Is it possible to stay positive in a negative world? Can one maintain a good attitude when things don’t as one wants them to go?
The answer is, “Yes.” Doing so may not always be easy, but it is possible.
In order to stay positive, it helps for one to deal with the eternal and the internal in ways that aren’t defeating.
Let’s start with the external.
The expression “Garbage in, garbage out” is applicable here. What one takes in is going to influence how one responds to life.
For example, if all that one reads and hears is negative news, then one is more likely to have a negative view of life in general.
If, in contrast, one feeds one’s self with positive stories and messages, then one is more likely to have a brighter outlook.
People fair better when they learn that someone has righted wrongs and relieved suffering.
Now for the internal.
One’s attitude is shaped by the source of one’s self-validation. The wrong source will cause one to experience all sorts of anguish.
Eventually, reality will intrude, and one will look foolish at best.
For example, one common source of self-validation is one’s socioeconomic status.
“My self-worth comes from my popularity.”
“My self-worth comes from me being in the public spotlight.”
“My self-worth comes from my occupational/financial/academic/political success.”
“My self-worth comes through my marriage/spouse/children.”
Seeking self-validation through socioeconomic status can lead a person to create a façade, and maintaining the façade comes with all sorts of stress.
Ask yourself this question: Whom do you have to please or impress in order to have a positive self-validation?
If you are trying to please or impress people you don’t have to, then you will make it more difficult for you to maintain a positive attitude when circumstances work against you.
Even if one isn’t trying to please or impress the wrong people, one can still err by pursuing certain things with the belief that those things will provide one’s self with joyful living. A lack of those things can result on one having a negative attitude.
“If I had __________, then I would be happy.”
Happiness is based on external things that can be taken away.
Joy is based on internal things that can’t be taken away.
If one wants to stay positive in a negative world, then it is far better to have joy than temporal happiness.
Blogger’s Note: The original version of my above post was edited by Scalia to remove content deemed not permissible.