Positive thinking

Focus on what you want to happen

The expression positive thinking has been so abused and so worn out that a lot of people react very negatively to the expression. It has been used in such a way that it is easy to believe that it is about pretending and lying to ourselves, about how we should walk around constantly in a sunny state, happy and upbeat.

But we can look at the original meaning of the expression to get a clearer picture. The word positive means both positive as opposed to negative, but also certain and convinced. This is what positive thinking is all about. You think, you focus, on what you want to happen, whatever you desire. Not the worst that might happen. Positive thinking is not just lazily watching everything that’s going on, expecting everything to just work out fine.

Positive thinking is thinking about what you want and negative thinking is thinking about what you don't want. This is not a question of denying reality. Admit to yourself that there are problems and limits, but move rapidly on to the solutions and possibilities.

Poor protection against disappointment

The research of later years has shown that many people who suffer from depression do so specifically because they do not focus on the positive things in life. They concentrate instead on what is bad or what could possibly go wrong. This kind of negative thinking is intended to be protection from disappointment. A person who thinks negatively does not expect anything good, and so is not disappointed when the good doesn’t happen. But life isn’t much fun without the enthusiasm and energy that positive thinking brings.

You can change your attitude

If you want to automatically think positively you need to confront your negative thoughts. You need to become aware of in which situations the negative thoughts take over, how they sound, and which thoughts you would like to have instead. Changing your attitude and approach to life is not something that is going to happen overnight, it is like training your muscles. You will not notice the results immediately. But when you change your focus, thoughts and feelings even slightly, your reality will transform.

The past doesn’t matter

If you want to change your life it will not be enough to go around simply wishing for something else, even if this is a good start. You will have to act. Decide on specific strategies, step by step, for how to change your way of thinking, feeling, and acting every day for the rest of your life. The most important thing right now - when you are making plans to change your life - is to realize that you actually can change. The past doesn’t matter. The mistakes and wrong turns you made yesterday have nothing to do with what you can do today. It is from here on in that counts.

Use 90 % of your time on the solution

The way to recognize positive people is that they look for solutions and try to see roadblocks and problems as challenges and possibilities. What you need to concentrate on are all of the new possibilities and challenges, instead of all the old problems. A good rule of thumb is to spend a maximum of 10 percent of your time on the problem, and at least 90 % of your time on the solution.

Create your own reality

You can train yourself to think positively just as you can train yourself to do anything else. You think thousands of thoughts each day and if many of them are negative and without hope, this will affect your life and how your life will develop. You choose your thoughts and can choose at any given time whether you want to look at a situation negatively or positively. We all create our own reality through the interpretations we make of whatever is happening around us.