What It Means To BE Positive by Steve Rizzo

The word “positive” seems to frustrate a lot of people. I hear people say, “How do you expect me to be positive when nothing in my life is working?” Or, “It’s easy for you to be positive and feel blessed. You didn’t lose someone you love or you didn’t lose your job.”

Maybe we should consider a more realistic interpretation of what it means to be positive. Being positive isn’t always a Disney movie. I have learned that being positive isn’t always about feeling good. Oddly, it’s healthy to feel bad sometimes. It means you’re not a robot. And being positive doesn’t mean we never make mistakes. True positivism knows that we learn from our mistakes and allows us to move forward with optimism that we are better people for having made them, richer, deeper and more resilient than before. Being positive doesn’t mean that we are always smiling and enjoying every moment of our lives. Give me a break! It’s realizing that sometimes it’s okay to cry, mourn, and feel sad. It’s not about being in control of your emotions. Hey, it’s okay to sometimes get angry and lose your temper. Don’t worry; your positivity license won’t be revoked.

People who are generally positive have problems just like everyone else. What separates the chronically positive from everyone else is that they know that their problems won’t last for ever and are simply part of the process of life. Positive people are the ultimate shift-heads. That is to say, they find a way to shift their perspective and hold on to the things that bring them joy. This is a quality that keeps them from feeling victimized. Pain is unavoidable, but to a person with a positive attitude, that’s all it is: pain that is not uncompounded by doubt and comparisons to past experience.

Positive people instinctively know that adversity is necessary in order to grow. We are here on Earth to experience, learn, grow and become the person we are meant to be. I can’t stress enough that the filter through which we view our experiences, ultimately determines who we become. How we choose to experience what happens to us, be it good or bad, will determine what we learn. What we learn determines how we grow, and this continued growth is what shapes who and what we become. If we can comprehend this, it will help free us from feeling victimized when times are tough, and just maybe help us to compare a challenging situation to a pop quiz in Life:101, rather than, say, the apocalypse.

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