A rule of thumb I follow is when mass psychology carries the population in one direction, I swim against the current. There is always something missing when that happens. Throughout the history of mankind, when wisdom becomes repeated by the masses over time, the meaning becomes watered down until the essence is lost to social expectation.
When wisdom becomes conformity, wisdom stops being wisdom. Even positivity becomes dogmatic and misused upon mass consumption.
How often do we see positivity used as a means to suppress the existence of troubles and to avoid the hard conversations that bring about real change? Too often we brush real issues under the rug out, seeking to protect our emotions rather than finding out solutions.
How many pyramid schemes, cults, and unethical high-pressure sales jobs out there sucker people in and bleed their savings dry under the feverish chants of positive slogans and motivational jargon.
How many people do we know put extraordinary effort into presenting the perfect social media profile only to have their real life in tatters? It is as if branding a complex human being into a simplified ideal won’t cause mental health issues at all.
You do not always have to positive, you are allowed to be human. If you had to choose between real and positive, pick real every single time. Positive does not exist without real.
That being said, if you want to live a good life, if you want to be surrounded by good people, if you want to success, you have got to be positive. However, there is a right way to do it and there is wrong way to do it and I am about to show you how it is done right.
I see positivity as a muscle rather than a state. Happiness, confidence, and joy are states that result from exercising positivity. Here is how to generate real positivity into your life:
1) Don’t Run From Reality. Reframe It.
While it is important to cut out negativity in your life to maintain a healthy mental equilibrium, it is more important to be able to deal with tough situations by seeing the silver lining. Instead of pretending that problem does not exist, instead walk through the fire and say, “this will not break me” or “things will get better”.
If you have to run from reality to be positive every single time trouble happens, that just means your positivity game is trash. What is the point of being a positive person if you cannot pull it out in tough situations?
Were you dealt a bad hand? Or were dealt an opportunity to become legendary?
Were you given a curse? Or were you given a challenge?
Do you lament that you were borne into a world that you do not fit into? Or do you prepare yourself to change the world?
Are you forever defeated or did you just learn the greatest lesson of your life?
Is Darth Vader your father? Or did Darth Vader betray and murder your father.
Reframing negative to positive is all a matter of perspective.
Although pretending the world is all sunshine and rainbows is counterproductive, you also cannot afford to bog yourself down with negativity. You can be the happiest, most caring person in the world but if you surround yourself with negative people or a negative environment, it will wear you down to their level. You stick around negative people long enough and the sound of their very footsteps will physically drop your mood.
Sometimes, you have to be selfish and walk away from even altruism. If negative people and events drag you down and prevent you from moving forward with your goals and your life, walk away. I learned this the hard way: by being walked away from.
Since then, I have learned to employ the same strategy in my life. When someone approaches me with a problem, I will always be inclined to listen and offer comfort and counsel. However, if that someone attempts to compete with me by comparing their life with mine or offers a problem for every single solution I give them, I walk away.
A recent change I personally made was cutting out political drama in my life. Doing so boosted my productivity levels and overall sanity. As a former journalist and someone who was very involved, this was a major change for me. Since the election of Donald Trump, I have cut my news consumption to 20 minutes a week in order to stay informed enough. However, as a 24 year old that is attempting to solidify a future, I refuse to allow myself to be dragged down by events I cannot control.
3) Attitude of gratitude
I pray every night before bed. I don’t ask for jack. Instead, I thank the universe for everything positive that it has provided me for that day. I thank the universe for every lesson I have learned and the opportunities I have had to grow from. I give thanks to the people I have in my life that make it great. Lastly, I give thanks to myself for all the progress, the good decisions I have made, and all that I will become.
It is also important to be grateful for and to live through the success of other people. Did someone else get that job or promotion you wanted? Did the love of your life just end up falling head over heels for someone else? Good. Feel happy for them. Granted, at first it will be completely disingenuous bullshakes*. However, continuously challenge yourself to feel genuinely happy for that other person and you will see massive positive change within your own life.
4) Fight Like Hell But Let Go Of Expectations
My wise friend Makan always told me, “Expectations breed resentment.”
Have the initiative to find what you desire. Have the courage to admit what you desire. Have the will to go after what you desire. Have the discipline to win what you desire. Have the patience to not destroy what you have worked for. Have the faith to give up what you cannot control. Have the selflessness to give up what is not meant for you. One way or another, you will gain reward.
5) Become What You Wish To Attract
If you are a judgmental person, you will surround yourself with judgmental people. Thereby you will expend copious amounts of energy worried about being judged even when judgment does not exist.
If you are egotistical person, you will surround yourself with egotistical people. You will spend massive of energy climbing meaningless ladders to maintain a pointless image.
If you are a lazy person, you will surround yourself with other lazy people. You will spend no energy going anywhere and you will waste your precious gifts.
If you want to something better for yourself, first love yourself for who you are, and then go to work on yourself for what you believe you deserve.
Ultimately, positivity is generated from the inside. Your work ethic, your character, your attitude, your personality, your service to others, and your capacity to love will determine the power of your positivity.