Don’t dwell…Do something…

September 5, 2020

One of the quotes that I saved from the Jack’s Winning Words blog some time back seemed appropriate to comment on this morning –

“Don’t dwell on went wrong.  Instead, focus on what to do next.”  (Denis Waitley)

The word dwell caught my attention. As I often do when wondering about a word, I Googles it and one of the results that came back was this…

5 Ways to Stop Dwelling on Negative Thoughts

  • Go Shopping in Your Mind. One distraction trick is to visualize yourself in the grocery store.
  • Keep Positive Company. If you can’t get troublesome feelings out of your mind, it may have something to do with your social circle.
  • Physically Throw Them Away. (I guess one could write them down on a piece of paper and then throw that paper in the trash)
  • Have a Cup of Tea.
  • Reframe Your Situation. (One example of reframing is redefining a problem as a challenge. Such a redefinition activates a different way of being. Problem has a heavy quality to it, while the notion of a challenge is enlivening.)

I think I get most of the advice, except maybe the cup of tea. Perhaps that advice was posted by someone in England. In America that might have read “Have a glass of wine”.

Most of the advice is really how to force (or trick) yourself to stop thinking about whatever it is, which would then allow you to refocus on the “what’s next” part. In that part of the quote, where the word “do” is the important word. The thinking involved in dwelling on a failure or a disappointment actually does nothing to resolve the situation in which you find yourself. It is in the doing that you are able to move ahead with life.

Sometimes you may start doing something to resolve the situation and realize that you are going in the wrong direction; but, at least you started doing instead of just dwelling on it and you can change direction and keep going. Your mind will be focused on the proposed solution or the new direction and not on the past.

The year 2020 will go down as one that gave us plenty of opportunities to dwell on failures or disappointments. With all of the things that have been canceled or delayed, it is easy to dwell in a stupor of disappointment and disgust. Blaming government leaders for what they did or didn’t do is a wasteful pastime of little real help – it is just dwelling upon the past. We must focus upon what to do next. A part of that is doing the things that are advised by our health-care professionals to contain the spread of the virus while we await a vaccine. Every time you put on your mask, think of it as “doing “ your part to help contain the virus.

A big and more positive thing to do about 2020 is to plan the rescheduling of the things that have been delayed. One must continue to believe that there will be a future and that events that have been delayed will take place in that future. Perhaps the song Tomorrow from the movie Annie would help. There will be a tomorrow.

Rather than dwell in the dumps about things that didn’t go as you had hoped they would in 2020, spend your time planning and doing things about making 2021 a great year. It will be remembered as the year that we all unmasked and got on with life.

Don’t dwell, do something.