Wow, positive thinking is such a powerful thing isn’t it? It’s pretty insane how simply having a positive outlook can change your life, and the great thing about it is that optimism is inspirational and contagious. It’s definitely not always easy to see the silver lining or to keep your chin up when things seem to be working against you, but when you do you’re that much closer to righting whatever may seem to be going wrong. And the first really amazing thing about thinking positively is that you’ll probably start to notice that there really is less and less that seems to be “going wrong” in the first place.
It’s without a doubt much easier to feel sorry for ourselves and to complain about the little things that bother us, to get upset at the people that think differently than we do, and to feel like the world is out to get us because we aren’t receiving some type of benefit 24/7, but this type of negativity and thinking tends to cause us to feel upset, sad, neglected, and just generally pretty bummed out. It sucks the wind out of our sails, stems into anger, leads to a lack of motivation… it is a skuzz on top of the beautiful picture that is the world we live in.
Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, it’s obviously impossible to be chipper and excited every waking moment of every day, and there are definitely times when we need to let ourselves feel the very natural emotions that are anger, sadness, mourning, indignation, etc. None of these things in and of themselves are inherently negative or bad things to feel. They all have their place, and neglecting to feel these things is a disservice to yourself and anybody else that really is not in the mood to hear some “glass half full” cliché. Sometimes all people need from us is for us to listen and empathize with them, not for us to depreciate or belittle their pain with some “everything happens for a reason” or “it’ll get easier over time” type bullshit.
That being said, each and every one of us will experience adversity. Each and every one of us will experience loss. Each and every one of us will face obstacles and challenges as we go through life, and the way we react to these challenges and obstacles is important, and being able to bounce back from these challenges comes down to the way we perceive them and the way we perceive ourselves. We have to remind ourselves that we can accomplish whatever it is we want to accomplish. We have to remind ourselves that despite whatever loss we might face, or whatever pain we may experience that there is still plenty of living to do and life to enjoy and to celebrate! There doesn’t necessarily have to be a silver lining, there just has to be a willpower to keep on keeping on and a willingness to make the most out of whatever situation you find yourself in.
Now, I won’t take this positive thinking thing as far “The Law of Attraction” takes it, which basically says that whatever we think about will come to be. I don’t think that our thoughts emit frequencies that literally attract, like a magnet, what we are thinking about into our lives, but I do think that being optimistic gets us that much closer to what we want for ourselves. Not by magic; not by thinking into existence our hearts desires, but by having a confidence and a belief that you can create the life for yourself that you want. There are plenty of people who will discourage you from pursuing your true ambitions, and it is disheartening. There are so many people that tell me I won’t ever take my trip around the world with my friend after we graduate from college because of how expensive it is, because of how hard they think it is, because of how unrealistic it may seem TO THEM, but it is one of the only things I am absolutely certain I want to do, and I will. Now, I recognize that it won’t be easy, and that it will require a lot of hard work and planning, and research, and motivation, but I refuse to let other people’s negativity affect my aspirations, and that means I’m one step closer to seeing the world.
If you begin to think negatively about yourself, your capabilities, your aspirations or your current situation you’re taking steps in the wrong direction.
Perhaps you don’t have any burning desires or are content to keep living life the way you are now. Then what? Well, I still say that positive thinking is the way to go. Nobody likes to be around someone who is constantly shooting them down, complaining, and bumming them out when they are trying to have a good time. More than likely we’ve found ourselves in a situation where someone we are hanging out with can’t seem to stop talking about all the drama going on in their life, and how the whole world seems to be out to get them, and that manages to blow everything way out of proportion. Nothing is a bigger buzz-kill than someone who can’t ever seem to say something positive. Don’t be that person! You will find yourself attracting more and more people and having better and better experiences when you make it a point to have a good time, to be happy, and to enjoy the moment even when things aren’t going great.
On a larger scale, if you begin to see the world for all its grandeur despite the challenges you may face and the atrocities that are ongoing in the world you will find yourself enjoying life more and getting more out of it than you thought possible. Recognize that there is an entire world to experience, that there are amazing people doing amazing things, and amazing things taking place every day, and recognize that you CAN be a part of it.
I AM NOT SAYING TURN A BLIND EYE TO EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG IN THE WORLD, BUT RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS BEAUTY IN SEEKING TO BETTER IT.
The people who are dissatisfied in life are those who focus on the ugly in the world rather than the rest of it. The people who are unhappy are those who don’t believe they can change their circumstances. The people who are angry in life are the people who see it as always working against them. They are the people who are uninspired, disheartened…. So remember, optimism is contagious, especially when it is manifested in your everyday actions. Don’t be afraid to rock a smile for no reason. Give thanks with sincerity, be willing to give help when it’s needed, be positive.
I mentioned earlier that it’s important not to doubt yourself, and to have a belief and confidence in yourself. I know as a relatively shy person myself that confidence can be hard to build up and doesn’t always come naturally, and it took me a while to become confident in who I am and what I believe. And I can say in all honesty that the biggest contributor to gaining confidence is to think positively. Not about yourself necessarily, but about the situations you’re in, no matter how uncomfortable they may be, and by being thankful for what you have in life rather than thinking about the life you wish you had, and by acknowledging the good in other people rather than focusing on why they annoy you. As you make it a habit to make the best out of situations and to see the best in people, you will begin to emulate and radiate the positivity you see around you. And as you become happier with who you are, you become more confident in who you are.
Again, it’s impossible to be positive every second and in every situation, and that is ok, and you should not be dishonest with yourself when you feel the weight of life’s burdens, but I promise you the weight will feel lighter if you think it is. -JG