One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.
The professor handed out the exam questions papers with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.
To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.”
The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the examination answer sheets, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.
All the students, with no exception defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:
“I am not going to grade you on this. I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – the same thing happens in our lives. However we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend or love partner, etc. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they pollute our minds. Take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you, and live a life filled with joy and love.”
Now, I want you to ponder on the above illustrative story. The Professor almost said it all. Like the students, I ask you, “what are you writing on?” Is it the little black dot (that challenge you are going through) in your life or the vast white part (the many good things you have)?
See, depression and worry are enemies of your happiness. Where these two thrive, it is hard to move towards your desired future; living a successful and rewarding life becomes a mirage. This is because a person who is depressed and worried remains in a state of stagnation for lack of happiness and passion; the fuel that drives him towards the realization of his dreams.
What brings depression or worries?
I have come to realize that one major thing among others that make people unhappy with their lives and feel life is not worth living is, focusing on what they lack instead of seeing the many good things they should be grateful for in their life.
Why would you do this? As a matter of fact, the good things you have in your life are much more than the bad things you might have suffered or may be suffering. Yes, the things we have are much more than those we lack. But rather than seeing these many good things, we shift our attention to the few bad ones. You must know that this is a strategy from Satan to stop you from becoming a happy better version of yourself and living a meaningful life. And the earlier you realize this and fight against it, the better.
If you really want to move on in life and actualize your dreams, move your attention from the things you lack or the things that are not working and see the many other good things that the Lord has given to you. You may truly be lacking some things or having some reasons not to be happy (the broken relationship, exam failure, failed business, illness, and the like), but seriously, they are nothing compared to the goods things you have for which you should be grateful. This is why a song writer wrote: “Count your blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Oh yes! You are not happy because all your focus is on the little black dot when you have the whole white part of your life that should make you smile. Try it; I mean, count your blessings – take a view of the white part of your life – if you will not see more than one thousand and one (1001) reasons to be happy and grateful to God.
If you’re still in doubt that your life has nothing good to write about and there is no reason to be happy, then, think about being alive. Having life (good health) alone is more than enough a reason to be happy. If you doubt it, then remember the last time you were down with that illness and how you felt about life. Better still, take some minutes to visit the hospital closest to you. You will find that you have every reason to be happy with your life; challenges notwithstanding.
Dear HBY reader, I encourage you, if you have been writing on that little black dot in your life, shift your eyes from it and focus on the white part. Instead of getting discouraged because of the pain, shame, delay, etc., challenges are causing you, focus on the lessons they stand to teach you, and how you’re getting stronger and better in character as a result of going through them. No matter how overwhelming they are, realize that waking up from bed today strong and healthy is enough to be happy and thankful to God Almighty. And if you do this, I’m fully confident that you will enjoy your life more and live more meaningfully.
I hope you found this article helpful.
Now, beside what I have shared above, what are some other negative effects do you think writing on the little black dot on our life will cause instead of focusing on the good things? Share in the comment box below.
Today, be a happy better you; unleash your fullest potentials and live your best life.