Turning Dislikes Into Opportunities for Gratitude

Share the joy

As I explain over on my professional blog, ShereeMartin.com, I decided to take on Claudia Altucher’s project to come up with (at least) 10 ideas a day using the  daily prompts she lists in her new book, Become An Idea Machine (affiliate link).

Given the nature of this project (I’m doing it mainly as an exercise in creativity) I’m not spending much time on self-editing, so I’m typing these pretty much as I write them in my journal each morning.

Claudia Altucher’s Topic for Day #1: List 10 Things I Don’t Like & Turn Them Into Things to Be Grateful For

Since I’ve pretty much already eliminated things I don’t care for from my life, I decided to include things that I previously didn’t like and briefly describe how I resolved them.

1. Unpleasant Job Situation

I found myself in an unpleasant job situation. I didn’t like the way it was playing out. So I used the job to develop new skills and grow (personally as well as professionally) as I sowed seeds in preparation for whatever is next.

I am grateful for the time to grow my skills and, more importantly, grow in patience and become a better human being through the experience.

2. Slow Lines, Traffic, Waiting

I used to be annoyed when I had to stand in line, sit in traffic or “wait” for something. I can’t say that I’m 100% over that but what I found is that if I silently asked for a blessing on the person who was slowing me down or annoying me that I was less frequently annoyed.

I’m grateful that I was annoyed and sought to eliminate that through a request that others be blessed. The whole experience helped me to grow in generosity and patience.

3. Fast Food

I don’t like fast food. I am grateful that I so disliked fast food that I was willing to stop eating fast food in 2003.

Since I dislike fast food, I focused on eating healthy and I’m very grateful for the health benefits that came as a result.

4. Boy-band Music

I don’t like whiny/moany pop music, e.g. boy band style music. Since I don’t like this type of music, I stopped listening to commercial radio around 2004, and started listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Had I not disliked the crappy music on commercial radio back in those days, I might not have discovered podcasting and I might have missed out on newer, alternative music that doesn’t get airplay.

5. Mayonnaise & Ketchup

I don’t like mayonnaise or ketchup. I’m grateful for that because disliking those condiments has probably made me a healthier person today.

6. Hard Candy

I don’t like sticky, hard candy. Never have, even as a child. I was never interested in the lollipops that bank tellers and nurses give little kids.

I’m grateful for that because I don’t have any cavities.

7. Diet Colas

I don’t like diet colas, so I’m grateful for the health benefits that comes from avoiding diet drinks and artificial sweeteners.

8. Manipulation and Deceit

I don’t like manipulation and deceit.

My dislike for manipulation and deceit led me into a quest to be fully authentic, transparent, and respectfully truthful.

I am grateful that my dislike of manipulation and deceit led me to avoid entering politics or the entertainment industry, which is what I thought I wanted when I was 18-21 years old.

9. Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

I dislike seeing people destroy themselves with drugs and alcohol. I’ve had enough first-hand experience with that to last a lifetime.

I’m grateful for that because that dislike also played a part in my deciding to not go down the path of entertainment law or into related fields. But my first hand experiences also instilled a sense of empathy because I can, to some extent, understand the person who is addicted.

So I’m grateful because seeing it first hand protected me, yet gives me compassion for those who struggle.

10. Toxic Chemicals and Pollution

I don’t like chemical waste, toxic pollution, etc. I recognize the trade-offs we make when we use chemicals for industry, cosmetics, pesticides, herbicides.

I am grateful that I pay attention to chemical exposure, try to minimize my exposure to chemicals that can be harmful alone or through interactions, and try to minimize my own environmental footprint, as much as is feasible.

About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg