Sutton Place is arguably the nicest neighborhood in New York City. Three miles West is the corner of St. Nicholas Ave. at 125th St., which is arguably the worst neighborhood* in New York City.

If I had a giant map of the US on my wall and drew a straight yellow line from LA to Sutton Place, then a straight blue line from LA to the corner of St. Nicholas Ave. and 125th—the entire line would be green. If I zoomed way in to street level, there might appear to be some minor registration errors somewhere around Wichita, KS, and by the time you hit Allentown, PA, you might suspect two lines, but at that point you’re 94% there.

Standing in Los Angeles, the angle is so subtle that a nanometer to the left could change your trajectory from Trumpville to Ghettoville. A millimeter could land you in Maine or Delaware.

Most of us are trying to make these giant shifts overnight: suicidal to blissful; whale to waif; deathbed to disco. Not only are these nearly impossible, but they are frustrating and short-lived. (Know anyone who’s lost weight super fast then kept it off for more than a month?)

I’m a big fan of Abraham-Hicks and they’re all about the subtle shifts—from hopelessness to blame to anger to revenge to pessimism to hopefulness to enthusiasm to appreciation to joy.

Next time you’re feeling powerless and frustrated, try jumping to bliss. It doesn’t work. Next time you’re feeling hopeless and some patchouli-wearing vegan pops in and says something along the lines of “life is beautiful, just look around at all the beau—” You’re gonna finish his sentence with your fist.

However, if you’re depressed, you can, while still slouching on the sofa, shift ever so slightly to blame, “it’s that bitch’s fault!”, still on the couch, but at least you’re stirring. Then you can sit up slightly in sweet, delectable revenge, “I’ll slash her tires!”, then on to pessimism/sarcasm, “Her car will probably slash its own tires just to get a break.” Okay, that’s kinda funny. (Laughs.) Aha! A laugh! Could you have laughed back at depressed? Hell no! Even a tiny bit of laughter can bridge you right on over to optimism, “Well, at least we can both move on now…”, landing us on a perfect platform to hop up to eagerness, “Oh! Oh! Oh! Now I can ask Brenda out!” to empowerment and freedom, “I’m the king of the world. Look out, ladies!”

It’s all about subtle shifts that may not look like much from Los Angeles, but by the time you’re in New York, they make all the difference in the world.

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