Don’t focus on the negatives

So I was on a 5-hour bus journey from Subang to Singapore. It was evening and the sky was getting dark. Most passengers had drawn the curtains and were ready for a snooze. But the man across the aisle from me was reading a bank contract on his laptop. The light from his screen was so bright that I had to turn my face away.

Shortly after, another man behind me was making a horrible sucking sound with his lips. He had just finished his meal and was clearly unaware of how loud he was. His headphones were on and he was also staring into his laptop. Oh great, I thought. Stuck in a bus ride with the irritating. Well, what was I going to do? Sit here and get upset till we reach Singapore?

I decided that I wasn’t going to let my circumstances define my mood. If I lived this way, I would always be at the mercy of my surroundings. But by the time I figured this out, it was already two hours into the journey. We were already in Johor for a stopover. And then I remembered that I had planned to watch Thor (2011).

But as I scrolled through the monitor I realised that my unit did not have the movie. So I clicked on Hancock (2008) instead and as it played, one third of the screen was fuzzy with colourful lines blocking the picture. Well there.. another two things have not gone my way now. But as the movie played on, the good things started to unfold.

I was completely immersed in the story and was amazed by what an entertaining film it was. I didn’t know that it was a superhero flick at all! My favourite actress Charlize Theron even appeared, and what a great overall performance by Will Smith (though the ending was a bit meh). The fuzzy lines even disappeared halfway through the film without me noticing.

Eventually, I forgot about the negatives. They were small annoyances to begin with, but I had allowed them to shape my mood and thoughts. So much so that I had wasted three precious hours in the beginning of the journey, which could have been been spent finishing the film because the bus arrived unexpected early in Singapore!

So there you have it, life (and bus journeys) are too short to be spent focusing on the negatives. If you do, you’ll realise how much time has gone to waste that will never be returned. All those hours could be spent enjoying many things, like superhero films.

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