To be very honest with you, I had never really envisaged myself to be putting up a new blog post in these three weeks. To those of you who are kind and patient enough to put up with me on Twitter, you would have perhaps by now garnered based on my tweets that we are on holiday. To those of you who may have by chance clicked on this link unwittingly and landed here, I welcome you to this post and to my entire blog. I hope you shall choose to spend the next few minutes reading through what I have to say. And perhaps we shall be able to relate on some common ground.
I have been gnawing with the idea of writing on ‘Positive thinking’ for a while. And there is something so pure, infectious and totally genuine in the laughter of children that I’ve decided to write it now, rather than leave it for later.
Speaking for myself I can say, that the term ‘positive thinking’ conjures up in my mind an image of being surrounded by pure, positive thoughts and driving out any negative adversaries to the same. But in an equally true measure I have found, that the actual implementation of this behavior is far easier said than done in practice. Neither is it an action that is imbibed in an instant with instantaneous results.
Often and in most cases, positive thinking is a creature of habit which finds its culmination in forceful implementation in the face of any thought that seeks to assert anything contrary. Slowly and steadily it becomes an inherent part of our personalities as we face each ‘negative’ thought with a ‘positive’ affirmation almost on impulse, spontaneously and effortlessly.
One good thing though is that Positive Thinking when adopted consciously has profound benefits in a plethora of aspects. I shall list some of the ways in which I’ve tried to inculcate it:
1. ‘Positive thinking’ should come from within:
Often, we are most successful at those things which we do of our own accord. ‘Have to’, ‘should do’ or ‘correct way to do’ schools of thoughts are more often than not external forces juxtaposing a foreign thought process upon our own innate thinking processes. It is not a surprise that we then end up wrestling between who we are and who society says we should be.
As a person, my ‘brain’ marches to its own beat and to its very own drummer. I have always hovered on the edge of being anxious-nervous. This tendency has resulted in me playing out a lot of situations and events in my mind even before they had occurred in real life. And the best part is that many of them never really came to pass in real life. But by then I had already spent quite a few sleepless days and nights.
But when deep within you resonates even the tiniest seed of thought that asks you to think and stay positive, let that seed of thought take hold firmly. Let it germinate, grow and thrive. And soon, unbeknownst to you thinking positively shall become a second nature.
2. Do not let every thought become a question that questions your entire ‘existence’: Man is a creature of habit. And, our thought processes are not the result of a singular act. Rather they are the cumulative result of what we repeatedly do and habituate. We cannot control our thoughts, thought processes and mind with the flick of a remote.
Certain thoughts, and most often the unwelcome negative ones arise suddenly, out of the blue and on their own accord. But try to not let them become overbearing. For me I try to let thoughts like these rest for some time rather than going for it like a bull raging after a red flag.
This is where the crucial role of positive thinking originates and comes into play. Positive thinking in no way denies the existence of these thoughts. Rather I find it is an approach of simply not validating its stance by saying, ‘Right, I know you are there. But I consciously choose not to give you precedence over everything else. Nor am I going to let you sit on a pedestal and rule my life.”
Being completely honest with you, I can say that it was not easy in the beginning. But slowly I’ve learnt to speak back to them. I do sometimes stumble. But that in no way means I’ve lost. Rather it’s a tiny speed breaker on the highway of life. You simply pick yourself up and move on without looking back.
3. Surround yourself with ‘positive’ people:
While traversing and maneuvering through our lives, our paths cross with lots of people. Some people give off a very positive vibe. Whilst it is not always possible to control the presence or absence of every single person in your life still try to surround yourself with positive people.
Their positive energy shall rub on to you. I am not saying that every positive person you meet shall be a game-changer in the wider scheme of things. But they do help you shift the focus for some time at least while your mind tries to deal with the situation at hand.
In the very same tone, I’d say try to steer clear of people who try to hand their negative baggage to you and move on. There is no harm in being a shoulder for people to lean on or an ear to hear. In fact, by all means we should do all we can to help others traverse the roads we have ourselves trudged through. What I’m trying to get across here is during listening or helping do not become the individual who carries on his/her shoulders the emotional weight of someone else’s negative load. Listen, help and if needed advice. But do not absorb or soak their burdens on to yourself.
4. Park that repetitive ‘thought’ on the side for a while:
If you are prone to them, negative thoughts have a sneaky tendency of going round and round in circles. They spring a surprise visit on the best of us. But try to park it on the side for a while. I am not saying forget about it. We know that is not a possibility. Neither am I advocating the act of brushing it under the carpet.
But try to take a breather.
Give your mind a chance to look at the situation in a rational and logical manner.
I’ve found that going on and on with a negative thought attributes to it more power and control. Sometimes, the solution or the ‘truth’ could be glaring at us in the eye, but we would still overlook it. At times, even despite seeing it we refuse to acknowledge its validity.
Every situation and every thought does not necessitate an immediate resolution. It certainly does not demand an immediate action.
5. Do not ‘compare’ yourself:
Part of our problems is the comparison game that we keep subjecting ourselves to on a regular basis. We recognize its toxicity, yet we continue to indulge. Trying to adopt a positive frame of mind, also includes steering clear of ‘constant comparing’. Try to concentrate your energies and focus on what ‘you’ have, what ‘positives’ prevail in your life and what ‘you’ are good at.
Trust me, you will find a million good things and positives about yourself and your life. Please do give these aspects the chance to emerge from the shadows behind which they lurk. Let them come out into the forefront.
6. Accept that life does go pear shaped at times:
There come times in everyone’s life when things do not go as per plan. When the shit hits the fan. Unto each day some shit may fall. Accept it. Do not fall into the negativity of blaming yourself for a situation. Sometimes despite our best efforts and endeavors things go lopsided. However, the outcome was not your doing and neither does it in anyway tantamount to being a measure of your own self-worth..
Try to take stock of the situation. Rationalize. Think positive. Realize you did your best. And if despite your best efforts it didn’t go your way then there was nothing more that you could have done to prevent it.
7. When life makes you a role-model for others to emulate:
Life has a very funny and at times a very queer way of making us do things we thought were previously impossible. In the very same tone, when life makes you a role-model for someone else to follow there is a compelling urge that rises which requires that you look at the positives, behave in a positive manner and do your utmost to ensure that the person looking up to you learns all the good things.
I am not talking about celebrities here. I am talking about regular people like you and me who become role models for other. Maybe you hold a position of authority at work or you are a team leader. In either situation, you are in a position where people look up to you for guidance or to decipher the route to take ahead. Maybe you are an older brother or sister who is a role-model for their sibling. Or, maybe you are a parent who is a role model for their children.
I know, that in my case as an entrepreneur and a mother, both the people I work with and my children look up to me. If I were to adopt a negative attitude and stance at work all it would yield is an atmosphere that stifles and suffocates rather than being one which encourages and sustains.
And as far as my children are concerned, they absorb things off of me faster than a sponge could soak up liquid.
And for them, I have learnt to be positive. I have learnt that my own thinking mannerisms and processes are the ones that they shall inculcate and use in their lives and times to come.
However, please do not construe the above to mean saying ‘Yes’ to everything. Do not become a doormat. Stay positive. But under the garb of positivity do not let people take you for a ride.
Drive and steer your own life. Don’t keep sitting on the passenger seat!
Sometimes the Universe takes a little longer than planned to conspire to make your wish come true. But never let that retract you from your own path of positive thinking.
Do you have any ways you practice positive thinking? I’d love to know…leave me a comment and let’s get talking.