One of my old friends got in touch with me recently. I haven’t heard from her for years so when I saw her message, it was a lovely surprise. After a few minutes of chat online we decided to meet the following week for a cup of tea. So many years, so much to talk about….
Our chat ended and I realised that… my mood had changed. What happened? Why did I suddenly feel low?
I am trying to remember what we talked about and the details of our (quick enough) conversation came back to me:
Me: It’s been so long. How are you? How have you been?
Her: Oh…hmm, I guess I’m coping but it’s a struggle. You know life. It’s not easy but I am trying to manage. How about you?
And I realise that exactly at that moment my mood changed. I want to help, support even offer advice, but this is not what others look for sometimes. I understand that they just want to be listened to. So I listen. The conversation ends and I am left with a “baggage” that is not mine. My friends’ problems are not my problems but naturally it’s unpleasant to hear about troubles of those who we wish well.
As a result of this event I started thinking about … “positive thinking”.
There are people who don’t even want to hear about it and they believe that it’s a somewhat naive approach to life. Is it? What is “positive thinking” and are we missing out if we don’t choose it?
First of all we know that how we behave and what we say every day is a reflection of what we think. We interpret the world through a filter of our own thoughts. It’s easy. Where your attention goes your energy flows. If I focus on failure, struggle and stress, this will shape my perception of the world. So I will speak about the world as if is negative or even scary and act as if that was true.
- Do you know how you affect others every day?
- What energy do you bring into the room when you enter?
- What is your reaction to positive news? What energy do you share with others?
Exactly the way my friend shared this “unwanted gift” with me, we affect others every day when we interact with them. Are you aware of the impact you leave? Are you aware of how you affect others and at the same time yourself?
What is positive thinking and a positive approach to life? Who are those of us who choose this attitude? Is it about a broad smile and being jolly and cheerful all the time? Or is there more to it?
Positive thinking is not about a big grin no matter what. Understanding this is the key to change of our thinking. Positive thinking means acting with awareness and aiming towards more realistic view of life. More realistic because it’s confirmed by facts and a reality check of EVERYTHING that is happening to us, rather than our attention being focused on just one side of the story (failure, sadness and a negative interpretation of events.)
People who think positively choose fairness. Our reality does not only consist of bad events and people. Those who choose a positive approach notice good people and good events, they pay attention to successes and with awareness find evidence of their skills and qualities. They simply choose to focus on these facts more and based on them they create their view of life and others. They don’t make those events up. They just notice them purposefully every day.
When I met my friend and spoke with her, it turned out that her situation wasn’t quite as bad as she was making it. When she told me the full story, she realised herself that things have been going well for her in many areas of her life. Her career has been developing well and she has an amazing life support system around her. These were not made up stories, these were facts that she has just “forgot” to appreciate for a while. Now she is back on track. 🙂
It is fair to say: Let’s be honest with ourselves more. Things are never ONLY JUST bad and they are not ALWAYS ALL great either. Let’s be fair and give reality a chance. It’s nicer than we choose to notice most of the time. Let’s be aware where our attention goes and what messages we share with others. Change this one thing, and your life will change. You will see quite quickly that there is a lot of positive events and people in your life. All that’s needed, is your will to see them.
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