Where we choose to focus is where our lives will lead

You have probably heard something similar in one of the many positive thinking circles all abuzz throughout the ether. Possibly you watched the Secret and got all stoked on life, imagining that as long as you think about fat stacks of cash, then one day you’ll wake up and find it on the kitchen counter. The problem is, that’s a bullshit fantasy. No amount of positive thinking will bring millions of dollars into your life. The only thing that will cause your desires to manifest in your life is focus, determination, and an insane amount of hard work.

Sure, positivity is incredibly important. Positivity helps you feel more comfortable taking risks, and will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor by not focusing on whatever downside it has (and there’s usually some downside.) A positive mindset has been proven to reduce the severity and length of illnesses, including serious diseases such as cancer.

I firmly believe that to stay positive, it is vital to be critical of outside voices of doubt. That is to say, when people have no faith in you, take it with a grain of salt. The truth is, negative people tend to be using better reasoning and logic skills than positive minded dreamers. There is usually some level of honesty and truth when people, even loved ones, are saying you can’t achieve something. People who are positive are bigger risk takers, and taking more risks equals more chance of failure. The thing is, without failure, we can’t gain the knowledge needed to grow and eventually succeed. So hear what doubters say, take it into account, but never take it to heart.

You have to take some time to determine what your goals are, understand the level of work it will take to achieve them, and weigh whether or not the sacrifices involved are worth the reward. Everything in life is risk and reward, and the trick is honestly measuring them before making decisions.

Positivity is so fucking important for achievement, but I want to draw a clear line of distinction between positivity and being realistic, and what they mean to each other. Blind positivity will not have you prepared for the difficulties you will face. Being realistic acknowledges that you will face obstacles, high levels of stress, and strained relationships. That doesn’t mean it has to sink your morale. You can be realistic and still remain positive in the face of hardship. When you learn lessons in failure, or remain stoic when a relationship shits the bed because your ambition was more important to your personal fulfillment, then you are remaining positive. Being broken by challenges is what happens when you allow negative thinking to rule the mind. Perseverance is a trait of the successful.

You need to analyze your goals and determine whether you are willing to take the risks involved, and the emotional toll those risks may have. Your work ethic needs to mirror your ambition, and if one is out of sync with the other, you need to head back to the drawing board to reevaluate. There’s nothing wrong with that. Get real with yourself.

I tend to ramble when I write, so forgive me if the train goes off the tracks from time to time. Anyway, I went on a rant on Facebook the other day about this subject in relation to my career and business, and I got super real with people about how I feel. I appreciate anyone who has read this far, and anyone who takes the 9 minutes to watch the video below. The fact that you care means the world to me. Or don’t watch it. Either or. No skin off my teeth.