10 February 2011

Sometimes it’s easy for me to start thinking about negative things–-things that other people have done, things that have happened to me, stuff that’s going on in my life that’s hard to deal with.  And when I do start thinking of those negative things, I realize that my mood goes sour very quickly.  It’s like some sort of faucet has been turned on that’s filling my mind with all sorts of poison, making me feel worse and causing me to see the dark sides of virtually everything around me.  I see other people’s motivation as very negative, and I see myself as a victim, and I sometimes even see that other people are planning and plotting against me, even though no such plots or plans exist.

It’s all due to my choice to continue focusing on the negative.  I don’t have to do so, and in fact I’ve spent tons of time creating a website full of positive thoughts and ideas that I can use to focus on when my mind does start going negative.  When I make the choice to shift my thoughts to the positive and uplifting, then it always happens that I start feeling better, that I start seeing the brighter sides of things, that I start to be able to be more encouraging and helpful to other people.

I realize now that much of the depression and many of the negative times that I went through were caused by my own decision to continue to focus on the negative.  Rather than take the time and make the effort to pull myself out of down times, it was easier for me to accept them and pity myself because of them.  But I don’t do that any more–-nowadays I catch myself as soon as I can, and I choose to shift my thinking to positive things in my life.  With practice I’ve come to realize that there are tons of positive things in my life.  Yes, there are some negatives, but when I choose not to give them power, I choose to improve my life and the way that I’m living.

Just as it is with most things in life, my tendency to focus on negative things was a result of decisions on my part, decisions that certainly never helped me to become happier as a human being.  Now I make the choice to see the positive sides of life, and that decision, made over and over again, helps me much to become happier and to live my life more fully.

There are an infinite number of things you could spend your time thinking about,
but many of us concentrate great attention on those things that we find most upsetting.
Don’t ignore what bothers you, but don’t focus on it to the exclusion of the things you enjoy.

David Niven

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