When I wrote my 2017 wrap up post, i was surprised at the number of comments made regarding my positive outlook on the past year. This was funny to me, because I am not really a positive person- I’m actually rather cynical about life. But the comments got me thinking, and maybe my innate cynicism actually makes me more positive.
Ok- here me out. I go through my days, and my life assuming that nothing will go right. One of my favorite phrases is ___________ sucks. Fill in any word- parenting, life, husbands…..I have known to say that something sucks at least once a day. I always see every bad scenario/possibility. I prepare for the worst. I was the Mom at the playground with the huge diaper bag- band aids, extra clothes- everything. I prepare for the worst in everything. When you prepare for the worst, maybe you’re setting yourself up to succeed.
Huh? You say. What am I talking about?
If you go into something knowing what the pitfalls are, you have planned for them, and they don’t seem so daunting if they occur. And when nothing bad happens, well, you’re totally elated. If I make a plan, and all parts of the plan go through seamlessly, I am thrilled. See, if you are the type of person that think that everything will always go right, when something doesn’t, you’re floored. You have trouble recouping. And when something does go right, you’re not excessively happy- because that was your expectation.
I rarely have trouble recouping because I always expect the worst to happen. I am Thrilled when something goes right. What a concept.
But also, as far as being positive- I do try to find the positive in any situation. Here’s my thought- it takes the same amount of energy to be positive as it does to be negative. Seriously- think about it. If it takes the same amount of energy, why wouldn’t I try to think about the good things? Why would I dwell on the bad? When I was thinking about the highs and lows of the past year, I couldn’t really remember any lows- I only remembered the good things. I’m not an ostrich- I know bad things happened- but I chose to accept them, change the things I could, and not constantly rehash. I tried to make bad things a learning experience and I adapted my behavior accordingly. If something went wrong, what was bad? What could I have done better? Sometimes, things are out of my control. I accept that as much of a control freak as I am, I know that I can’t be in charge of everything. Everything will not go my way. If you really don’t like something, don’t complain. Complaining is passive. Actively try to figure out how to make something better. Take action. Complaining doesn’t fix things.
So there are my thoughts on positive vs negative. Being positive is a lot more fun. And being positive doesn’t mean you’re shallow- it just means you’ve chosen to look at the bright side as much as possible, you’ve made an active choice to look for the good. For example- I had the chills last night- I really wasn’t feeling well, which carried into this morning with a headache, and I wasn’t able to write early, which is when i like to write. My schedule is a bit askew. But, I just rested a bit, tool a Tylenol, and now I’m just trying to get as much done as possible. It’s not what I wanted to do, but I adjusted and adapted, and I’ll get on with it. Positively get on with it.