Positive Focus – Getting Back on Track When You View the World as a Train Wreck

Positive FocusChugga, chugga, choo-choooo…..

Life is not always easy.

I’m not prone to anxiety, but the last couple weeks my chi has been askew. Listening to news and current events makes it worse. Our world is a train wreck.

  •  Terrorist wars raging in the middle east
  • Run-away ebola outbreak in Africa that could spread to other continents
  • Government corruption
  • Cyber attacks from Russian mobs
  • A “super volcano” in Yellow Stone National Park
  • Drought in California with no end in sight
  • And, in my own neighborhood, a young man abducts an 8-year-old child from her bed and releases her an hour later, unharmed, but he’s still on the loose.

Are YOU freaked out yet? Sorry to drag you into my misery. Truly, I am.

I have to stop the chatter. Crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head will not help. 

Usually, I’m quite optimistic and can counter these horrifying visions by appreciating the good in the world – think puppehs , kittehs, and funny goat videos. That isn’t working right now. I just learned that over the last 2 decades in the US, antidepressant use is up 400%  with over 25% of women and 10% of the general population popping a pill to cure their ills, according to the New York Times blog.  I recently read this piece about how a shaman looks at mental illness.  Maybe we’re putting our eggs in the wrong basket. If the world were run by those currently considered mentally ill, we might see a vast improvement. (click to Tweet)

No wonder we’re all feeling trapped. We bombard ourselves with news of “possible” scenarios we have no control over and then dumb down with the Kardashians. We have access to more information than ever before, though it isn’t all necessarily true, and media outlets are competing for our attention. Why not sensationalize? When you’re peddling lies, telling them in big, bold colours – that’s the way of the world. Then, we the people turn on one another…forming camps. What has become of us?

Our world is a train wreck and I can’t peel my eyes away. I know, what we give our intention to grows stronger (click to Tweet). Actually, that was a fateful typo. I meant “attention,” but intention works, too. So how do I center myself to be a more Positive Focusaccomplished artist, a widely read writer, a champion of the people?

Know your purpose.

We all feel best when we are aligned with what seems to be our natural purpose. There are stacks of books read, prayers written and recited, self-help gurus – all with designs on helping us know our purpose. My coming out blog While I was Busy Being Someone Else , was written 2 years ago and told of such an elusive feat.

For me, the answer is simple. What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? It may have been something from your childhood, as our younger souls have a divine memory of purpose. Do that. It’s different for everyone. Just do what makes you happy, and know, we usually feel happiest when we share our passion, especially in acts of service to others.

As I was searching for a graphic to illustrate this point, I was perusing my Pinterest – The Art of Words – board. Reading the quotes made me happy. I began to refocus my attention on more positive endeavors.  Art makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Quiet time, with my dogs, watching the squirrels in the trees, music – those things make me happy. Being mindful makes me happy. We are supposed to be happy, fulfilled souls – that’s what we are when we are living our purpose! So, goodbye news; I can’t help you. But, I can help myself…by doing what makes me happiest and passing it on. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. What makes you happy?

Choo-choo….Getting Back on Track!



Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the directionWriter, Artist, Coach of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives.

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18 Replies to “Positive Focus – Getting Back on Track When You View the World as a Train Wreck”

  1. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head for me. I finally had to tell my husband to hush the news reports he listens to and he bans himself to the bedroom when his need overwhelms.

    1. Bobbie, television news was the tipping point for me, too. I wasn’t even “actively” watching….but the noise and all the negativity got to me – and fairly quickly. I need one of those “Kill Your Television” stickers! LOL!

  2. I live in St Louis so all of the above was affecting me plus Ferguson and then the police shot and killed another person which seemed to be totally unwarrented in the video of the incident. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back! I couldn’t look at any more. I had been to a Free Gaza march, signed petitions, read and read and suddenly, I said
    STOP! I’m one of those pill takers so why was I adding to my misery when most of this was totally out of my control? I needed a balance – stay informed, do what you can and then strive for happiness. Joseph Campbell said something like ‘the world is already full of sorrow, strive to live in joy’

    1. Good call, Carol! Yes, I forgot Ferguson on the list. Thankfully, I wasn’t focusing on THAT, too. Truly, we don’t know a lot about a lot of things. No need to trigger our emotions over “negative possibilities” it just makes us all agitated. I like the Campbell quote…thanks for sharing and chin up!

  3. Like Rumi, I also worried about the world that I had little of any control of. I was once told of a wonderful cure.

    Take your pretty wife skinny dippen
    Eat more crawfish
    Read some Wendell Berry


  4. I have been plagued by the ills of our world around us as well, and have found that taking my camera out into the neighbourhood and finding beauty in it as well as doing my artwork and brushing the grateful cat seem to be mending my own interior world. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, as Gandhi said. So be it.

    1. Beautifully said, Claudia. What a great idea…the camera in the neighborhood. I remember when I was a Quality Assurance Manager in the wine industry. I looked for what might be “wrong” with the product ALL. DAY. LONG. It really changes a person’s mindset, focusing only on problems. I finally requested a small sales territory so I could touch bases with customers and find out what they liked about our products. There were LOTS of reasons they bought it and continued to do business with us. It was wonderful. It’s entirely a matter of focus. Thanks for the idea about the camera! 🙂

  5. Wow, this was published 2 years ago yet is just as true as it was then. Sad that our society still hasn’t learned its lesson. The recent events in Orlando seem to be bringing many people together to profess love winning out over hate. Let’s hope it ‘sticks’ this time. Meanwhile my art will continue to focus on bringing beauty and joy to those who view it. It is what makes me happy and hopefully others as well.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Susan. Yes, it can be a little disheartening…but do what you love and bring your joy and light to the world. It’s your best gift. XOXO! m

  6. I am going to mildly disagree. I feel a little negativity is a good thing. Perhaps a little negativity inspires us to see reality and help others. That does not mean to obsess. Obsessing is rather selfish. But it is good to notice a stone in the road and remove it ( if it is possible) before another person stumbles over it.
    Each person can meditate on what is important and Leave what is not.

    1. Ah, process improvement, Judith! I used to do that work on a much smaller scale. I love your idea of being of service. Sometimes, we serve by doing what brings us joy…sometimes it brings us joy to serve – yes, mostly it’s that. Thanks for reframing it. ~Michelle

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