Most people would say I’m a positive thinking person.
I tend to spend time with pro-active, happy, fun and positive people that are also into positive thinking. Who wants to spend their time with naysayers and those that are focused on negative thinking? I can’t. I’ve tried before and eventually those friendships all come to the same outcome – we go our separate ways.
I’ve tried to look at WHY am I a positive thinker, and how I became this way so I could share it with you and help you to become a positive thinking person too. I’ll just tell you a little bit about how my mind works and some of the self-talk I use and hope that you can apply that in your life.
When I wake up in the morning my thinking goes something like this…
“Wow, I’m still alive. Well, gotta do something then… What can I do today to make it the best day possible?”
Really – I promise you, those are my first thoughts upon realizing I’m conscious in the morning. I ask myself –
“What can I do today to make it the best day possible?”
Because I know when I go to sleep at night and I’m replaying what happened that day I want to be happy that I accomplished some things. They might even be small things – but I accomplished things. That’s what is important. I don’t want to go to bed thinking – “Man, what a junk day that was.”
So, in a way my positive thinking mode comes at least partly, from fear. The fear of looking back at today and realizing I screwed off instead of making it a day where I accomplished something positive.
For me – accomplishment is everything. I’m not sure exactly why that is – except that I must have been rewarded for it in the past quite a bit. I played soccer all my life – when the coach told me I did a good job on a certain play I was ecstatic because my coach rarely gave compliments, and only when they were deserved. I dug compliments. I noticed I got more compliments and more people noticed when I accomplished things than when I wasn’t contributing anything… not doing anything positive.
I get this weird sense of satisfaction from doing dishes. No lie. I’m not in a rush when I wash dishes. It’s a perfect time to accomplish something. I’m taking a dirty dish and making it clean. That’s cool to me – in my own private logic.
I like web development and search engine optimization for the same reason I like doing dishes. I’m applying myself and instantly seeing changes that get me or someone else further along the path. I love that.
Other simple things I love because I’m accomplishing something:
- Chopping down a tree for wood to use.
- Planting things
- Watering plants
- Raking leaves
- Creating a blog post
- Helping someone else and watching them get excited because we’re getting something done
- Filling the smaller water bottles from our big jug (a daily thing in Thailand)
- Exercise. Climbing steps, hiking, running, biking. I’m making my body do something it didn’t have to do. I’m accomplishing work and fun at the same time.
I fill each day with tasks or activities that accomplish something. In this way I remain focused on positive thinking and I’m happy throughout the day.
My normal state of mind is thinking positively and doing. I’m always doing.
If you’ve read my posts about TV and why I think it’s such a waste of life you’ll begin to understand where I get that view from. When I go to sleep after having accomplished positive things all day up until the point where I sat in front of a screen for four or more hours and watched paid idiots recite scripts designed to make me laugh… I don’t have a positive view of my day.
I ask myself –
“What the hell did you learn in those 4 hours? What did you accomplish? Are you going to keep doing that? If you projected into the future all the hours you’re going to completely waste like that it turns out that you’re not so bright anymore… you’re not living life in a positive way… you’re an imbecile. You want to be an imbecile?”
Honestly, that’s what I tell myself. I try to make myself feel like the idiot I was. I have honest conversations – reality talks in which I make myself see the harmfulness of whatever it is that I’m doing.
TV might seem like an innocent way to spend four hours not-thinking. But, if that’s acceptable to me today – it’s acceptable again. And again. And again. Add those up and it’s not 4 hours, it’s 800 hours because for 200 days in a year I did the same thing – wasted 4 hours of watching TV instead of accomplishing something. And, it’s not even 800 hours, it’s 16,000 hours in 20 years.
I know I can accomplish a LOT of stuff in 16,000 hours if I’m not watching TV. Therefore it’s completely unacceptable to EVER watch TV for 4 hours. After 15 minutes of watching it I feel uncomfortable like I’m taking the easy way out and I shut if off. I realize – it’s sucking me in – sucking me in – and I kill it.
Positive thinking happens when you’re focused on something you like to do. If you like what you’re doing everyday – you’re generally focused on positive thoughts and thinking. If you dislike what you’re doing – how can you have positive thoughts?
Rearranging your life so you’re doing what you want to be doing – what makes you happy – is of prime importance for your happiness… and the happiness of those around you. You’re able to bring much more happiness to friends and family if you’re focused on what CAN be done – not what can’t be done or what isn’t going right.
