Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Half Full or Half Empty

It's easy to tell someone to be more positive.

But the response may not be that straightforward. Meaning, the person may be facing such a big crisis that he may not even be able to understand what "positive" means. Or, his interpretation of positive may not be the same as that of the common majority. Or, he may actually believe that a 3rd choice is much better, that of being indifferent.

What brings this about? Family upbringing, hereditary genes, environment, friends, culture, school, teachers, long-standing beliefs, etc. But any or all of these factors doesn't mean that your outlook or attitude in life is permanent. I think people nowadays are more flexible, more open to change as compared to those of a generation or two ago. Today's fast-paced, impatient type of lifestyle, with all of its negative impact on mental and physical health, has at least been responsible for one useful trait - being able to adapt to ever changing circumstances and environment.

Why change? If we clearly know that our habits and mindset have not helped us progress in our relationships, or in sports or in business. A more simple reason - if we want to avoid the headaches we suffer after having a heavy dose of blaming, and worrying!

What to change? Not everything, of course! Only those things which have consistently made our life and other people's lives unhappy and miserable.

Why choose positive? Countless researches in sports performance, business, social, education, etc. have clearly shown the vast difference between having a negative viewpoint from that of being optimistic. Medical science has time and again recorded the astounding recovery rates of advanced cancer patients who chose to fill their thoughts and their lives with smiles, laughter and happiness, and of looking forward to the future with hope and the strong desire to live and be healthy.

Even in our quest to become better persons, wherein we need to spend a lot of time, attention and effort in developing a lot of good habits, it's easy to see that without a positive mindset, without the ability to see that you will succeed, you will definitely stop short of the goal - why bother, if you know that you can't get it?

The tricky part in developing a positive, optimistic, tough as nails, success-oriented attitude is in the painstaking effort you also have to put into the practice. Optimism cannot be developed by thinking happy and positive thoughts in 2 weeks time, or in 2 months' time. You just have to keep on shoving away the negative and deliberately injecting the positive. What can be helpful is when you choose your friends or who to talk with, what sections of the newspaper or magazine you read, what TV shows you watch, etc. Being healthy will give you the energy to sustain you in your long term efforts - more vegetables and less meat, stay away from too much caffeine, softdrinks, cigarettes. Fix a regular schedule for bedtime and stick to it. Be generous and help the less fortunate. Enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Nice day, isn't it!