Postive thinking in real life

Talking about positive attitude is motivating and uplifting but is it really that easy to implement this in real life on a day to day basis. When you have to go to work with a boss that hates you, have to deal with the death of a parent or find that your partner of 20 years is cheating on you, how do you find that bit of optimism to get you through the day?

What is positive thinking

The first thing to understand about positive thinking is that it is not a magic pill. You can’t just take it and change the way you feel about something. Positive thinking needs to be cultivated, developed and nurtured like a plant or a baby. It is not a quick fix to any problem.

Examine the words “Positive thinking” or “Positive attitude”. Look closely and you realise that the key word that identifies what has to change is the second one. It is the thinking and the attitude that have to change. It is not a thought but the thinking. It is not an action but the attitude that has to change. Positive is the state that they have to change into. At first it might sound simple to understand and work with. I assure you that it is neither simple nor easy.

Your brain has been working and you have been learning since the day you were born. Who you are today is the sum total of your experiences and things that you have learnt. Your behaviour is representative of your value system and your past experiences. You cannot unlearn any of that. They are your experiences for life. But you can learn a new way of looking at those experiences. Revisit each experience from a different viewpoint and look for new lessons to take away.

How to change

Change is often made up of four components:

  1. Decision. This often comes down to a moment of change when you decide that you are not happy with the way things are and something has got to change. It might take years of deliberation to get here but it will come down to a moment in the end.
  2. Willpower to enforce the decision.
  3. A vehicle for change. You might find a new set of friends to hang out with or an activity to get involved with that will help you change your thinking. Yoga is one such activity.
  4. Elapsed period of time over which the change will take effect. It will start with something small and will transform your life.

In that list, the most important factor is the willpower that will see through the implementation of the decision. To get up again after you have had a knock or two is hard work. It requires courage and perseverance, and is not for the weak or faint hearted. Which is why, the willpower is more important than the decision itself.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Caramdir

Changing Direction

Imagine that you are on a bike and want to make a U turn. How long will it take? Now imagine that you in an 18 wheel truck. How long will it take you to make a U turn this time? Not quite the same – is it? And if you have been driving in the wrong direction then you are further away from your destination than you think. Not only do you need to make a U turn but also drive back to get on the right road.

And so it is with change to positive thinking. The decision can come suddenly but the change comes much slower. The effects might take days, weeks or months to filter through. After all, you have to compensate for the negative thinking you have been working with all these years.

Keeping at it

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

- Winston Churchill

Once you change your thinking then everything changes; the way you look at the world, life, problems in life, people and so on. You might even notice the neighbour who smiled at you for years but caught in your negative energy, you never noticed him/her. Problems do not change but the way you look at them does. The glass is still half empty but your positive thinking lets you see that it is also half full.

There will be setbacks no doubt. When you have happy days, remember them and store them in your memory. For there will be days when you cannot find anything positive to think about. It is those days that you will need to recall the happy memories. And just like the good days, the bad days too shall pass.

Benefits of Positive Thinking

Positive thought carries many benefits like:

  • Less stress
  • More energy
  • Peace of mind
  • Better health
  • Less fear
  • More fulfilling life


Negative energy is that snowball that can start rolling down the hill gathering momentum and mass. Its direction is down and its end is always destructive. Positive energy on the other hand is that water that rises from the ground to form clouds and bring rain to the plants to help them to grow.

You have a choice to live a conscious life, to be awake and be happy. To see the glass half full. What will it be?

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