Once I’ve discovered that the way to happiness is positive thinking, it made sense to me. I started studying and applying this method as often as I could, in hopes of improving my life. What I didn’t realize right away, however, is that being positive means making deliberate choices, each time, but also understanding that the potential for contrast always exists.
Before I had this realization, I thought being positive meant taking each circumstance and turning it into a positive. Finding the positive aspects of it. Finding a way to be happy about it. Finding the reasons why it’s helping me – as it occurred.
After many instances where my thinking positively had back fired on me, I took the time to further contemplate what positivity means and implies.
What does being positive mean?
First of all, being positive means we are focused on the positive aspects in our lives. However, an important thing to acknowledge is that we live in a contrasting environment. This means there is always a potential for positive, as well as a potential for negative.
Think about it: right now, you could choose to think about something positive, like flowers blooming in spring, or, equally, you could choose to think about something negative, like the bad economy. The potential is always there.
In the same manner, the potential for wonderful and for awful experiences is always there. And while we live in a well-being environment, negative circumstances have their own role in our lives. They are an opportunity for us to learn, to improve, to distinguish between what we want, and what we don’t want.
After being depressed for many years, when I discovered positive thinking as a way of life, I didn’t want to waste any time focusing on negative stuff. I wanted to live my life fully and to enjoy every moment of it. But that’s not possible, since our environment is a contrasting one, regardless of my decision to think positively.
Positive thinking really works when we learn to distinguish between the really positive aspects in our lives, when we learn to fully appreciate them, and when we learn to acknowledge the negative aspects as opportunities for improvement.
Positive aspects of our lives are to be acknowledged and appreciated – that’s when we get to fully enjoy our lives. Negative aspects of our lives are to be acknowledged and improved – that’s when our power to create and to trust our environment (or Universe) comes in.
Being positive doesn’t mean trying to find a way to live with the negative aspects, as they are. It doesn’t mean to hope that if we just ignore them long enough, they’ll finally go away for good and we can be happy in each new moment of our lives, forever more.
My initial misunderstanding of what positive thinking means led me to start doing two things that I was confusing for positivity: overcompensating and making excuses.