Things Don't Happen In Threes
Daily Herald June 23, 1984
Expecting the worst usually results in the worst. Life is shaped
more by your expectations than you realize. One example of this expectation
is the sometimes humorous, but also sometimes serious, way that people
will refer to two unpleasant events that have happened recently in
their life. They often comment, "Well, something else unpleasant
is going to happen soon to make it three." Unhappy events don't
happen in three's, two's or any other superstitious number. Unhappy
events occur one at a time.
People often forget that happy events occur as well, and also, one
at a time. Yet how quickly many people discount or forget the positive
or happy events in their life, and focus on their unpleasant experiences.
Just as your eyes use lenses to focus and adjust to your visual
experiences in life, your mind shapes and focuses your reaction to
events in your life.
If you think negatively, you will likely feel badly, and end up
acting badly, either towards yourself or others. Your mind will develop
and act on the thoughts you give it.
Many circumstances of life grow out of thoughts and beliefs. People
who succeed in life, at whatever it is they attempt, do so partly
because of their belief that they are a success. Success is an internal
attitude. Material or financial success does not always equal personal
success in life.
People who believe they are a failure will end up as a failure,
regardless of what opportunities are provided them. Until you believe
in yourself, you will find it almost impossible to succeed.
Realizing you own your expectations is critical for success. Expectations
don't always turn into reality, but positive expectations give a person
the energy and strength to deal effectively with whatever occurs,
regardless of whether it is what you wanted to happen.
Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist, noted that his fellow prisoners in
a German concentration camp during the 40's would live or die, mainly
based on their belief in themselves and their will to live.
You can also "will" unhappy events to occur in threes.
Sure, after the third event, you may say to yourself, "Well,
that's it for my bad luck now". Yet, what happens when, later
on, a fourth unhappy event occurs. You then start to expect further
unhappy events to occur in your life.
Things happen one at a time. Whether they are seen as the worst
or the best is determined by you alone.
One effective way of living is to look for something positive in
everything that happens, even though, there may be negative or unhappy
aspects to the event. By focusing on the positives, you end up with
a positive attitude towards life, and positive living. Things happen,
one thing at a time, and how you see or interpret them is the most
important thing of all.
Return to 1984 Index of Daily Herald Columns