Positivity By Force

💬 Highlights:

  • Positivity is a learned skill, but it has become my new default.
  • It takes a lot of energy to be positive.
  • Often tools are required to be optimistic in situations not ideal.

Part of my pursuit of removing pretentiousness and bloat from my own writing. Sometimes simple messages are best told simply.

“Positivity By Force”

Volume 2, Number 3

I am an optimist, but I was not born one. I am positive by default, but it is a learned skill. I do it because I feel it increases the quality of life of myself and those around me. The funny thing about positivity — it doesn’t come as easily as negativity. Like how it takes more effort to smile than to frown, it seems reasonable to set my default state of being to within a standard deviation of neutral. The day determines if I fall to the left or right of that baseline — a slight push towards negative or positive is determined by the weather, the daily commute, or the current level of caffeine consumption. That type of life does not work for me, however. I want to be more than the sum of my reactions.

To push my default state of being further to the right, into the black where I’m positive the majority of the time, takes effort. Effort, actually, isn’t specific enough — to be positive by default takes power, energy, maybe even force. How each person perceived as positive accomplishes their paradigm (try saying that three times fast) is likely different, but most do not simply wake up that way. I hear many people say they want to become more positive, which I think is great, but it doesn’t come attached with a plan. Like with any goal-oriented task in life, tools are required to bring about progress.

When I write, I use tools like music, books, reading others’s posts, sunlight, and most importantly caffeine to break past the blank page and into the realm of limitless ideas. In the same way, I use tools to be positive. I think about who I love, and what I like. And I think about the ways I can make this world a little better in some small way. Amazingly, powering through the cobwebs with the positive thoughts, while still being cognizant of the things dragging people towards negativity, makes the world not seem so bad anymore. I also tend to do this sooner in the day, rather than later, as it helps me cope with the inevitable frustrations of people in day-to-day life.

Oh, and caffeine helps too.

As always, I would love to know how you keep positive in the comments below. Let’s chat about a situation in which being an optimist has helped you get through tough times, or how you would like to see yourself become more positive to influence the world for the better.


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Published by

Matthew // Normal Happenings

Gump-based Blogger. Graphic Designer. Happily Married. One day I'll actually complete a book I'm happy with. I love pizza, video games, and using way too many ellipses...

One thought on “Positivity By Force

  1. As you stated, being an optimist can be hard. It’s easy to get frustrated, and takes effort to find the silver lining. But I’ve also leaned towards optimism throughout my life. My biggest tools are my Christian faith (which I suppose would only help someone of the same beliefs), and my belief that people are worth treating well. It’s the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s very hard sometimes, and I certainly fall short of that standard in some situations where my patience is pushed beyond its limit, but I just try to remember that everyone is a human being. Everyone lives their own life and has their own unique perspective. Everyone sees the world differently. If I treated everyone poorly who clashed with my ideals, then I’d have nobody in my life. And that’s not how we are supposed to live.

    So I suppose the answer to how I stay optimistic is this: I believe that it makes the world a better place. Maybe not for me in every instance, but for those people who are having a rough time that you know nothing about. For the people who think everything is worthless and might find some spark of hope in my positivity. I do it for others, and also for my own sanity 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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