You have probably heard of the “Power of Positive Thinking” (incidentally also the title of an excellent book by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale). Some realize how true and beneficial positive thinking is, and put it into practice; others believe it to be true, but don’t actually utilize it; or if they do, only infrequently, whilst still others don’t believe it to be true or merely see fit to ignore it. Others at the extreme end of the spectrum castigate it and call it an unrealistic approach to life.
Positive thinking is fundamentally wonderfully powerful. There are far too many examples of vast numbers of people’s personal experiences, achievements, improvements, so-called ‘miracles’, resulting from such positivity, for it not to be taken seriously and accepted and used as a solid foundation for your life.
What would you prefer to be: happy or unhappy? ; content or disgruntled, depressed?; calm and relaxed or apprehensive, anxious, tense, ‘stressed’? ; attractive — and attracting — or unattractive — and non-attracting?; healthy or unhealthy? ; optimistic or pessimistic? ; lively or lethargic? ; enthusiastic or disinterested?
I am sure that virtually without exception, everyone would give the same positive answers. But many people do not realize that they themselves control these emotions and conditions. Consciously or unconsciously you largely create these circumstances for yourself. You have the incredible power to dictate and control your life to a far greater extent than you may realize.
Ultimately, you decide for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. It is not ‘outside’, external circumstances or influences that cause you to be happy or unhappy, but rather how you react — or better, respond — to these circumstances. The very same incident can cause one person to be happy, and another to be unhappy. It is an individual’s own choice and decision. Happiness and unhappiness are states of mind. Who do you think controls your mind?
Whatever your current circumstances may be, it is vital to know that you can change them, for the better or worse, through the use of your own mind. From a technical or scientific point of view, it is not necessary to understand precisely how the mind works. It is necessary though, if you desire to be happier, that you know you are capable of causing happiness to manifest through the power of your mind, through positive, optimistic and constructive thinking.
We spend many hours working to earn money for necessities, comforts and luxuries in our own lives and others’, or for whatever purpose. And yet, we often allocate so little, if any, time to improving ourselves, to ‘positivising’ our attitude and state of mind, so that the quality of our lives is automatically and habitually improved.
‘Positive Being’ is a description of what you are when you consistently strive to internalise and practice the power of positive thinking. It is in your hands. Or mind rather.
Often when I am in a coffee shop and look around, I see individuals poring over newspapers. Engrossed. And mostly with not very happy expressions on their faces. They will quite often be commenting to others around them, including me unasked, about this or that terrible happening. Whether it’s the war or violence or murder or rape or…. But the theme is virtually always some disaster of whatever degree.
Seldom do I see or hear people commenting about any snippet of good news. Why is this I wonder? Some will say to me, yes but you have to keep up with the news you know. As if it were possible to be aware of everything that is going on on the planet. And elsewhere. And why the focus on all that is bad or negative?
I don’t necessarily have answers, but I do have a solution for myself at least. I am of the opinion that, because others are so concerned about the news, I will likely be kept up to date anyway of anything I urgently need to know. It is said that that is escaping reality. I disagree. I am very aware of the negative aspects and occurrences in the world, but I consciously choose to focus on that which is bright and positive in the world, also a reality. I am certainly happier for this approach. And surely we would wish to be happier? The negative circumstances may continue irrespective of my or others’ reactions or responses to them. And indeed, the possibility of having a positive influence is more likely with a positive attitude than negative.
And the news is mostly third party anyway – someone else’s perception of what is being reported. And of course it may be true – or not.
And so: I would rather to a certain extent create my own news where and when possible. I shall focus mostly on the good and beautiful around me. There is after all plenty of that – if only we just desire and intend to see it. And add to it where I am able.
Although the topic of energy can be somewhat philosophical in approach, in the context of this brief discussion it is a very tangible concept.
Similar to the feeling we experience when we are in a powerful car or boat or airplane, so also can we feel the presence of energy in circumstances. environments, things and people — individually and collectively.
Energy is both creative and destructive, as we witness in peace movements and war-machines respectively. As human beings we are able to consciously harness and utilise energy in its multitudinous forms for good or bad, both for ourselves and others.
We would do well to be very aware of these energies in our life circumstances. Being thus aware, we can quite dramatically affect and influence our lives — beneficially or detrimentally. The choice and decision then rests with us; do we allow negative energies to continue to reduce our happiness and effectiveness or do we take necessary steps to improve the situation?
On a personal level: we tend to attract the ‘level’ of energy that we give out. When we intentionally feed and nurture our energy ‘garden’ with wholesome input, we are likely to receive positive energy feedback in return. On the other hand, when we experience negative energy from any source we can take steps to minimise and eliminate its destructive impact. As with so many areas in our lives, the choice is then ours to make.
We really do know when we feel resonance and consonance — or dissonance and disharmony. Yet so often do we just continue with things as they are; possibly until it becomes unbearable and we are literally forced to take action. How much better to initiate palliative action early on. It then requires less energy.
I am a Personal Development Consultant, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.