Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Staying Positive in a Negative World

How do some people do it? 
You know the ones…the individuals who always seem to have a smile on their face.  Or the ones who have the strength to continuously fight against adversity no matter how many times it tries to brutally hit them over the head.  The ones who don’t dwell on the negative but always find a way to look at the positive.  The ones who wake up happy as soon as their feet hit the floor in the morning, even if they don’t wake from a bed of roses.
Do you ever wonder what their secret is?  What is it that makes them focus more on the positive or the promise of possibilities rather than the negative or the fear of the ‘what if’s?’  Do you enjoy their cheerful character?  Wish you could be more positive and upbeat like them? 

When it comes to positive and negative attitudes, you might be on one end of the spectrum or the other; or maybe you’re right in the middle.  I guess the trick is finding a way to always look at the positive or at least finding a happy medium so we aren’t constantly adding to the negativity around us.  And we are, without a doubt, surrounded by negativity.  Just listen to the news in the morning or the evening and I bet the negative news could be counted on both your fingers and your toes while the positive news might not take up a whole hand. 
Unfortunately, we can’t completely avoid negativity.  What we can avoid is letting negativity breed more negativity.  But that may be easier said than done.  What we need is to be more positive, to act more positive, to feel more positive.

Acting or being positive is one thing. 
Actually feeling or thinking positive is another. 

It is those who both act and feel positive and are able to constantly demonstrate this attitude often to others who amaze me.  And I’m not talking about people who live stress-free lives.  It’s easy to be happy and positive when you have nothing and no one to worry about.  I’m talking about those who deal with some of the hardest issues each of us has to ultimately face but who somehow do so with grace and composed acceptance.  They continue to show strength, a true gratitude for life, unselfish generosity towards others, and bright optimism over those who offer only doubt or opposition.
I am thankful to know family and friends who have these outstanding qualities and traits.  I am especially thankful to them when my attitude is not so positive.  They never fail to offer me an easy smile, unwavering patience, understanding, kind and generous words, sound advice and always a positive attitude to lift my mood.  It is loved ones like these who are the wind beneath my wings.

So how do we stay positive in a negative world? 
We can do our best to learn from those who have maintained the ability to remain positive.  We can surround ourselves with those who are positive thinkers.  We can learn to pick our battles.  Learn to let go of the past.  Learn to ask for help rather than stand alone.  We can try to remember to look on the bright side of things; no matter how difficult the day gets.  Eventually, we might not only act in a positive manner but we might also begin to feel positive without having to reflect on what staying positive requires from us. 

Of course, this could take time; more for some than for others.  We are creatures of habit, after all, whether the habits are good or bad.
I don’t know about you but as I continue to learn from those who I aspire to be like, I am forever grateful and appreciative to family members and friends who are always there to provide a positive outlook to any distressing day.  They lift my spirits, provide helpful feedback and brighten any dull day, which certainly breeds positivity in the best sort of way.


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