June 11, 2012

Was Life Really Simpler in the 50's?

By Patrick Mahan

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to when life was much simpler? Like back to the 1950s, when everything was black and white. There were no cell phones, no email, no text messages, no worries.

Wouldn't it be nice if life were still care-free and simple like it was back then... in the good ole days?

Consider this...

"Very few people today know how to relax... Each day is filled with work, engagements and no time to relax. Even when people take time off to go to a movie they usually want an exciting one, thus gaining more excitement for their already overworked nervous systems... These people find that after they retire to bed their active minds will not let them rest... we are burning the candle at both ends. We do not know how to let go of our anxieties... In this present century, man has forgotten how to live, how to enjoy the simple things in life."

Sound familiar? Those words could've been written yesterday. They're a pretty clear description of life in 2012, don't you think?

But those words were actually written by author Albert E. Cliffe in a book published in... 1951.

Isn't it strange how our perception of the 50's is so much different?

Here are a few observations I'd like to share:

1. I think the reality is that everything is relative. And everything is a matter of perception. Each generation thinks they have it worse than the last. People naturally want to believe their situation is unique. People over-analyze and over-exaggerate things that are happening to THEM. People think the grass is always greener on the other side.

2. If the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence, then maybe you should stop staring at their grass and start watering yours.

3. Worries, troubles and anxiety don't seem nearly as bad when they are happening to someone else, right? So if you find yourself full of anxiety, try stepping outside of yourself. Look at the problem from a 3rd person perspective.

4. Gratitude is the ultimate antidote to anxiety. What if you spent just 2 minutes each night after dinner dwelling on the things you are grateful for? Do you think that could have a pretty significant cumulative effect on your quality of life? Many, many years ago, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, "The quality of your thoughts determine the quality of your life." That timeless advice holds true still today.

What do you think? Why do we perceive times gone by as the "good ole days"? Is life today really as stressful as we make it out to be?

Best-selling author Dr. Wayne Dyer says it best, "There really is no such thing as stress, only people thinking stressful thoughts."

The good news is, most problems are not problems in reality but problems in perception. And you have the power to change your perception in an instant.

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