Screw Positive and be Real!
You have heard and read them all: “Think Positive!”, “Abandon your negative thoughts if you want to be happy!”, “Positive thoughts will produce good energy around you”, …
It seems like the world is trying to suffocate us in positivity these days but with all this positive thinking around why are will still so miserable and in fact why are startling amounts of people becoming more and more upset, unhappy and depressed these days?
Surely it cannot be? Feeling a little depressed already? Think positive, happy thoughts instead!
Really? You are asking right now. How should I possibly think positive with all this misery and depression around me and furthermore how can I sustain positive thinking if my boss is pestering me all day and I am getting all of these bad vibes from my co-workers. How am I supposed to be positive and happy when there is so much month left at the end of my money?
The guru just says: “Never mind your environment, just think positive and the changes will come”.
I believe that the encouragement to “THINK” positive is making matters actually worse. It is making matters worse because you are trying to achieve the impossible. You are trying to control your thoughts and tell your mind to only think a certain kind of thought. Have you ever tried to sustain this for more than 30 seconds? I dare you to consciously try. Not at home when you are sitting on your cushy pink-positive-thinking-mindfulness-meditation pillow. I dare you to try this in the real world surrounded by other people, traffic, machinery, crying babies on the outside and all your rallying other thoughts on the inside. See how long you will last?
You might have figured out by now that you are not reading another piece encouraging you to think more positive thoughts. Besides the already mentioned fact that it is not possible to control your mind to only think those thoughts I also believe that it is unhealthy to even try. I believe that trying to control too much in your life is a dangerous attempt in itself but we will leave that for another day.
For now I want to focus on being or becoming REAL instead of positive. Our world is flooded with ideals that we try to follow. The perfect body, the perfect education, job, partner, home, car, vacation, adventure, the perfect profile picture, the biggest amount of likes, shares, comments and of course — the perfect thoughts and what are perfect thoughts? Positive of course.
Just like I encourage everybody to become real about their external lives as a whole which includes a real body, job, partner, home, etc… I also encourage people to acknowledge real thoughts and thus become more real as a being.
Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind!
You matter to yourself so you won’t mind. Good. What about offending anybody by being real? Are you worried about that? Good — so be it. It is a real thought. Do not try to push it away or replace it with a positive one. Try to stay with it for a while and explore it. After a while you will come to notice that most of the predicted offence is only in your head and not actually “out-there” so there is no massive harm in being real. When you observe yourself even further you will notice that you are only offending yourself by having these thoughts and thus realize that you have a choice between hanging on to it or dropping it but whatever choice you are making, it will be one coming from reality rather than the attempt to be a certain way.
This is just one simple example and I am sure you will run into many other situations like the one described above and that is fine too. As long as you move your focus from trying to be a certain way to observing the way you are everything will eventually resolve itself and will do so for good because you let it. And if you are really stuck one day just remember the famous Sufi Quote
“This too shall pass”.
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About the Author:
Friedrich is a mentor and coach. He works with individuals and groups as well as companies looking to start new things, grow existing ventures or transition from one focus area to another. His principles are summarized in the StartGrowShift approach. Key to his clients’ success is to learn that integrity is paramount in any undertaking, inner success is always preceding outer success and that real success reaches far beyond the material.