Trick Or Treat! Come & Change Your Thoughts With Me!

by Nov 23, 2021

It’s almost that time of year again! Boo! While many of you are eagerly awaiting a weekend Halloween party, putting the final touches on your child’s costume, or stocking up on candy, we thought we’d create a new tradition honoring one of our favorite holidays. We’d like to invite you to play the Halloween themed, made for adults, “Trick Or Treat” game!


A little history? The term “trick or treat” originated in the 1940s as a response to the traditional practice of pulling pranks on those refusing to hand out “treats” (i.e.: candy) on Halloween. It’s now commonplace to hear kids chant: “Trick or Treat, trick or treat, give me something good to eat!”


Ring a bell? Wink. It’s probably been a while.


The Contemporaries Team thought it would be a fun and constructive exercise to unpack and re-interpret the seasonal verbiage. Is it unsavory (a “trick”), or is it sweet (a “treat”)? It conjures a larger practice in mindfulness by assessing our emotional choices and correcting ourselves when our thoughts turn negative. You can spin them (just like a spider’s web!) into positive thoughts. There are a couple of ways to play. First, you can think of a “trick” simply as a negative feeling, i.e.: impatience, or frustration, and a “treat” as more optimistic (and hopefully wiser!) interpretation of that emotion. We’ve all been there — letting emotions cloud logic and judgement or reacting instead of responding.

This very well may happen when starting a new job. For example, it may be more entry level than you anticipated and so your ego is activated, and anger or resentment emerges. You may momentarily forget that it takes time to earn your stripes, or that no job is too small when just starting out.


Now, as fast as a witch on a broom arrives, the second stage of the game begins. This one takes hold of your imagination (which is perfect for this holiday!). Feel free to let loose with what a “trick” or “treat” is.


Maybe view a “trick” as a deception, i.e.: your mind playing a “trick” on you. Now try it’s counterpart – a “treat”. This reward could come by viewing that role you initially thought was beneath you as a valuable opportunity where you are “gaining meaningful experience” or “paying your dues” or “being a team player”. Who knows? Your boss just may notice your sparkling attitude and view you for bigger and more important tasks. So, find the silver-lining and don’t be afraid to go with the flow a bit. Try thinking of a “treat” as not only a reward for your own self-improvement and character growth but something that you may claim by approaching a negative situation with a more positive mindset.


Here are some examples we conjured up to help get you in the right mindset:


  • Trick: Arrogance, Treat: Confidence
  • Trick: Ego, Treat: Humility
  • Trick: Jealousy, Treat: Radical Acceptance/Encouragement
  • Trick: Judgement, Treat: Positive Evaluation
  • Trick: Impatience, Treat: Mindfulness
  • Trick: Greed, Treat: Gratitude

And now, for Part 2:

  • Trick: Tedious job tasks, Treat: Invaluable Work Experience (you may surprise yourself!)
  • Trick: Feeling overworked, Treat: A bonus, or acknowledgement from your boss
  • Trick: A difficult co-worker, Treat: Learning lifelong interpersonal skills
  • Or it can be as small as:
  • Trick: Repetitive, mundane office jobs (i.e.: copying) Treat: A Meditative Experience


Okay, now you try! It can take a bit to get going. But that’s fine. An accomplished feeling can often be worth the trial and error and temporary challenge.


So, allow yourself to think back to that one health conscious neighbor who handed out raisins instead of M&Ms. As a kid it’s more than natural to be disappointed and think, “They’re not even covered in chocolate! Who hands out healthy snacks on Halloween?”


But with aging can come (let’s hope!) perspective. Maybe instead (and remind yourself and your kids, that without those raisins (or apple slices!) the other candy wouldn’t taste as sweet. Sure, it may appear “corny” (who else loves candy corn?), but more and more research proves that changing those negative “tapes in your head” is something to commit to. Start by identifying a negative emotion and alchemizing it (how witchy!) into a more constructive, productive, and positive emotion.


Your mind, body, and soul could very well reward you! And, maybe besides happiness and fulfillment, there will be other compensations too – a promotion, or acknowledgement of a job well done.


The small choices you make every day can really impact your mentality, which can lead to more success in your personal and professional life. Now, go get your Halloween on! Carve a pumpkin, eat your favorite childhood treat, and don’t forget to hit a costume store (or your local drugstore) before all the vampire fangs, tiaras, and Reese’s are gone. And when a pushy kid may grab too much from your bowl, or your frenemy is wearing the same costume as you, pause for a moment and think: Trick, or Treat?


This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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