365 Days to a Better You – Day 104

Why you need to think more positively…

A friend of mine, and someone who works in mental health and personal development, tweeted something yesterday that got me thinking. I’d written about this years ago, but it keeps cropping up.

It’s what I like to call the defense for negative (some call it critical or realistic) thinking. Her argument is that “critical thinking” is as valuable as positive thinking. She used the Yin-Yang metaphor to say that we need both to be grounded and balanced.

I have to tell you, I’ve been at this for a long time. Critical thinking is an important skill for analyzing the world and making judgments about it. However, it’s complementary to positive thinking not its opposite. I feel like this was one of those time when someone was calling negative thinking critical thinking.

Here’s the deal and your own experience will likely bear this out. Few human beings have a hard time thinking negatively. Few of us have any problem doubting ourselves or stopping before we start because we might fail.

We’ve got that down. Positive thinking and its necessary partner positive action are a counter-balance to the overwhelmingly negative tendencies of human beings. If you’re among that small percentage of the population who wake up blowing sunshine from your eye balls, I’m not talking to you.

Most of us have to work at staying positive, staying confident, and maintaining belief in ourselves long enough for it to make a difference. We don’t need an artificial infusion of doubt or balanced thinking. The positive thinking IS the balancing thinking.

Is it possible to lose your grounding and fly away into a false, dreamy stratosphere? Yes. When you get there, then you can worry about that. For most people, you’re working to get over the next hurdle and keep clawing for your dream. I’m encouraging you to keep taking mega-doses of the positive thinking. It’s the Yin to the status quo’s Yang.

There are NO coincidences!

Ray

Advertisements

What Does It Have to Do with the Price of Tea in China? – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday May 7, 2008

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. What do you think? Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgYour Fifth Affirmation is Always Free at The Affirmation Spot

Whenever you download four affirmations at The Affirmation Spot your fifth affirmation is free. Simply type five in the coupon field at checkout to get your fifth affirmation free. (Offer valid only on a per order basis. Multiple single downloads do not receive this discount.)

Today’s featured affirmation is:

“Even amid adversity, I endeavor to succeed to the maximum extent of my abilities.” (repeats 5 times)

“Even amid adversity, you endeavor to succeed to the maximum extent of your abilities.” (repeats 5 times)

Hear an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.


We are going to take a break from the Hawaii recap today. A question I get from a lot of people who find out what I do with The Affirmation Spot is: “How can I stay positive in a negative world?”

It’s a great question and, short of a few very esteemed teachers in human history, one I’m sure we all grapple with. I’m a self-professed news junkie. I suppose it’s part of my natural curiosity about the world. I like to learn new things and see new things. I want to know what’s going on.

That passion gets me into trouble sometimes because I find myself feeling blue about our inhumanity to each other, wars, poverty, economic upset, and needless suffering. I have to pick myself up and remind myself that we all have been given enormous power to deal with our stresses, difficulties, and concerns; if only we choose to call on that power.

There’s an old quip that says, “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” It refers to someone who brings up an issue that has no bearing on the current conversation. However, today everything, it seems, has to do with the price of something in China.

It appears that many of us are about to face some of the most difficult economic times of our generation. The news of currency inflation, mortgage and credit crises, foreclosures, bankruptcies, downsizing, food shortages, and rapidly rising commodity prices flood the airwaves daily.

How bad is it? Shortages combined with the falling dollar are driving commodities like corn, rice, wheat, oil, and others to all-time record highs. Faulty lending and borrowing practices of recent years combined with a speculative housing market are creating housing numbers not recorded  since the 1930s.

There are food riots in Haiti. The Philipino government is threatening people who hoard rice with lifetime imprisonment. Now, some suppliers in the U.S. are being cautioned about possible shortages. Costco and Sam’s Club recently imposed limits on commercial rice orders.

“Well, that’s very negative,” you might say.

Facts are not negative or positive they are facts. The rapid rise of the Chinese and Indian middle classes, the conversion of foodstuffs for people and livestock to alternative energy production, and major crop failures have created a kind of perfect storm for world food supplies.

All appearances are that this is a real and somewhat befuddling problem without quick answers.

Pulling the pillow over our heads and pretending will not make difficulty go away. The question is not whether we can avoid tough times, but rather are we equipped to deal with them?

That leads me to Step 1 of how to stay positive in a negative world:

  1. Face negatives head on. Be aware, awake, and face reality.
  2. Positive thinking is often criticized for failing to acknowledge reality. I believe it is a prerequisite to growth and success. You don’t want to get mired or stuck in it, but acknowledging it is so important.

    If we are not willing to face reality and take responsibility for our own awareness, we cannot be empowered to succeed in this world. We cannot stay positive in a negative world without the ability to face reality with open eyes. 

    Some people tell me they don’t ever watch the news because it is so negative and depressing. I concur. However, we have two choices. We  can be laying on the beach unaware of a coming tsunami and be blissfully washed away when it comes or we can pay attention to the warning system and TAKE ACTION to get ourselves in the best position for it.

    The latter, while uncomfortable sometimes, is positive because it empowers us to act on our knowledge of what is happening. The other option leaves us hanging our hats on fate.

    Step 2 of how to stay positive in a negative world.

  3. Distinguish legitimate threats from phony ones.
  4. This is a tricky one. The news media and government seem to take a kind of pleasure in keeping us in a constant state of crisis. Not everything is a crisis. Therefore, it becomes important to decide what should really concern us. We need not worry about everything just because we saw a news story on it.

    There are real threats in the world – our personal environment and the global environment – and it behooves us to spend our precious energy dealing with the real ones instead of chasing phantoms with our worry.

    Step 3 of how stay positive in a negative world.

  5. Have a plan of action Once you identify real threats to your happiness develop an action plan to deal with them. Not everything is in your control, but make sure you do the things you can to maximize your chances for success. You will be at least that far ahead of those who did not do steps 1 and 2.
  6. Step 4 of how to stay positive in a negative world.

  7. Know you have all the tools and the strength to face any challenge.
  8.  This is the really critical one. You see it doesn’t matter what we have to deal with or face in life. It’s all about how we handle it. It’s all about realizing we can grow and learn and prosper in any envrionment.

    Step 5 oof how to stay positive in a negative world.

  9. Remember that you are headed to a better place.

You are not planning to stay and dwell on the negatives. You are constantly in motion to bring about better, more positive outcomes for yourself and those around you. Every negative in the world has positive counter point. Every bit of pain can become impetus to achieve great things.

Please don’t disempower yourself by not being informed. We have a responsibility as citizens, as people, as members of the human family to be empowered and make informed decisions about our future.

Stand, face the wind, and say, “Whatever comes I can handle it.”

    Stay positive stay inspired!

    Ray