There is a saying from Stoic ancient philosophy, “There is no good or bad, there is only perception. ” I feel that this statement can be accurate when describing different outlooks. Life happens all around us and despite our convictions, it does not stop or slow down. So how do we preserve our character? –we change our perspective. It is our choice whether to look at life positively or negatively and once we choose, that is what we seek.
In high school, I was a predictable moody teenager; yet depression and anxiety became an ever-growing setback. Unfortunately, depression runs in my family so that gloominess stuck around me for quite a few years. It was hard to shake off but there was a succession of days and weeks where my outlook slowly started to transform. I began to reflect being negative and despondent was absolutely exhausting and pointless. Picking out the bad only brought upon more negative because I was searching for it –I was familiar with it. Our minds are endlessly fluctuating by means of our environment, the people around us, and most of all, our attitude. Human beings are an amazing species because we alone can change our viewpoint on the world. We can choose whether to be ignorant, informed, optimistic, or pessimistic. We can decide to look at things in a certain hue –once this occurs, we start to seek out this color in everything we experience.
Being positive definitely does not mean that you are happy and carefree one-hundred percent of the time. Having a positive outlook means that you are able to look for the good in everything that you see and experience –it means that you perceive things differently. In every day that passes, you prefer to explore the good even when depraved things occur. Like attracts like. Those that inflict pain and hurt in others are only breaking themselves apart. You cannot expect good things to come into your life if you do not first create good and positive feelings in yourself and in those around you.
Being positive leaves you with more of an open mind and you tend to make clearer choices. You are able to let go of the strong emotions that are connected to certain situations and can view it objectively. You see a path cut out for you and can perceive your future fearlessly. Your anxieties and nagging fears stray away because you know that everything has a purpose. Your self-esteem and confidence are ignited. You feel as if you can do anything -you are limitless. You find that there is no point to regret or be depressed about what has already been. Being anxious about the future is useless. When you are living in the moment, you are truly at peace. Of course you can have bad moods and feel melancholy at times, but the difference is that you know that this passes.
Do you continually have problems with that unpleasant voice in your head? –stop and tell yourself something positive. For every negative thought passing through:
“You’re fat,” “Why would you do that!?” “You’re not good enough”;
tell yourself something positive that you love:
“Being fit doesn’t happen overnight -I’m working on it,” “I can’t change what already happened so I’m moving on and I can only go up from here,” “I will always be great and enough! I am ME and there is no one in the world exactly like me”
This is a lifestyle change and an improvement that I myself strive to work on daily. You have to make an effort to retain positivity. Instead of saying “I have to,” to something that’s not favorable (I.e. chores, homework, work, etc.), start saying to yourself “I get to,” and it will slowly change the way you think about it. Remember, not everyone has the life that you do so be grateful for yourself.
Being positive shouldn’t be looked at as a chore –it’s a standard of living and it gets easier to acclimate yourself so that it comes as second nature. It becomes simpler to let go of things that do not better you. This makes you realize your goals and how to pursue them and gives you the ability to let go of your fears regarding them. You become more accepting of criticism because you know that you can always do better.
Some people have approached me telling me that because of my bubbly and optimistic outlook on life, I am therefore naïve and have “obviously not had hardship in my life.” Quite ignorantly said and furthest from the truth. Every one of us goes through our own journey –we should never compare ourselves in regards to our path in life –there is NO COMPARISON. It is absolutely silly to assess because we are all so different and we are meant to learn various lessons. The reason that I am this way is because I’ve embraced who I truly am. I look for the good in life because I believe that that is what I am meant to search for. When you are going through hardship, it is easier to accept when you look at all of the beauty around you. Sometimes not everyone can see or be aware of it so they need someone to point it out to them. And, yes, of course there is death and suffering in the world, but as with everything, there is balance. Once you get through the tough times, you become so much more grateful for the good in your life.