Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Why should I think positively?

"What is all this nonsense about a positive attitude?  Why should I think positively?  If I think positive, and then the worst case happens, I will feel even worse than if I had just accepted everything would go wrong in the first place!"

Does this have a familiar ring?  I hope not to be honest, but I realize there are many people out there who feel exactly this way.  The "glass half empty" people.

Even if this is not your normal way of thinking you are probably tempted to sink into this feeling from time to time.  Especially when you seem to be going through one crisis after another.  At times like this you are probably tempted to thump the first person who tries to cheer you up with positive thinking stories!  Fortunately I am not close to hand, so if you are feeling this way now I am safe!

There are, of course, some very good reasons indeed why you must think positively.

The first reason I want to give is that if you think positively you are far more likely to find the right answer to whatever problem may confront you.  You will be telling your subconscious mind that you know there is an answer and it will therefore start looking for that answer.  The reality is that there always is an answer, even if you cannot see it at the time.  But your subconscious mind is a supercomputer and if you program it to find the answer then that is exactly what it will do.  In fact, for the more technically minded among you I would argue that your subconscious mind is not just a supercomputer, but a quantum computer.  To check out what I mean by this you will have to wait for a future blog!

The opposite is the case if you think negatively.  You will be telling your internal computer that there is no answer.  As an entirely logical computer, it will not bother trying to find an answer it has been told does not exist.

If you have the choice of programming a computer to find an answer to your problem or simply allowing the problem to remain, which choice are you going to take?

The second reason I want to give is that like attracts like.  This is a natural law of nature.  If you have a positive attitude you will attract around you others with a positive attitude.  Remember the first reason?  That positive thinking will help you find the right answer?  But what if not only your own internal computer is looking for that answer, but also the internal computers of a crowd of people around you?  How much more likely does that make it that you will find the right answer?

The universe rewards positive thinking and penalizes negative thinking.  Do you want a reward or a penalty?  Isn't the answer obvious?

But let us now assume everything I have said so far is complete rubbish.  Is there still a good reason for thinking positively?  When you think positively you will be happy, but when you think negatively you will be sad.  Which would you prefer to be - happy or sad?  I know which I prefer!

The Sikh mystic who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the United States, Yogi Bhajan, said "If you are happy, happiness will come to you because happiness wants to go where happiness is".  How true this is!

Finally, I want to address the very valid point about what happens if the worst comes to the worst despite your positive thinking.  How can you deal with this?

I do agree that sometimes this can happen, no matter how positive you may be.  I happen to believe that in such cases this is because God, the Universe, or whatever you may choose to call the universal hidden power of good, has something even better in store for us in the future.  We just cannot see it yet.  So even in those moments of catastrophe we can be happy, knowing that it is all for the best and that there is something really great just around the corner.

It is also possible, and even advisable, to prepare for this eventuality before it occurs.  This is something I learned many years ago from the master of personal development, Dale Carnegie, in his wonderful book "How to stop worrying and start living", and I have never had to worry about what might go wrong ever since.  You can sum it up as "expect the best but prepare for the worst".  Think about the worst possible outcome to whatever problem you are facing.  Imagine it has happened (but don't focus on this too deeply, as you are not trying to attract that eventuality!).  Just how bad is it?  Is it the worst possible thing that could ever possibly happen?  Are there people in the world suffering any worse than this.  By thinking this way you will be starting to put it into perspective.  Now think about some of the adjustments you can make in your life in order to cope with the new situation.  Realize that once you deal with the situation properly it will not be as bad as you probably initially thought.  Accept the situation and be prepared to move on from it.  Now stop there.  Do not spend any more time on this negative outcome.  You are ready for the worst if it should happen, but you do not expect it to happen.  What you expect is a good outcome.  Focus on that.

If you prepare properly in this way you will not "feel even worse than if you had just accepted everything would go wrong in the first place", as in a sense you have accepted that possibility anyway.  You do not expect it and do not focus on it (thereby causing it to happen), but you are able to accept it.

So the next time you are tempted to think negatively remember everything I have said here.  In fact, read this article through several times right now.  Internalize it.  Let it become an integral part of your thinking.  You will most certainly find, if you do this, your life from now on will be happier and more productive!

If you want to get a copy of Dale Carnegie's book, you can find it here:

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