Being three working mothers, we cannot emphasize enough the concept of believing in being positive -- although it may sound cliché or overused, it has gotten us through so much. From dealing with life changing careers, to family financial struggles, having kids, loss, and more. We've been able to get through anything a little faster, smoother and with less ripples by staying on the side of optimism. We have to stay upbeat and positive to get things done.
Many times at the workplace, we're under pressure or dealing with tight deadlines, but we're expected to be professional and have a positive attitude. We can all agree that things at work don't always go smoothly, teammates do not always agree, clients or bosses are not always happy. But at the end of the day, we put it all behind, moving forward to the next alternative with a big smile and the belief that we are one step closer to a solution. This is the same attitude that we have learned to bring at home. Our premise is if you do it at work and it works for you successfully, then why not try it in your own personal life or vice versa.
So what does it really mean to be positive? Most dictionaries define 'positive' as follows:
1. Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation: a positive answer; positive criticism.
2. Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress.
Being positive is being able to realize that everything happens for a reason. Understanding that life or the encounters we're faced with will work out somehow in our favor and that one must move forward. There are so many philosophies out there telling us how to achieve our goals. Everything revolves around forward thinking thoughts and ultimately the main goal of these philosophies revolve around money making, and achieving our dreams.
Philosophies out there basically surround us with the catch of: if we stay positive and continue to "envision" our life differently, we will fulfill our wishes. We don't really buy that -- staying positive isn't going to make us wealthy, healthy or bring us good luck overnight. However, staying positive will make you more stable and secure; it will free you of self-doubt. It will free you of constantly questioning yourself on any decision you make and will get rid of that time wasted thinking "what if" or "why me." Being positive will lead you to a more fulfilling life because you'll just be able to get "over it" faster. You'll be able to take care of things to allow you to move past those hurdles in life. It really leads to a life of more assurance and confidence. Have you heard of the saying, seeing the glass half full as opposed to half empty?
In life, things happen. It is not always in our control and sometime naturally we experience sadness, loss, disappointment and failure. We're not saying that staying positive will allow you to avoid or ignore negative or difficult moments in life, but instead the objective is to learn from such experiences and not harp on them. Our reality is only the way we perceive it, so if you perceive you are going downhill from a divorce or a failed job opportunity, that's where you're going to find yourself. Rather, if you think of the divorce as a new window of change and the failed job opportunity as one step closer to 'the real opportunity' that awaits you, your recovery will be that much shorter and that much more healing.
If you are reminiscing or sharing a story to a friend, spouse or even a child, be sure to frame it in a positive light. Even when you talk about your day, talk about the good things that happened. Something good must happen every day. Find it; dwell on it; share it and most importantly learn from it! Research has shown that during these reminiscences, the brain actually experiences its original sensation of pleasure (Barbara Rowely, 2011).
Let's take an example from one of the major headlines in recent news: Kony 2012. This is a story that has been brought to our attention by a group of people who are determined to make a difference in the world. It's a very good example of people who demonstrate the power of positivity and make the impossible seem possible. They've put together a movement known as "Invisible Children" seeking to make a positive change as they shed light on ending the famine and war crimes in Uganda. For such an unfortunate travesty, they're using their positive energy to raise awareness through social networking to try to turn this situation around. They have a nice motto that can apply to anyone, "seeing is believing." Their approach has proven that it can go so far as to set a precedent for international justice. (To learn more about this story, here's a link.)
The power of positive energy is contagious. When one person sees it from a positive perspective, then it can actually influence others to do the same and even inspire us to contribute to society in some meaningful way. Positivity creates a constant cycle. Think of it as giving to some and others reciprocating it back to you. At any point of your life, always remember to hold your head high, look to the future and think positively.