Positivity Begins in the Mind
I’m sure you have heard people prattling about being positive, thinking positive and changing your life. Honestly, I was a skeptic for some time because it seemed rather magical. I mean how is it that just thinking about something makes it a reality? Experience seems to show otherwise but soon I realized that my skepticism was misdirected. The idea that your thoughts can change your life is true but the way it is marketed and advertised isn’t always so.
Numerous books have been written on this very theme. The number of talks, sessions, seminars, and studies conducted are innumerable. All this ultimately boils down to one simple principle: Your Thoughts can Change You. Many of us may feel that we are not good enough or that we cannot do something hard or that we are not beautiful or smart or successful, and we get bogged down. We are led to believe that we don’t have it in us, that we aren’t cut out. Such thoughts, in fact, cripple us. They lead us to develop negative ideas about ourselves. Already, if you are perceptive, you can see that ideas have shaped the way you think, what you believe about yourself and others and how you behave. The idea that you cannot do something prevents you from trying to do it in the future because it tells you that in the past you have failed and therefore you will fail again. The idea that you are not beautiful has created in your mind a negative image of yourself so that you are unable to accept yourself. The truth of the matter is that most things that we think are permanent are not! There are few things in life that cannot be changed and your ideas are not among them.
There is a famous test that reveals one’s outlook on life. A glass is filled with water to the half-way point. Is the glass half full or half empty? Your answer reveals the kind of person you are. Those who choose the first option are the optimists while those who choose the latter are pessimists. The glass with water is a reality that can be changed but the crucial element is our perception of it. We are prone to catch the attitude that is more dominant in our environment. If the atmosphere around us is negative we will end up becoming irritable, tense, pessimistic, sarcastic and so on while on the other hand if our environment is positive then we will be likely to be cheerful, optimistic, motivated, encouraging, helpful and so on. You see, attitude is a big deal. Where does this attitude come from? It stems from each of ourselves. What our mind thinks is expressed in the form actions. What happens at the level of the mind is ATTITUDE and what is seen in action is BEHAVIOUR. We can discover our attitudes by paying attention to our behaviour. This is what certain branches of psychology aim to do. If you find that certain behaviours of yours are not helpful or positive then you need to go inward and discover the attitudes behind those behaviours.
The way you live and act generally becomes your lifestyle and so depending on how you live you can have a positive or a negative lifestyle. Each will have their own consequences and therefore we must choose wisely. It is unlikely that anyone would enjoy a negative lifestyle. We are all looking for happiness and fulfillment. These can truly be experienced in a positive lifestyle. What does a positive lifestyle consist of you may ask. It involves looking at things a little differently. It requires that you see and understand the positive aspects of people and situations – instead of just focusing on the negative aspects. Moving from a negative lifestyle to a positive lifestyle begins by changing the way we see things and changing the way we interact with each other.
In daily conversation you may find yourself using negative words or phrases like “not bad”, “I don’t know”, “I can’t… ” etc. We use such words unconsciously and are often oblivious to the underlying meanings they convey. Such statements show that we are negative in our approach to life. On the other hand if we could say “Great” instead of “not bad”, “I will see what I can do” instead of “I don’t know” and “I can” instead of “I can’t” we will have taken the first step towards changing our attitude. If you’re in a conversation where everybody is just being negative – try saying something positive and see what happens. Watch the response – you’ll be surprised at some of the things that happen. Some people may think your crazy – but a lot of people will actually start to see things differently. You’ll actually get them to stop being so negative – and without knowing it – those very same people will begin looking at things in a more positive way. This may not happen the first time, and it may not happen all the time – but the more you do it – the more often you’ll get them to focus on the positive events.
This is a topic on which so much can be said. In fact so much has already been said. I am a firm believer in practice. No amount of theory will do any good if it is never put into practice. You cannot become a positive person by reading a book or an article or listening to a talk or attending a seminar. Becoming a positive person requires that we first make the mental shift. Positivity begins in our mind. I have to be willing to be a positive person only then will any change happen. A positive outlook will help you get over a lot of things – personally and socially. The benefits of a positive lifestyle are numerous. I could list them out for you but that goes against my belief. I would rather prefer that you experience them for yourself and then maybe you could tell me.
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