I have learned ways to help myself remain positive in this life, this world, which is so filled with trials and pain. In this article, I will share my secrets for smiling, laughing, and singing my way through the mud.
It is impossible to explain my life or how I got to where I am without sounding like I’m complaining. Life is hard; we’ve all struggled through parts of it, and with people who are a part of it. We’ve all undergone tribulations to test our strength and character, and many of us have failed and risen damaged. Every person you know and every person you will meet is facing some form of challenge – not one day goes by without something (which can be construed as) bad happening in some facet of life. Those who know me the best fully realize how bad my life has been, how hard other people have made it for me, why I loathe hypocrisy, and how much pain I subconsciously and consciously create for myself. I don’t allow anyone to feel bad for me because of it – I ensure that the only negative energy I instill in people is envy. Envy for how I continue on, keep smiling, keep singing, and rarely feel crushed by burden…anger…sorrow…fear…
Attitude and Perspective
In a previous article of mine, Create Your Own Reality by Grasping These Three Important Concepts, I make two highly relevant statements. “We are what we believe we are”, and “If you are happy inside, if you know you are where you want to be, if you know what you want out of life, and remain confident that you will attain it, you will.” Your reality is a reflection of what you have built in your mind – be happy, and your reality will become happy. Life and all we do are a matter of perspective; we can find the bad things in any circumstance if we look because they will be there. We will always see what we look for, and if your attitude has you looking for the negative aspect of any circumstance, you will find negativity. Always accentuate the positive and hold the silver lining close to your heart; the human psyche has a tendency to hold on to the pain we’ve witnessed and bore, we all have a tendency to put the negative in the open, for many reasons, and it is paramount that you fight this tendency. Be happy in attitude and perspective, and you may just find that the life you live is far better than some of those around you.
If you fail at something, you haven’t failed, you have only learned. You have learned the wrong way to do something, move forward, and don’t listen to anybody who tries to tell you that you are less of a person or less intelligent than them. Even the foremost specialists were beginners at one point; learn to learn, not to quit, and be happy with your mistakes.
“Our lives are just what we believe them to be. Perspective is the key. Some may say that clouds block the warmth of the sun, while, in reality, they allow us to painlessly observe the magnificence, beauty, and light of all life…”
– Nicholas Harding
Redundant Affirmation, Mantras, DBT
There is a practice of therapy which is used widely these days for multiple reasons, primarily helping those with hardships in a social environment and depression, referred to as dialectic behavior therapy. The premise of the theory behind this is regarding attitude and perspective to some extent but is reinforced by verbal statements and self-empowering thoughts. When you face a challenge and are unsure of yourself, say to yourself “I am strong enough to overcome this”, “I am smart enough to figure this out”, “If I fail I’ve lost nothing but time, and time I have in abundance”. If you feel yourself being weighed down by your responsibilities and occurrences which have happened recently, find yourself in a circumstance that you don’t want to be in and you’re beginning to get pissed off, remind yourself: “This is but one time. This is one night, one segment of life.” You won’t even remember this moment in two months, so why not find a way to enjoy it?
The real power in redundant affirmation is in a trick I have always used. This is the one which I think has benefitted me the most through my life, a trick my mother taught me when life was very hard as a child. Each night, before bed, we all lay there and think for some period of time. Some of us think about the next day, the next month, some of us think about dinosaurs and spaceships, and some of us think about that awesome movie we saw earlier. Others of us, most of us, can’t seem to get that nagging out of our heads for at least a few minutes, “what if I didn’t…what if she had…I can’t believe I said that…Oh, man…” DON’T DO THIS!
Instead, when you lay in bed, each night, and I mean EVERY night, there is one thing you SHOULD do (religious practice aside). Find the good in every single occurrence throughout that entire day. Start in the morning and look for things to be glad about, no matter how small and trivial. The cat knocked over the breadbox and it broke…well good, that thing was cluttering up the kitchen counter anyway. I saw that beautiful eagle on my way to work, flying majestically overhead. The coffee pot was already set up because I had the foresight and energy the night prior. She smiled at me. Literally every nonsensical thing that happened, and force yourself to think through the entire day – you will come up with at least 20, easily, every night, which will surprise you.
Over time, you will notice that you pick out the positive things as they occur throughout the day, and you will begin easily finding 30 or 40 things every night before you go to bed. You will learn to see life as good. And you will learn to subconsciously attain a proactive approach to using your energy toward making your tomorrow a better day.
We all have our trials. I work 80-hour weeks as an automation engineer and manager, write these articles, and make sure to ALWAYS help any person who asks for it, friend or not, gratitude or not. I have been emotionally abused and cheated on. I allow myself to be used. But, life is good, and many I have met cannot say the same, so I choose to be happy.
Have you made the same choice? Will you, now?