I am constantly striving to see the positive in every aspect of my life. To me, it seems that positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture in every circumstance. This broadened point of view allows the optimist to identify solutions and be thankful for everything given to them. Being positive all the time is not always easy, though. My life — and all our lives — is filled with challenges that make being positive very difficult sometimes. However, looking back at all the hard lessons I have had thrown at me and the success they have eventually brought me, I know that being positive has made even the most challenging situations easier to bear.
I find myself veering towards a positive attitude and I believe that is because, over the years, I have trained myself to be a positive person. Being positive is not a natural tendency for most humans, and it definitely was not a habit of mine a few years ago, but there are certain things I now do and believe with make being optimistic so much easier.
One of the first steps I took to becoming a more positive person was ridding my life of negative people. I took a step back and looked at those around me; some were so consistently negative that they brought me down within minutes of association. I wanted to surround myself with people who encouraged my happiness, not who questioned why I should even consider being happy. I did not need their negative influences. So I distanced myself and gradually weened their influences out of my lifestyle.
The second step I took was a big one: I chose to believe that having a positive attitude was actually a choice. At one time in my life I blamed my negativity on all kinds of outside forces, whether they were friends, experiences, stresses, fate, etc. It took a lot of time to realize that when I found myself in a bad situation, I could choose to be positive. I could choose to find the one good aspect and cling to it. When I was able to get my nails into this way of thinking, I found that I no longer had to point fingers or place blame. I am in control of my attitude and outlook on life; I am able to make the decision of whether I am happy or not.
When this revelation came upon me, I also realized I had reached the third tier of a positive lifestyle. I began to be able to see the good in every person and every situation. In most cases, this good was not obvious. Isn’t it easy to accept a book by its front cover? I mean, why read the pages when the front states exactly what the book is about? But that’s not how literature works, and neither do people. Sometimes a person or a situation has to have a deep look before the good can be determined, but that does not mean the good is not there. If you really take the time to look, you will (usually) find something good and genuinely positive about every person or situation.
It is important to remember that everything — good and bad — is a learning experience. My biggest example is a break up. The break up itself sucked. It caused unimaginable negative emotions and feelings towards myself, X, and any person who had ever been associated with our relationship. However, when I was finally emotionally sober enough to take a trembling step back and assess the situation, I found the positive influences the break up brought to my life. Never had I experienced such hurt in my life, but I had also never fought so hard to remain strong and overcome such pain. Never had I yearned so much to hate a human being, but I found that I was incapable of such feelings and was proud of that inability. Never had I realized there were so many people in my life who cared and loved me. I practiced being positive, and I began to reinforce that kind of thinking and behavior in myself so it would stick. And it has stuck…
Being positive helps me see the good in life. I see the opportunity in every difficulty, and I am able to counter the effects of stress in my life by being thankful for the solutions to my problems, rather than focusing on the problems themselves. It has become much easier for me to tell myself that I’m awesome, that I did a great job on some project, that I look good. I am no longer the critical, condescending mess I was a few years ago. I’m proud of who I have become: a person who looks for the good in everything, who doesn’t focus on the negative, and who is able to share that positive thinking with others through small gestures of kindness.