Positive versus Negative Thinking – Does negativity pay off?


I wrote in the first article of this series that: People who do not concentrate on the positive things in life have less fun that people who do! And I am sticking by that, although the definition of fun is open for interpretation and discussion. The thing is we don’t do anything in life unless there is a pay-off – unless we are getting something out of it. And what does someone get out of negative thinking you may ask. Well for the life of me I have no idea! J Well that’s not strictly true I have an idea, but it doesn’t make sense to me. My wife would say I was born positive and that’s probably true, but aren’t we all?

Getting back to the pay-off for people who have a negative disposition, I suppose it may be easier. If you have no positive expectations then when things go wrong you are not disappointed. You have no need to worry about them going wrong, because you already know that they will and then of course they don’t just go a little wrong, they go badly wrong. And there’s the gloating aspect; a negative person is always ready and willing to say; “I told you so”.  A negative person doesn’t have to smile or be friendly to the neighbor or the petrol pump attendant or his kids or even his cat. He always “knows” that the economy is bad, the news is bad and even the weather is always either too hot or too cold. And of course why not be negative because you have lots of reason to be. – I’ll not get started on those. You see it does make life a lot simpler and there is lots of “pay-off”!

The problem largely comes down to a topic I touch on in my book “Freeing your Mind” and that is . A negative person will search out and focus on all things negative and a positive person will search out on all things positive. Either way it gets to be a habit. One just needs to realize the bad habit that you are in and change it. Getting rid of bad habits is another subject for a future post, but the mainstay of what will be in that post is that one can’t forever TRY and stop a bad habit, the only way to actually stop a bad habit is to STOP! I have experienced that in most cases when someone is trying to cease to do something and can’t succeed, it is because the person has sub-consciously no intention of stopping, it’s only a conscious thought or decision, but as I said a subject for another post.

In the mean time I re-iterate that consistently selecting, focusing on, thinking and speaking out negatively can be just a habitual train of thought that you have unwittingly fallen into. So you say; “well I don’t do it all the time”, but the point is that even a small amount is detrimental to you. We need in fact to eliminate every bit of negativism in any and every area of our lives. It will take time and effort but ultimately it is a lot more fun and produces far better results. A glass that is half full seems to get fuller or refilled, whereas a half empty glass just gets emptier. Viewing life and the world through rose-coloured glasses is far more fun than doing it through doom and gloomy ones. One tends to become much more optimistic and much more adventurous when you always think you can instead of “knowing” you can’t.

We need to recognize and understand that negativism is poisonous to us and to those around us and we need to desist immediately and fourth-with. As stated there is a form of pay-off and it’s not a beneficial one, it’s not going to get you anywhere – not anywhere worth going anyway. So make a decision today to stop it, do what it takes to change the habit. Start looking out for any and all negative trains of thought or speech patterns. When I am personally changing things like this, I will stop mid-sentence when starting to utter something I shouldn’t. That serves three purposes; it stops negative stuff coming out of my mouth and it re-enforces the decision to stop, i.e. if I can’t finish sentences I need to learn to stop starting them. Thirdly it is also a message to others that I am stopping and they become my accountability partners.

So yes every cloud does have a silver lining and life is a bowl of cherries – let’s always be on the look-out for them. Let’s always look out for all the positive things in life and have more fun!

I leave you today with this quote: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” – Mary Engelbreit


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