I remember the day my Long Lost Cousin came to me with a ghastly problem. Since I found him after many, many years, I felt very protective toward him. I try to help him over his problems.
“I just don’t feel like doing anything. I just want to lie in bed,” said my cousin, anxiously.
“How did this attitude come about?” I said, trying to get some background to the problem.
“Well, since I lost my job a month ago, I get very depressed at times. I feel like I have failed at a job that I liked and now I don’t feel like pursuing any activities!”
“A classic case of Motivational Paralysis!” I said, very authoritarian.
“On top of it all, my wife has been on my case constantly, with her innuendos!”
“What kind of innuendos?”
“Well, the other day she said, I should get a job in a sleep clinic. It would be my dream job.”
“That’s because you’re lying in bed too much!” I deduced.
“Then she said, I should get a job in a bakery, so I could loaf around all day!”
“Your wife should get a job as a comedienne,” I said, laughing.
My Long Lost Cousin looked very sad.
“Please cousin, help me! How do I get out of this depressed mood?”
“You need to work on two things. Your thinking and your doing!”
“Sounds complicated to me.”
“First, upgrade your thoughts. When you lost your job, you saw the world negatively. You became depressed and your thoughts became distorted and wrong. And finally, your mood hit rock bottom and you didn’t want to do anything.”
“So what now?”
“Turn your thoughts positive. Say, I will find another job!”
My cousin looked incredulous.
“Then elevate you mood by acting positively and doing constructive things. You are a thinker and a doer!”
I hoped I was getting through to him.
“You’ve lost your will power and any activity seems difficult and pointless. You are completely overwhelmed by the desire to do NOTHING!”
“But I like lying in bed, it’s easy to do and I can go to sleep and get out of my depressing world!”
“Now, that’s what I mean by WRONG THINKING!”
“Maybe you’re right cousin. Come to think of it, it’s boring and very painful thought-wise, moping around and criticizing myself.”
“Now, you’re getting the idea. Lets hear some more positive statements.”
“Okay, how’s this, I can’t sleep all the time. I have to get up and move my arms and legs, otherwise they will seize up!”
“Right on, cousin.”
“My problems won’t go away by lying in bed. I have to face them with positive ACTION!”
“Hurray, you’re on the way to recovery! Fight those wrong thoughts. Get rid of those bad emotions. Escape into ACTION!” Now, I was getting carried away!
As my cousin got up to leave, he said:
“I’m going to apply for some jobs tomorrow. One of them is in a bakery making loaves of bread. I won’t be loafing around either, I’ll be working hard. I will be using my loaf!”
“Good luck, cousin,” I said, laughing, as he walked out the door.