Staying Positive in a Negative World

We live in a world full of many negative and bad things. Sometimes I am sure that you think that there can not be anything good happening! The media loves bad news! It reports on wars, crime, famine, recession, disease and disasters all the time. Such news they say sells. Yes there are many bad things happening and yes many of them will affect us at times.

What happens though when these things become all consuming? Many people today are depressed, they drink and overeat to drown their misery which adds to their woes. What can we do to stay positive and get more out of life? For entrepreneurs it is vital to stay positive. How can you make your business grow and succeed if you are always worried about the next problem around the corner?

What is Real Positive Thinking?

Many books have been written about ‘positive thinking’ the best known probably is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. A lot of these books and the gurus that follow them and teach others positive thinking will tell you that if you think positively you can do anything. Some cancer sufferers have been told that by positive thinking they can be cured and if they are not cured then it is virtually their own fault!

Firstly let me be realistic about ‘positive thinking.’ Positive thinking will not give you some power to do what is not possible. This reminds me of the story of the man who said that positive thinking would allow him to jump off the top of a 30 storey building and land without getting hurt. As he fell and passed a window on the fifteenth floor he was heard to say, “So far so good!”

How do we define real positive thinking? It is a realistic view of the world. There are many good things, many good people, many kind acts. When faced with problems there are usually solutions or methods to cope with them. A positive view helps a person to overcome or go around obstacles. To get to the other side of a mountain you do not need to go over it! You may walk or possible sail around it. There is often another way. With positive thinking a problem is just a challenge. It will require a strategy and maybe help from someone to solve it or help you live with it. My grandmother you used to say that there is no such word as ‘can’t’. I can’t do that or I can;t do this? How do you know unless you try? Now a real positive thinker will know that there are some things you can’t do. At my age I will not win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 metres! This does not mean though that I can’t run and enjoy it! Be positive about what you can do and be prepared to try new things to see what your talents will allow you to do.

Being Positive in Business

The great thing about business is that you do not have to be able to do everything yourself. You can outsource work, get a business partner or employ someone. No such word as can’t! You can because you can get someone else to do the things you can’t do or do not have time to learn how to do them.

You need to look at every problem as a challenge. How can this be solved? Or how can you work around it? Use experts that can help if the problem is bigger than you can handle or you lack the knowledge to deal with it.

Learn to be realistic so that when you have a fantastic business you check it out before plunging into it. The positive thinking gurus will tell you that if you are positive any business idea will work. Rubbish! When many people tell you that your idea won’t work they may possibly be right. But ask the right people. Potential customers are your best option! Try and look at things in an objective way and do market research before risking your hard earned and cash and wasting time on projects that will not make you any money. However keep in mind that if what you are proposing is brand new it will meet resistance from investors, banks and others but if genuine market research (not your mum!) shows that there is sufficient demand then go for it!

Avoid Negativity

Whilst you need to be a realist, one thing that the positive thinking guru will encourage is to avoid being too connected with negative thinkers. That is probably good advice. Limit your time with the doom-mongers of this world. You know the ones. It’s too hot, then it’s too cold, and they are happiest when they are miserable! Most news channels on the TV show the same depressing news over and over again. By all means keep up to date but why watch or listen to the same story time after time? Read a good book instead or find something to do that will not only benefit you but will help others too.

Enjoy your life!

Take a pride and pleasure in what you do. Success is not to be measured against someone else’s wealth. There are many miserable millionaires in this world and money does not buy happiness. Surveys show that those most satisfied with their lives are  people that work for little or nothing in the way of money as they spend their time helping others not as fortunate as themselves. In business there is a great deal of satisfaction from helping your customers to solve their problems or simply make them happy. Build your business around customer satisfaction. That satisfaction will reflect in your enjoyment of your work and will give a you a positive feeling that no amount of positive thinking without such results will ever give.

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13 thoughts on “Staying Positive in a Negative World

  1. Great post. I couldn’t agree more. To many people here the words think positive and the world will be given to you on a silver platter. Positive thinking is a vital tool, but it is only a tool and you still need to know how to use it properly to get the right results.

  2. I try positive thinking these days, after experiencing a particularly difficult financial 2009, and now having to scrape through 2010. Positive thinking for me personally is focused around my novel being published, maybe not this year, but hopefully in the near future. I’ve always been an optimistic person, having a disabled daughter has taught me that.

    Best wishes, CJ xx

  3. Good articel Roland.

    I read the Power of Positive Thinking in the early 80’s. It helped ME, reshape my thinking and therefore my emotions and lifestyle.

    As a matter of fact I saw it in my bookshelf today when I was getting something else out for a quick scan.

    I don’t like being near cynics. When it comes to progress they are deadlier than a cobra…much of what comes out of their mouths is venom from the fangs of disspointment in life.

    I love being around folk who have had to go through some things in life and are perhaps bruised but still genuinely smiling and positive.
    Their strength is almost always focussed on and drawn from living for a purpose or cause. So I agree with you wholeheartly hang with right folk and your head stays right!! LOL.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I enjoy hearing you, in them.

  4. I have to remember that having a bad day and maybe being negative is ok and that I cannot let it control me and last over days. I have been out of a job for 3 years and struggling to look for one. Applying for jobs I don’t really want, but I have to stay positive that it is a job and that I have to take and and might learn to like it. One day at a time. I can’t get sucked in to negative thoughts too long. I keep telling myself over and over “I WILL find a job. I WILL get a job”. Trying to stay positive.

  5. This article is great. You can still positive in the negative world depending on the choices you make. You can define yourself better than the world defines you. Your past cannot determine your future; but the choice you make now will go a long way.

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