It’s been said that “Positive thinking won’t let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking.”
There is an epidemic in our world today of depression, low self worth, negative thought life, and suicidal tendencies. From what I’ve experienced, these types of behaviors accompany people who think negatively about themselves, others, and situations. By all means, this does not mean bad things should be viewed through some flower-lined glasses. Instead, it’s important to analyze oneself. It’s important to sit and ponder whether we are in control or being controlled by the experiences, emotions, and thoughts of the day.
Often times, when I’m just feeling rotten, I’ll wonder why. I’ll wonder why I get short tempered and boil inside. I’ll wonder what is making me do that and I almost always come to the conclusion that I am in absolute control of my decision making. I can choose to act or react however I resolve to. The emotional, mental, and even sometimes physical responses we deal with as people happen so quickly we naturally want to accept them as inevitable. But, the opposite is true. The more you consider your decisions, the more you consider your actions, the more power you realize you have over them.
The next time you’re let down, frustrated, irritated, or simply fed up, consider this. Consider that you choose your reaction. You make the decision. You can lash out, withdraw, be silent, be enraged, cry, shout…you can do all sorts of things. Or, you could consider, think over, respond better, be gentler, give mercy or grace, be patient and kind…you can do all sorts of things. Lately, I’ve noticed an increased tendency of stubbing my toe on the kids toys and frankly any object around the house. I don’t know why, maybe I’m getting lazy, but regardless, if you’ve ever stubbed your toe hard, and I mean HARD, you know how easy it is to explode in pain. I’ve taken a different approach. I typically curl over, fall to the floor or nearby furniture, and make some form of animal noise resembling that of a sasquatch or grizzly bear. I let the growl roll gently until the pain subsides.
But you know what, I’ve seen the opposite, and I bet you have too. The husband who curses his wife because maybe she was the one who left the thing out. Or the father who blasts his kids because they were having too much fun and toys weren’t picked up. The soldier who blames his surroundings for learning all those nasty words, or the old man too lazy to change his habits. Listen, and listen well. You have the power to handle adversity. You have the ability to decide your action and reaction.
Being positive won’t make me a world-class surgeon, as the famous speaker Zig Ziglar once said, but it will help me be a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better son and citizen than negative thinking will. I’m quite sure it will do the same for you. So when those negative, low self worth, depressive, or angry thoughts and emotions fill your mind with crazy, and I mean crazy ideas, think positive. You are not those things and you don’t need to be those things. You are in control. So control yourself. The world will be much better if we all practice self-control and eliminate the pervasive negativity of our modern culture.