Finding The Magical Key To A Positive Attitude
Have you been there? Depressed and without hope? The dream that life advertised reduced to a sham… a bluff… a lie? I have. The hall of doom and gloom that my mind had become was devoid of positive expectation. The ache of loneliness and despair infused my whole being, and I had given up. Life was so unfair!
Then, out of the blue, the astonishing words from a stranger:
“Whatever you have in your life today, only one person is responsible: YOU. Take a look at your thoughts!”
My mind reeled at this unwarranted accusation. What a crazy notion. I was in no way responsible for the mess my life had become – quite the opposite, in fact. I was a victim. The stranger’s words stung. I decided to “take a look at my thoughts” and, being desperate, I did this meticulously. This mental scrutiny revealed a crowd of pathetic, no-hope thoughts – each one pitiable and armed with an excellent reason to moan, cry, complain and give up. My thoughts were losers, filled with self-pity, fear and regrets. It was obvious that I needed to make some serious mental improvements.
Although I did not believe that my thinking would change my deplorable situation, I decided to give it a go. My game plan was simple: identify thought types and place them in two categories: positive or negative. I knew I must figure out the precise essence and make-up of a wholesome, beneficial thought. I decided that thoughts that were ingredients of the flawless epitome, love, would be classified as positive thoughts. Thoughts with a total absence of love would be negative, and their entry to my mind must be prohibited. I mentally colored in the two groups, giving the color pink to the positives and grey to the negatives.
The quality sorting now organized, I began my mental diet of thinking pink. At first the greys resisted my plan stubbornly, insisting that their excellent reason to be heard must be taken seriously: “Poor me. It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this. It’s not my fault.” But nothing less than full-on war had been declared in my mind, and I fought tirelessly to get and keep the greys out: “No! Your color is grey. You do not contain ingredients of love. Former buddy, I don’t want to hear your sob story. Keep out!”
Persistent negative thoughts returned again and again; there were times when I thought I might lose the battle as their fight to take over again continued. They arrived with such admirable reasons to be considered. “This is really not acceptable. Shame, you poor thing!”
But I’d heard that the mind can entertain only one thought at a time, and during these pushy attacks, I would resort to singing or reading out loud. The strategy worked. After being snubbed, disregarded or rudely ignored, the grey thought would eventually fade into oblivion. “Pinks only” was my new thinking predilection, and this meant a thorough analysis of each thought as it arrived at the door of my mind. Pink or grey? The mental drive to change my thinking and change my life was in full swing. Within weeks, the analytical work on the inside revealed an astounding transformation on the outside. The former dejected woman, with no desire even to get out of bed in the morning, began waking up with energy and optimism.
I felt like a new person, happy and grateful just to be alive.
The air smelled fresher. The sky seemed bluer. A smile lingered in my eyes and the future now held that all-important quality: hope.
“The negative circumstances in my life were still there, but my thoughts about them had completely turned around. I was glowing from the inside out! I was amazed. We can change everything. We don’t need to struggle under that way-too-heavy burden. We have the tools to renovate our lives. Filled with enthusiasm and eager to share the simple and powerful incentive, I wrote How to Win When Life Is Unfair. It soon became a winning publication and is now in its 11th print. I have no doubt that those who implement the easy “thinking formula” will weave new joy into their lives. Then suddenly, at the door of my mind, a question presented itself. Why had I learned nothing about my thoughts at school? All those years on the little wooden benches and not one word about the role my thoughts would play in my life. Why? Was learning about thoughts not possible for young people?
This sent me on a fresh course of research. At what age are children able to understand and discipline their thought selections? I was astounded to find that “thinking patterns” are formatted by the age of just seven. By then the neural foundation, groundwork for all future thought choices as we deal with life’s up and downs, has already been established.
Could a form of thought education that would install positive brain circuitry be taught by this age?
The resulting benefits would be huge, as there would be no need for intervention later on. Many destructive behavioural problems active among children, such as bullying and lack of empathy, would surely be averted. So, was there a way to teach children thinking skills?
Could they grasp the magical key to sustaining a positive attitude throughout life?
Back to the drawing board! The result, Let’s Take a Peek at Our Thoughts, is a groundbreaking publication now included in the syllabus of many schools. It provides tools for parents and educators to teach children how to lay a positive mental foundation. It would appear that negatives do have some good in them. They inspire us to change. Click here to find out how becoming an optimist can change your health and longevity for the better.
Read this article by Harvard Health on the importance of a positive attitude.
By Larné Neuland