Try being a pessimist for a couple of days—if you’re strong enough, maybe a week—and tell me how that goes. I’ve tried it before—not intentionally—and it probably ended up being the worst week in my life. It was a week where everything seemed to be falling apart, and my joy, energy, and strength went along with it. It was a week where I felt physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained, and I don’t look forward to a repeat of such a period in my life.
Why is it tough to pay attention to the good?
There are so many good things about life, which we often ignore. We hear people say that waking up alone is a blessing, and it is! It’s also a blessing to be able to see and hear the beautiful things around us—the trees, the grass, the sweet sounds of birds, crickets, and other animals, the presence of people everywhere we go, and if you’re like me, the music you hear being played at every street corner you turn. These are all great things that make our lives more exciting.
There are also many bad things about life. Dwelling on such things makes life disappointing, miserable, and unhealthy for our growth. And this is why we need to pay attention to the good. That’s not to say that do not acknowledge the negative things in your life. You need to understand and see that they do exist because you can learn lessons from them, which can make your future life a better and more peaceful one. However, focusing solely on these negative things takes you nowhere, but instead dampens your spirit, and snatches away your happiness.
Life may seem to many people as a tough journey of obstacles that we need to be able to overcome or risk being swallowed up in failure, but this is not enough. When we see life as a journey of possibilities, growth, courage, and purpose, we will not lose sight of the good things that happen in our lives. Let us remember that we are all here for a reason, and in finding out what that reason is, we should be open to learning something. I believe this can be achieved by focusing on the good, not the bad.
How can you intentionally focus on the good and not the bad?
Self-reflection and talking with the people you trust. Of course, I do not mean that these are the only ways, but I have tried and tested them, and can confidently share how helpful they have been in my life.
Being able to meditate on the good things in my life at any time of the day, is a wonderful feeling. It helps me to sort through the clutter in mind and draw meaning or lessons from the negative thoughts I have while identifying the good things. As someone who loves to put pen to paper whenever I have the chance, journaling is also a great way to clear my thoughts of all negativity. For you superwomen and men who don’t have the time to write lengthy “essays” in your journals, you should check out the art of micro journaling. It’s something that I’m increasingly leaning toward as my daily schedule continues to be packed with activities.
Sometimes, self-reflection is not enough, and that’s why being able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with a person you trust is helpful. Find that person who is a great listener and can also offer you good advice when you need it, and talk to him/her. My mom has been that awesome person for me since I was a child, and my sister and I have developed a great relationship where we can both share our problems and be inspired by each other. I have also made a few friends along the way with whom I can confidently share my thoughts and receive excellent advice as well.
Pessimism is indeed exhausting, and you can find ways to work around it. Choose positivity, maturity, and happiness, and watch things fall into place for you even if it takes them longer to do so.