Changing your life seems so difficult to some people. Do you feel like your life is stuck and impossible to break out of it? The only thing holding you back is your mind. That’s it. And you know what – it’s memory holding you back, nothing more than some neural connections that should be broken.
Maybe you think you need to stay in the job you hate because it pays the bills.
Yeah, sure it does – but you could be a garbage man and pay your bills – and probably be a lot happier too. You know, I could be a garbage man and be pretty damn happy because I’m seeing the results of what I’m doing every single day.
There are literally hundreds of jobs you can do. You’re not tied to the job you’re at. You gotta break free of jobs, family situations, economic situations, disabilities, anything that’s in the way of you being happy nearly every day. Otherwise life is just that. It’s life. A life sentence, more dramatically. You’ve sentenced yourself to a life of misery.
You can’t have positive thinking if you don’t have positive life environment. Change your life environment. Make yourself happy at whatever cost.
Yes, you owe something to your sick mother if you’re taking care of her. No, you don’t need to be there for her 24 hours a day. That’s what a nurse is for. That’s what a caregiver is for.
You can break free from your situation no matter what it is. You can turn your world upside freaking down and you know what? You’re still there – you’re still moving forward. You’ve got a new set of circumstances to deal with and you’re finding what works… you can find what works. You can find what makes you happy and do it.
If you need to rip apart your current dismal world – do it today. It can only get better. It can only get more positive. You’ll start thinking in positive ways. You’ll have to because you’ll have destroyed your old dysfunctional way of living.
If you take a close look at this concept, Positive Thinking you’ll notice that when it’s in effect it alters people around you. One person thinking positively has an effect on others. Just like one person thinking negatively can have a profound effect on others!
Businesses love positive thinking employees. Friends love positive thinking friends. Families love positive thinking members of the family. We gravitate toward positive thinkers – we want to be part of something positive because it makes us all feel better. It makes us happier to focus on positive rather than negative.
Now, I’ve said a lot about the importance of positive thinking – but what about the other side of it?
For me – I call the other side of it ‘reality’, not ‘negative thinking’.
For me there really isn’t a negative thinking. I don’t have any room for that in my mind. I do have “reality thinking” that is sort of the same thing – but, not really.
Reality thinking is when I look at the big picture and I realize that probability tells me I won’t be able to do something. Maybe I don’t have enough support, money, skills, or whatever it is. I have to face reality. I’m missing some crucial piece of the puzzle. It’s not negative thinking.
Negative thinking occurs when one has all the skills, money, support, or whatever – and yet thinks he/she cannot do the action.
Negative thinking occurs when you believe the world is conspiring against you and the result will be failure.
Negative thinking occurs when you say, “I can’t.”
Negative thinking occurs when you’re unhappy with job, family situation – any part of life that isn’t going well.
Negative thinking can dominate a person’s life and the only way to turn it around – to change your whole outlook is to start making yourself happy.
I said it before, I’ll repeat it because it was a life changing event in my life…
My uncle John told me when I was about 15… “You’ve gotta make yourself happy in the end because nobody is going to do that for you. You make all the decisions in your life that either make you happy or don’t make you happy.”
Then while I was in graduate school at my practicum at the Florida Mental Health Clinic, Dr. Barry Naster told me, “Nobody is looking out for your best interests except you. Not your mom, dad, friends or lovers. Nobody is looking out for your happiness, for your best interests like you have to. Who else can do it like you?”
I think that sums it up… positive thinking requires happiness in your life. It requires seeing something every single day that you can do that keeps you happy. It requires decisions that move you toward a life of happiness, not one of obligation or indebtedness to institutions, family or friends.
Positive thinking occurs spontaneously in some, and is the result of changing focus for others. If you’re not enjoying positive thinking during 90% of the days in a month – you must get there because life is sliding by and you’ve only got 40-80 years left.
I know, there’s not even one person out there saying to themselves every single day…
“Now what can I do to make Vern’s life happier?”
There’s not even one person out of the more than 6 billion people in this world. What does that tell me?
It’s just ME.
I need to ask myself that question every single day of my life.
It’s the same for you – whether you’re happy and can live your life in a positive thinking mode or not – is completely up to you. It’s your job.
What a great state of mind to be in too!
Make it happen!
Best of Life!
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The secret to positive thinking if all else fails? Move to Hawaii and experience it, even if just for a year. Experience the magic that only the Hawaiian islands can show you…
(Photo: Flickr CC. JAIRO BD)