The professional “Spin Doctors” are out in full force as we head toward the November elections and they won’t slow down very much for the next two years. Their job is to showcase elected officials, or political “wannabes”, in the best possible light so that voters will choose them instead of their political opponents.
The art of spinning is also brilliantly demonstrated by talented marketers as they convince people who are suffering from one disease or another that a particular medication may offer them a magical cure, in spite of the presence of side-effects from which any sane person would instantly take a pass.
Spinning is simply the art of presenting someone or something in a way that makes whatever is being offered, desirable. It is a creative tool, and exactly like a knife, which can be used to either kill you or cure you, spinning can be used to draw your attention toward what is good for you or away from what is bad for you, depending on who is doing the spinning and why.
Many people choose to use spinning to change unpleasant situations in their own lives into acceptable ones at the very least, and desirable ones at best. You do have the talent to reframe or spin just about everything that happens to you for the purpose of living your life pleasantly. So, what must you do to become really good at using your creative juices for that purposes? Practice-practice-practice. Spin-spin-spin.
Let’s take a real-life example that isn’t life threatening, but has the potential to be pretty annoying. It’s Sunday night. You’re facing a new work week and you decide to do a load of laundry to be sure you have enough basics clean and ready to wear for the next five days. You put the clothes in the machine and prepare to sit down and relax a bit before bedtime. Then all at once there is a screeching noise and the washing machine comes to a grinding halt.
Annoying? Frustrating? Scary, because of the potential cost in time and money to get it fixed? Exhausting, because it’s late and you’re tired and just don’t want to cope with it? It could be any or all of those things and you could work yourself into a state of upset that will last until Tuesday. Or – you could put a different spin on the situation.
You are, after all, fortunate to even have this problem. More than 2/3 of the world’s population has never seen a washing machine. A large number of people in the same city you live in have never owned one of their own. A good number may have owned one once, but can’t afford one right now. But you are more blessed than that. You can fish out of the water whatever you need to wear for tomorrow, finish washing it by hand and put it in the dryer.
Then you can unplug the machine and go to sleep. You will get your washing machine fixed and within a week at the most you will be back to being able to wash your clothes efficiently, anytime of day or night in clean hot water and good, strong soap. This Sunday night breakdown is an inconvenience, not a catastrophe and you’re on top of it. You’ve got it covered. Feel your mood shift?
No matter what happens, there’s always a positive thought or action that can spin a bad situation into a better one. The sooner you hone your spinning skills, the happier your everyday life will become. It is an art form that will serve you for as long as you live.
For another spin, consider this. An elderly gentleman was starting to worry about what people would say about him at his funeral. To make sure they wouldn’t forget anything important, he documented his life’s accomplishments, but instead of making him feel better it made him feel worse to see that every important thing he had ever done could all be listed on a single page. “When you add it all up,” he said wistfully, “what I really am is just a has-been.” For a few minutes he looked very sad, but sad wasn’t his nature so he did some master “spinning”. “Well, I may be just a has-been,” he added with a smile, “but you know what? I’d much rather be a has-been than a never-was.”
William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “There’s nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” In saying that, wasn’t the bard just offering a timeless invitation to each of us to go with the flow, and spin our own lives happy?
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