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Untapped power we ALL have

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Gratitude, positive thinking are practices that have been distorted in the minds of many. For those who have made it a fundamental part of living, however, they recognize the power and the juice these foci have to offer.

Let's first get clear on what positive thinking is and is not. Positive thinking is not conjuring up some utopia. Personally, I think castles in the clouds have lousy foundations. It is not a "pump up" of all the things I wish I was, and trying to manifest some state that is apart from reality. Positive thinking is the honest recognition and appreciation of what is good in you and around you. It is an accurate inventory of what is beautiful, exciting, joyful, pure, praiseworthy, and admirable in your life right now. The problem is so often our attention is pulled away from these things to our fears and worries.

Now don't get me wrong. You need to attend to the problems in your life. Find what's wrong and get after it by all means. It also doesn't mean that you won't grieve or become sad at times. Of course, you will. Take the moments and grieve the losses. (We can talk about the process of grieving at another time.) It does not serve you, however, or your goals to dwell long term in this head space. The outcome of lingering in our problems is anxiety, overwhelm, and depression.

So why am I referring to positive thinking as untapped power. Well, because it often is! Noticing what is good and taking the time to savor and appreciate goodness fills our hearts with joy. So many of our life's pursuits we believe will make us happy. You can stop looking to the horizon as someday, someway you will be happy, and start being happy right now, right where you are. Truly!

Positive thinking adds to our resiliency, our ability to bounce back from hardship. When we are focused on what is troubling or negative the next time a problem comes around we are much more likely to get floored, feeling defeated, and depressed. A negative mindset promotes a weakened state, and hardships become the "last straw that broke the camel's back." Conversely, when we maintain a positive mindset we have emotional equity to draw from the next time something goes awry. We were already feeling good, enjoying what is good in our lives so hardship is now something we have the energy to handle. Along with the energy to fight there is also purpose. In a negative headspace the surrender becomes so much more inviting. What else is new but another bad thing. In a positive mentality, however, we are more connected to what we are fighting for and surrendering what is good for a challenging moment in time is not worth it. No, you cannot take my joy!

So I encourage you to savor every day what is good. Notice and appreciate the moments, the connections, the achievements, and the inspirations everyday, and take stock of all you already have. Sit in the emotion of gratitude and enjoy.

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