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Your Hamster


Years ago on a drive across the country, a buddy and I were on a stopover in Chicago. We were out searching one night for a bar that a friend of his said we should visit when it began to rain. At that moment we were standing under the tracks of Chicago’s famous El Train. My buddy looked at me and said, “So, what do you want to do? Are we gonna keep looking in the rain or do you just wanna head back to the hotel?” We decided to head back when he then said, “Okay, so do you wanna catch a cab or take the subway?” Then he looked up and said, “Well I guess it’s not really a subway. It’s more of a train. Like an elevated train . . . . an el-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-levated train. An El Train.” I was amazed as I just stood there watching the hamster start running on the wheel in his brain as he figured out why they call it an El Train. From then on the hamster running became the joke when someone’s brain started to kick in and the wheel started turning. I later revised that hamster’s role to represent the times when our brain takes us to dark places.

Have you ever noticed that’s it’s human nature to focus on the negative?

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!”

                    ~ Murphy’s Law

And it seems that for the most part people just assume that it will. 

While shopping in a Jimmy Buffett Store in Kissimmee Florida I walked up to the store clerk and started my request with, “You wouldn’t happen to have … would you?” As soon as I did, I stopped and thought, “Wow! That was weird.” Why didn’t I approach the request from the positive? Why did I not instead ask the clerk, “Do you happen to have?” Apparently, my brain was wired to expect the negative result of them not having what I requested instead of moving forward with the positive expectation of them actually having what I wanted. Interesting huh? So I began to take notice of how I acted and how others behaved in similar situations and I began to notice that for the most part, people are conditioned to expect the negative result and usually move forward having prepared themselves for that outcome.

This behavior became my new description of Your Hamster. He starts running when you start focusing on the negative. 

I was talking with a friend of mine in the office a few years ago when another woman whom we both knew and a man came in together. The woman looked in our direction and began talking with her companion. At which time my friend immediately got nervous believing that she was saying bad things about her. I asked why she thought that and how did she just know that this woman was not telling her companion what a great person she is and how she’s so popular and very good at her job and admired and liked by just about everyone? It was interesting to witness her immediate assumption that since they were looking in our direction that they must be saying bad things about her. How did she even know that they were not maybe talking about me? 

We talk more about how you talk to yourself in the section on Self Monologue, but it seems that allowing Your Hamster to take you first to the dark places and unhealthy thoughts may have a direct correlation to your level self-esteem and self-confidence. The question though is, does your poor Self-Monologue and low self-esteem cause Your Hamster to take you to those dark places, or is it Your Hamster taking you to the dark places that causes your poor Self-Monologue and low self-esteem? It seems that when your self-esteem is low or you’re lacking self-confidence then you tend to have a bleaker outlook on life and expect bad or more negative things to happen. Whereas, on the contrary, if your self-esteem is healthy and you have a good level of self-confidence, then it follows that you tend to have more positive expectations out of life.

So think about your own life and how you act and react in various situations. Does Your Hamster take you to dark places or do you have a more positive influence over where he takes you? Do you expect the store clerk to tell you they don’t have what you’re looking for, or that they do? When someone is talking about you, do you expect they’re saying bad things about you, or do you believe they’re speaking highly of you? When your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse is late, do you believe they were simply and harmlessly held up, or do you immediately believe they’re cheating on you or otherwise avoiding you? In that last example, it takes a good measure of self-confidence to then place the appropriate Trust in your partner, but knowing about the concept of Your Hamster and that it seems to be human nature to go first to the dark places and unhealthy thoughts is a great step in the direction of gaining a positive influence over where you will allow Your Hamster to take you. Having the awareness that it may just be a natural tendency to focus first on the negative can help you to avoid falling into that trap. If you can keep Your Hamster from taking you to those dark places, you may just find your self-esteem and self-confidence rise as a result.

We talk more about the above example of your partner showing up late in the section on Trust.


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A Few Great Quotes To Help Guide Your Journey


Click on any quote to open it up a little bigger


A Soft Heart


A True Relationship


Be With Someone


Be Your Priority


Any Guy Can Spoil You


Changed Just Like That


Cheat Yourself Out of Loyalty


Damage No Longer Controls You


Defined By Your Past


Don't Feel Sad


People Don't Know Good


Feelings For Granted


Feels Appreciated


Friends for Life


I Don't Want a Perfect Person


I Forgive People


I'm Here For You


In Order To Love Who You Are


It's a Beautiful Thing


The Right One Will Lead You To Peace


Leave Your Past in The Past


Life is Too Short


Light a Lamp


Living Well and Longer


Make an Effort


Make Them Laugh


Never Forget Who


Never Give Up


Never Regret Anything


No Matter How Old You Get


Nothing Again


One Day You're Gonna Miss Me


One of The Best Feelings


If You Push Me Away


Respect People Who Find Time


Self-Discipline


Silence is The Best Answer


Strong Enough To Live It


The Best Things


The Most Beautiful Things


The Seven Wonders of The World


Treat People


Wait Until You're Ready


What The Heart Already Knows


When Your Past Calls