My theory of positivity…


I didn’t have the best of days yesterday.  But, even though it was a bad day, it had some pretty good moments.  Some pretty great moments, truth be told.  It would have been optimal if it could have just been a great day overall but unfortunately life doesn’t always work that way.

It would be so easy to throw in the towel every time I have a truly bad day but it seems to me that I’d be giving negative circumstances far too much power in my life.  So hence, my theory of positivity.

First of all, I’m not one of those people who’s chirpy happy all the time or who never admits that anything’s wrong or who acts like my life is perfect.  Rather, I try to be someone who sees gold in the garbage.

A positivist is an optimistic realist.

If you don’t agree with that definition, that’s ok.  I made it up.

When things go wrong, I tell myself things like “this day only has 24 hours and, in 7 more hours, it’ll be a brand new day/new slate”, “I can’t laugh about this right now but I know I’ll be able to laugh about it eventually”, “it’s just a bad day, not a bad life”, “things will work out in the right way at the right time no matter what it feels like today”, “my feelings aren’t facts” and/or “I didn’t choose these circumstances but I can definitely choose my attitude”.

The amazing thing is that it’s a real force of will to tell myself positive things and/or to be positive in the middle of a bad day but, when I persevere, I find that I always feel way better than I would have otherwise, and that I’m actually even able to bring some joy into someone else’s life in the process.

The boomerang of being intentional about doing something nice or thoughtful, or sharing a laugh with someone else, or focusing on the good and not the bad, is that you will not only bring a bright moment to someone else’s day (who may have needed it more than you’ll ever know) but it will also have a brightening effect on your own bad day.

The Bible says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).  It doesn’t say to do it when it’s convenient or when it feels right or when life is going great, it just says to do it.

Just do it.

If it works for Nike, how can you go wrong?

Positivity has a snowball effect… the more we practice it, the more it gains momentum in our lives.  I could happily live the rest of my life and never see another real snowball but I sincerely hope that positivity gains enough momentum in my life that it causes an avalanche of good things.  I want to make a difference by being an optimistic realist.

The truth is that, no matter how bad my day has been or no matter how rough my life has been, I am blessed.  I never want to lose that perspective.  Life may be hard sometimes but it could always be worse.  It has been worse.  But, the best is yet to come.

I’m positive.

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4 thoughts on “My theory of positivity…

  1. This is excellent. I hope you are having a better day!

    By the way, I had a presentation today to a group in Omaha called, Leadership for Life. http://www.lflomaha.org/. The title was “Every day Leadership: Lollipop Moments and First Followers”. Of course I showed the TED videos and built discussion around them….also mentioned this wonderful first follower from New Brunswick and the inspiration she has given me!

    1. Thank you Bill! Yes, I’m having a better day today :). I checked out the Leadership for Life website. It looks like such a worthwhile leadership development opportunity. It’s awesome that you were asked to be their guest speaker! Thanks so much for your kind words. You brightened up my day! 🙂

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