Positive Thinking Is Never A Substitute For Positive Action
For most of my life, one of the defining traits for me is that I’m positive. In most situations, I have a smile on my face and I have an overly optimistic view of the world and when facing problems.
Obviously, those views and opinions seep into my writing and I feel that now would be an appropriate time to set a few records straight about positivity and my own views on it.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that positivity has a pretty negative underbelly to it. Behind optimistic views and flowery words, positivity can be seen as a tool for manipulation, stasis, or can be outright cruel.
“Be positive” these days is the equivalent of saying “cheer up” to someone who is depressed. And we know now that depression is a deeper psychological state than sadness or negativity.
I’ve gone on record before to say that my version of the law of attraction is different as well. The traditional one suggests that “like attracts like” but that’s not always the case.
And positivity can be so manipulative that we may be escaping our own problems.
But as I said, the way that I think now and have been explaining myself over the years is that I am a positive thinker — with a touch of realism.
I understand that some people see my positive demeanour and immediately think I’m some poor sap of a “life coach” who spouts nothing but “be positive” and that the law of attraction will set you free.
I realize that one must be critical, and focused and have a deep understanding of what drives them in order to succeed. It’s seriously tough work.
Not to mention that positive thinking alone isn’t going to put a stop to natural occurrences out of our control. Positive thinking never stopped any wars that we’ve had or the series of financial crashes and natural disasters that have shaken the world over.
But that’s not a reason to give up entirely on positive thinking.
Positive thinking is certainly no miracle worker or some all-powerful being that’ll fix things immediately. But it does help.
The biggest help it can provide is it can lead to positive action.
When we experience a disaster, there are always countries and a number of people offering help however they can. And it’s in those situations where a little positivity from that situation can come a long way. Positive thinking will lead onlookers to lend a helping hand while the victims will show appreciation and work as best they can to reach out. The effort from those instances can stem from being hopeful or thinking positively.
And it’s this particular instance that I try to explain to other people. To understand my stance about positivity and why I’m positive.
In the end, I see positive thinking as a catalyst because I recognize that thinking positively about the world isn’t going to stop bad people or bad things from happening to me or to other people. But I can be certain that thinking positively can lead to calming someone down and thinking brightly about options.
And the best way I can leave an example of that is where I’m at right now with my life.
3 years ago, I moved out of my Halifax apartment to live back home with my parents. At the time, I was a complete mental mess despite my positive outlook. I had hardly any money and really the only option was to move back to my parent's place.
And right now, I’m starting to feel some of those emotions or worries once more. After living with my parents for 3 years, I’m finally moving out in September and with that comes a lot of financial concerns. Right now I’m not making a whole lot from Medium and my freelance work to adequately pay the bills. But at the same time, my positive thinking side is not putting me into a panic state but rather to consider a number of options.
It’s why I’ve started to work on my own outreach for writing clients and built a decent landing page in my opinion. This will move me away from Upwork which slashes my earnings a bit through the fees it charges.
It’s why instead of worrying about whether I’ll make rent or not, I focus on writing more on Medium, growing my audience, writing about what I feel and what I truly care about.
And a lot of these actions stem from the fact that I remind myself to put a smile on my face and despite all of the issues and worries I have, I know I’ll think of something to work around it.
And that’s what really matters and why I hold positive thinking in such high regard.