Recently i’ve been trying to look at everything in a positive way and so far, its working quite nicely. Obviously there are some things which are certainly harder to look at positively, and others that just will never be a good thing, but simply trying is one step further away from being a grumpy pessimist.
So what was it that made me want to think more positively? bluntly put, i had been depressed. For quite a long time at that. After spending a few years of thinking everything and everyone is against you in some way, one may consider it impossible to see the world in a good light again. Trust me, its not. In fact, it allows you to appreciate it in a way you would not even be able to imagine if you hadn’t gone through a rough spot. A theologian named Irenaeus, for example, believed that we had to experience suffering as a form of ‘soul making’ in order to better ourselves and ultimately bring us closer to God. As i am not a believer in God (at least not in a traditional manner), I don’t see this soul making concept in regards to god, but there is certainly something to say about it to describe how suffering can bring the best out in us.
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What happened after coming through that rough spot? For me, I found i had learnt alot from suffering; perhaps the biggest thing being that i have something to compare good experiences to. I also rediscovered what was really important to me, and in this way i would actually say that being depressed was important in finding a positive way of thought. This comes straight back to Irenaeus and his soul making; it looks like his idea may have had some truth in it. Because of the apparent truth in Irenaeus’ words, I can say that I believe suffering to be a fundamental part of positive thinking. It may seem odd that the complete opposite of what good is, also is a fundamental part of good itself, but consider that without evil, good cannot exist. So in order to become a positive thinker, you must acknowledge the importance of suffering and evil.
Now back to thinking positively. Heres a few points that i think are important in positive thinking:
1. Acknowledge that not everything is good, as it can’t be good without something bad to contrast it.
2. Anything that you consider bad, think about whether or not something good could come from it. For example, many may consider a volcanic eruption a cause of suffering and damage, but it also creates incredibly fertile land able to support life.
3. Realise your goals and go for them. nothing is more positive than success. You will probably suffer while trying to reach the goals, but in the end that suffering was a fundamental part of reaching it.
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment 🙂