One of the most important facts I have learned is that negativity is like a virus, and once it gets into your system it can be very difficult to get out. Statistics prove this, studies have shown that for every single piece of negative news or negative thoughts that enter our heads we require five pieces of good news or thoughts to counter it.
That means if you start your day with a negative thought, immediately five positive thoughts or pieces of good news are needed to counteract it.
Considering this if you have for example say five negative thoughts over a day then you will need twenty-five positive thoughts to counteract them, if you have ten negative thoughts then you will need fifty to counteract them.
This is why once you start down a path of negativity it is very difficult to escape because the amount of positivity that is needed to cure that negativity fast becomes out of reach.
And considering that we are by nature inclined to seek out the negatives, the reason being historically it was important for our survival to do so, it’s not difficult to see how a person can become consumed by negativity.
This is why the key factor to know if you wish to live a positive life is that plain and simply positivity is a way of thinking, and in the beginning it is a difficult way of thinking. That means you have to work to be positive because being positive is not only difficult because we are frequently surrounded by negativity, but because it is not as much in our nature as being negative is.
That means it is more natural to be negative than it is to be positive, crazy, but true. But knowing this gives us the opportunity to change that fact, and make being positive our natural behaviour. The question is how to do this?
I believe that there are three key traits that any person who wants to be positive needs, firstly an ability to identify external causes of negativity and limit or remove that negativity, secondly the ability to find the positives in everything, and thirdly a willingness to actively work towards filling your life with as much positive energy as possible.
But before getting to those traits, as ever with the Equations Of Life Series, I start with an equation:
Learn to identify external causes of negativity + learn to cut out that negativity + learn to find the positives in everything + learn to add as much positivity to your life as possible = a positive mind
Trait one – identifying external causes of negativity and where possible removing them
Negativity can exist in so many places it is crazy, it can exist in our thought patterns, it can exist in what we read, it can exist in what we watch, what we see, it can exist in the people around us, come from the people around us, literally it can exist and come from anywhere and everywhere. This is why one of the key traits a positive thinker has, is the ability to identify sources of negativity. The question is how to do this?
In my view the best way to go about doing this is simply to continually check your thought patterns, for example, let’s say you have read something, has reading that something brought about negative thoughts or positive ones? If negative ones then you have found a source of negative energy and you need to work out whether it is likely to be a recurring source of negative energy, and if it is you need to stop reading whatever it is you’re reading so that it can’t be.
Another example, let’s say you’ve had a conversation with a person, could be anyone, has that conversation brought about negative thoughts or positive ones? If negative, and this negativity is a repeated occurrence through conversations with this person, you need to stop having such conversations with this person so that future negativity can be avoided.
One final example, let’s say you are frequently visited by your family, is them visiting bringing about positive energy or negative energy? If negative again you need to do something about this, understand why this negativity is occurring, and try to limit the negativity or if needs be cut it.
Note: I would never suggest cutting family from your life but if something they are doing is causing you upset, and they love you, inevitably they would want to do something about it. And if they don’t, even if they are blood they are not family. Perhaps a brutal truth, but a truth all the same.
All in all, being constantly vigilant and searching for all the sources of negativity in your life, and working to remove or limit that negativity, is integral for any person who wishes to live a positive existence.
Or rather, any person who spends their life embracing positive energy and limiting negative energy is likely to live a happy existence.
Trait two – finding the positives in everything
It is impossible to avoid all forms of negativity, sometimes we just have to accept that bad things happen and we have to deal with them. But the way we deal with those bad things that happen to us, the way we respond, will define whether we live a positive existence or a negative one. That is to say, we can either focus on the negatives or learn to try to find the positives.
And positives exist in everything, you just have to train yourself to look for them and focus upon them. For example, let’s say the world is ending, the positive is the fact that you get to witness the world end. Let’s say the sun has exploded, the positive is the fact that you get to witness the explosion of a sun first hand.
Perhaps a little out there examples, but the point is positives exist everywhere, and the majority of the time it is simply better to focus on them, for example, let’s say that your partner has cheated on you, it may seem impossible to find any positives in this, but there is one, and that is the fact that you know that your partner has cheated, and so can make an informed decision about what you want to do about it.
Another example, let’s say that your relationship has ended, the positive is that you get to meet somebody new. And I could go on with the examples, for example, let’s say that you’ve injured both your hands like me, the positive is you never have to wash the dishes and nobody can shout at you for not doing so. Then there is death, let’s say somebody you love has died, the positive is that they did not have to witness you die. That will provide seldom respite for the pain you will be feeling but it is a positive. And I literally could go on and on, but I’m not going to.
The point is what you focus on will define your state of mind, and a positive state of mind is a productive state of mind while a negative one is a destructive one. Any person who is embracing a destructive state of mind will only serve to destroy themselves, whereas any person embracing a positive state of mind will do the opposite, they will be constantly building themselves up.
I’ll repeat it one more time, there is a positive in everything, that positive may not outweigh the negative, but it exists and if you want to live a happy life, more so than ever with the way the modern world is, you must train yourself to find those positives. And you do that by looking for them everywhere and in everything.
Trait three – filling your life with positive energy
Learning to cut out negativity and learning to find the positives in any situation are massively important traits for a positive person. But it is no good cutting out as much negativity as possible and learning to find the positives in anything if you are not also trying to fill your life with as many things that you love doing as possible.
The fact is it is no good removing things from your life and leaving an empty void, what you have to do is remove the negativity and replace it with positivity. That means removing from your life things that don’t bring you joy and replacing them with things that do.
So if close friendships bring you joy, and you do not have many or even one, then you must begin actively seeking out close friendships until your life is filled with meaningful close friendships.
If a relationship is what will bring you joy, and you are not in one then you must begin actively seeking one, or if you are already in one but it is an unhappy one then you must either work on fixing the one you are in or begin actively seeking out a new relationship i.e. leave the unhappy one and starting to look for a new one.
If holidays are what bring you joy, and you’re not having them, then work to go on holidays even if only short ones, and if you can’t even manage short ones find ways to have days out to interesting places which you can afford to go to. After all, wherever there is a will there is always a way.
If having sex makes you happy, and you are not having much if any sex, then actively work to fill your life with as much sex as you can. And hell, if you really really love sex and would be happy making a career out of it, start making porn. The hell with what society thinks, you do you.
And it doesn’t even have to be big things, if singing in the shower brings you joy, and you are not singing in the shower, then sing in the shower. If you love photography, buy a camera and start taking pictures, or if you can’t afford one use your phone. If you love writing, start writing. If you love filmmaking, start making films. If you love acting, join a local theatre. It is all possible so long as you make an active decision to make it possible. But you have to make the decision.
And let me be clear here, you don’t have to be good at what it is you love doing, all you have to do is do it. You could be the worst photographer in the world but if you enjoy taking those pictures then keep taking those pictures. You could be the worst filmmaker in the world, the worst writer in the world, the worst singer in the world, the worst actor in the world. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you do what brings you joy.
And a rather interesting fact for you, nobody is good at anything until they start doing it. Meaning the more you do something and the more you love doing that something the better over time you will get at doing it. Even singing in the shower.
All in all, the key to a positive life is accepting that being positive is a way of thinking, and because it’s an unnatural way of thinking you have to work hard at it until it becomes natural.
And yes that means being happy is in the beginning hard work, but the harder you work at something the easier it gets and the better you get at it. And if you’re going to work hard at something, what better thing to work towards than being happy!
That’s all from me for today, stay safe and be positive!