Joined: 19 Feb 2005 Posts: 141 Location: South Africa
Positive Thoughts, Positive Feelings
Thoughts cause feelings, and the wrong kinds of thoughts can cause
We can look at the same event different ways. One is in the optimistic way
and the other is pessimistically. It is the age old debate of whether to
look at the glass as half full or as half empty.
It helps if you can learn to look at the good things in life rather than
the ugly. For example, if you got into a car accident and totaled your car,
you can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or angry for losing the car.
These are all self-defeating. On the other hand, you can thank god that you
were not killed or, worse yet, maimed in the car accidents. When you look
at life's events like that you will have something to smile at every event
and that is the power of positive living.
Robert Schuller, the author of "Tough times never last. Tough people do!"
gives the following guidelines in looking at problems in the proper
1. Every Living Human Being Has Problems.
Perhaps you are unhappy with your work. Isn't it good that you have a
job rather than being unemployed? Many people have the mistaken
notion that successful people do not have any problems. It is not
true. Success tends to breed its own set of problems.
Everyone has problems. A problem-free life is an illusion - a mirage
in the desert. Accept the fact that everyone has problems. This will
help you to move on with your life rather than sitting and feeling
pity for yourself.
2. Every Problem Has A Limited Life Span
Every mountain has a peak and every valley has a low point.
Similarly, life has its ups and downs. No one is up all the time or
down all the time. Problems do get resolved in the long term. They
don't last forever. History teaches that every problem has a limited
life span. Your problems will not live forever; but you will! Storms
are followed by sunshine. Winter is followed by spring. Your problems
will get resolved given enough time.
3. Every Problem Holds Positive Possibilities
There are two sides to every coin. What may be a problem for one
could be interesting opportunity to someone else. Hospitals are there
because people get sick; garages are there because cars do break
down; lawyers are there because people get in trouble with the law
occasionally. Every cloud has a silver lining.
4. Every Problem Will Change You
When we meet problems head on in life, they leave their indelible
mark on us. The experience could make you better or worse. It is up
to you. What is certain is that problems never leave us the same way
they found us. We will change.
For example, let us say that you lost your job. You can sit and feel
sorry for yourself. Or you can be aggressive and decide to do
something about it. You are better than them. You want to show them
what a mistake they did in firing you. You have to be fired before
you can be fired up. That may be wake-up call you needed before
embarking on a successful mission. Again, for every problem, there is
a positive and negative side. Look for the positive side and work on
5. You Can Choose What Your Problem Will Do To You
You may not be able to control the problems, but you certainly can
control your reaction or response to the problem. You can turn your
pain into profanity or into poetry. The choice is up to you. You can
control the reaction even if you cannot control the problem. You
control the effect of the problem by controlling the reaction. It can
make you tough or tender. It can make you better or bitter. It all
depends on you.
6. There Is A Negative And A Positive Reaction To Every Problem
Tough people, according to Schuller, have learned to choose the most
positive reaction in managing problems. The key is that they manage their
problems. Remember, we have little control on problems, we have control on
how we react and manage the problem. Positive people chose to react
positively to their predicaments.
Do you automatically interpret silence on the part of your spouse to mean
anger when it could just as easily mean fatigue? Do you blame yourself when
a sudden downpour drenches your wash on the line? Do you dwell on the few
times your boss criticized your performance and ignore the innumerable
times s/he's praised you?
We all fall into the negative thinking rut from time to time. We badger
ourselves with "should haves" and lose sight of the fact that "good" and
"bad" in life is rarely black and white.
All-or-nothing thinking can lead to anxiety, depression, feelings of
inferiority, perfectionism and anger. We are our worst enemies. We tend to
put a higher standard for us compared to others. We tend to criticize
ourselves for our miscues rather than being happy for the accomplishments.
Allow yourself to fail now and then. It's all part of being human.