I think we all have default modes we go to when we are tired, bored, angry, or hurt. I remember a time in my life when I intentionally tried to do whatever the opposite of my first inclination was, even with unimportant, simple things.
Once it was raining when I pulled up at my apartment, so instead of running in I stood there and got soaked. You don't realize how relaxing an outdoor shower is until you aren't running to escape it or complaining about about getting wet.
Another night I was tired but a meteor shower was coming through, so I stayed up and drove an hour in search of clear skies. To be honest, I never saw a single meteor but I enjoyed the late night search much more than going home to watch Netflix.
As I opposed the default mode I found a deeper sense of adventure and joy.
Recently I made a connection with this principle when I encountered grace being shown in a situation where bitterness would have been justified by the world's standards. The opposite display of concern and love encouraged and motivated me immediately.
You open yourself up to a different world when you oppose the default mode, not just with how you navigate your day-to-day but with how you navigate your heart and the hearts of others.
So when you feel entitled to condemn, show grace. When you feel justified to complain, be understanding. When you feel sad, choose to be grateful. You'll start to sense a shift not only in your perspective but how you're influencing the world around you.
Start simple. Take the long way home. Don't get frustrated when your order is wrong. Make the call you've been putting off. Ask a random person how they are. Just go against the easy, default mode and be pleasantly surprised when life is suddenly engaging again.
Books I recommend: