blink.

This seems to be the case a lot nowadays when I meet people.

They think they know what they want but they really don’t.

Decisions are rarely made with a combination of forethought and wisdom, but more based entirely on emotion.

Take for example my flatmate who is a lecturer in the private tertiary sector.

Since the MCO in March, he has been teaching online.

Recently, pre-CMCO 2.0 in late September, the parents of his students kicked up a ruckus, saying they wanted their kids to go to class.

So the education institution in question put in motion all the SOPs required for the undergraduates to go back to campus.

The admin staff and the lecturers worked together to put together a workable system for everyone.

My friend was a little perplexed too, because apparently parents were not charged facility fees, but their rationale for getting their kids to class on campus was because they paid so much only to have their kids sit at home in front of the computer.

My friend remarked: “Wait and see, after the Sabah elections, the numbers will spike and the parents will backtrack.”

No one needs a crystal ball to know that this is what actually happened.

When the numbers started spiking, parents were saying: “No no no, don’t force my beloved kids to go to campus!”

Of course, totally forgetting it was their call to have their kids go back to campus in the first place.

We always have a choice, even if the choice is as simple as how we respond to a situation.

When I was younger, if I got into trouble, my parents were pretty strict about me facing the consequences.

They were all about making your bed and lying in it. It’s still a good life lesson.

So now, for example, if I hit a car from behind, I accept responsibility and pay the summons and the increased insurance premium.

Being open, taking responsibility for our actions, being positive – these things seem to be getting further and further away from us as people.

Humans are more prone as it is to focus on negativity, called the negativity bias.

In studies, researchers have found respondents to have greater electrical activity in the cerebral cortex to negative stimuli, compared to positive.

They conjecture that it was necessary for early humans to be attentive to negative environmental stimuli because of the need to survive.

However, this ingrained disposition can now take a toll on our mental health; hurting our relationships, and making it difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook on life.

Wouldn’t it be better then, when we are in situations that aren’t meeting our expectations, to try to focus on the positive, rather than focus on all the things we are “used to” in a similar circumstance.

There is always something good, although sometimes we need to spend a long time looking for it.

There is always something good, because there is always something we can learn.

Daniel is passionate about fitness, yoga and writing. Comments: