If you are a positive thinker, what does this mean, exactly? Does being positive suggest you will only entertain positive ideas? How can you possibly do this? Some folks attempt, unsuccessfully, to do so. The main reason for their difficulty in keeping a so-called positive prognosis is clear.
Actions to take to practice balanced, healthy, positive thinking
Each day, an infinite number of problems happen, and those issues demand answers. But to find answers, you must take into account the problems, which seems to bring up a battle in people whose purpose is to be completely positive. After all, you can not know about the need for a remedy unless you are also aware of the issue. So unless you’re avoiding all issues of any sort, you will realistically have to consider problems quite often.
If it’s common sense that to get a solution you need to check at the issue, then where did the notion come from that you should just observe the positive? It’s worth exploring how this mindset — that anything is possible if you are confident enough — became both an advantage and a liability which affects prospective positive thinkers everywhere.
This can-do soul, when used appropriately, is connected to the confidence that allows you move forward, regardless of all apparent limitations. This can be a superb asset, at least as it provides you the power to move forward amidst seemingly challenging conditions. Such positive attitudes have helped creative thinkers attempt bold jobs that had never been tried before, and have afforded excellent inventions, new styles of artwork, new companies, and inventions of all types.
It’s a shame that this bright side of positive thinking has gotten so tempting to so many people — they don’t observe the constraints that often surface when you are exclusively seeing only the good aspects of everything.
It’s sobering to take into account the shadow side of this can-do soul. Consider the case of a company like Enron that refused to consider problems that their whistle-blowers were warning about. This can-do soul, when coupled with self-delusion, place the company in serious trouble, as they were so filled with their own positive hot air that they believed themselves beyond the need to obey the warnings. Instead, they tried to escape in their own positive cloud of arrogant illusory assumptions about reality.
Take care not to fall into denial
The openness to deny issues is strongly expressed in the popular Johnny Mercer lyrics of the Harold Arlen song, Accentuate The Positive. It was composed after Johnny Mercer attended a sermon by Father Divine, who concentrated on the notion of removing the negative in your thinking, and focusing on the positive rather. In the context of a sermon, such notions can be useful and inspiring.
You visit a sermon to be raised up, motivated, and provided hope to manage the upcoming week. And to people who have been mired in the dark cloud of their own negativity, that message was probably ideal for helping blow off those heavy clouds off. Sermons have a practical function, and they also have their limits when their emotionally charged enthusiasm is substituted for clear thinking.
Suppose that you do become completely positive? Once you become motivated enough to escape your dark cloud, what happens when you change to only letting yourself believe happy and optimistic thoughts? There’s a severe limitation with attempting to cover over issues with exclusively positive ideas. The happy talk makes you feel better for a minute, but it will not fix your issues — they are still there. Unless you start taking a look at the situation and analyzing possible solutions, nothing will change.
When you consider the lyrics of this Accentuate The Positive song, the impulse towards Denial is made plain, since you’re urged to get rid of the negative. Now that sounds, at first, to be a proposal to prevent hopelessness. And maybe that is exactly what the song is supposed to imply. If the song were indicating you could learn to be positive enough to consider creative solutions to your issues, this could be useful.
Unfortunately, you can take the lyrics another way — as a proposal to avoid mentioning or considering problems. Many men and women take the significance in just this manner. Notice that immediately following the proposal which you accentuate the positive, you’re advised to get rid of the negative. Well, how are you going to interpret that suggestion? Ideally, you’d eliminate the propensity to give up — you’d rise above impossible attitudes. Properly understood, you’d change your negative habit of thinking, and begin searching for reasonable solutions for your own situation.
However, a lot of men and women take this line of this song, about removing the negative, as a proposal to not bother considering issues, or addressing problems in any respect. Such individuals tend to say they are trying to remain positive. That often means they don’t need to appear at problems whatsoever — also called avoidance and denial. Such unwillingness to consciously find answers through honest appraisal, while putting a gloss of positive spin on everything, really contributes to a downward spiral of disempowerment.
Some Metaphysical teachings appear to have contributed to the trend towards denial, grief, and disempowerment through simplistic teachings about the energy of resonance. You might have discovered that everything in the world functions through resonance, where everything is compared to tuning forks that resonate with one another. Notice how this innocent belief, trying to have a principle of physics, and use it as a metaphysical teaching, leads a lot of people to the state of denial.
First, you’re advised that everything is resonating like a tuning fork. Then you’re told that your positive ideas are resonating with the positive forces in the world. And then you’re admonished that your negative ideas will resonate with all of the negative forces in the world.
How are you going to interpret that understanding? It all starts to seem serious and foreboding, and it brings up an irrational fear of discussing problems at all — after all, they are negative, are not they? When you fear something, you try to prevent it. You may come to feel that looking at issues, or talking concerns, is amplifying a negative reality that is only going to make things worse.
Too often, the metaphysical teachings give you a contemporary variant of the old-time fear of the devil. Except now the contemporary fear is that if you look at a problem, or discuss concerns and problems in the world, that’s somehow Bad and negative, and must therefore be avoided entirely.
If only metaphysical teachings would share the fine points of how to use resonance in a balanced enabled manner, that would be OK. They generally do not. Instead they provide the components for fear and jealousy, where everybody must agree that everything is fine, and that everything is getting better.
This was called sweeping things under the carpet, and with extremist positive thinking, that bulge in the carpet gets bigger and bigger.
There are whole groups of metaphysical students who believe it sensible to only respond in conversation with favorable arrangement. They envision themselves as contributing to a positive world, and see every arrangement and inviting statement as co-creating an ever-better world. If only it were so easy — you can affirm your way to continual success in life, in a positive upward spiral of always perfect improvement — without a mention about any issues.
Regrettably, this propensity to pay it over with happy conversation contributes to the reverse of happiness, since you are feeling slowly dissociated from reality, and disconnected from solutions that are useful.
Maybe this reminds you of the old saying, that in the event you do not have something nice to say, then do not say anything in any way. Sounds suspiciously like disempowering denial, does not it? Does anything improve through this avoidance, or does a stuck situation just remain stuck?
The ever-positive fashion of possibility thinking has spilled into the business world, where the upbeat, always positive person is thought of as helpful to the organization, and the worker who scrutinizes the issues, or acts as a whistle-blower, is thought of as a troublemaker to be shunned. Certainly there’s a place for the positive character, but positive twist and the can-do soul can not replace clear thinking. And let us look at this phrase — clear thinking — for an instant.
What about Neutrality and Clarity?
Why neutrality and clarity have been judged as less powerful than hyped-up happy believing.
Clarity is impartial, which is neither positive nor negative. And without clarity, you’re either dazzled by the cloud of positive hopeful glitter on your thoughts, or brought down from the heavy clouds of grief. So this fear of hopelessness is somehow linked to the self-dazzled state of puffed-up positive thinking.
Is it that people who dogmatically insist that everybody ought to be confident at all times are in fact harboring despair?
No wonder they need to be so positive all the time — they fear that they’ll sink into a negative condition. And they will, also, as they haven’t discovered the middle way — the condition of clarity — the route that transcends negative and positive thinking. Neutrality and clarity are neither positive nor negative, and thus this frees you to see your issues in a calm, clear-headed way.
Where in modern thinking is the lost neutrality — the needed clarity? Strangely enough, it shows up in the Johnny Mercer lyrics. After being told to accentuate the positive, and after being advised to get rid of the negative, you’re warned to not mess with Mr. In-between. Ah ha — it appears that Mr. In-between is the code phrase for that impartial frame of mind that’s neither positive nor negative.
But is it true what the song says — which you have to eliminate the in-between state? No wonder people think they must prevent that dreaded in-between nation — the kingdom of Mr. In-between — so they can enter the glorious land of their glittering positive frame of mind.
But you were not told about the wonderful, useful facets of in-between thinking, were you?
Whether in a religious sermon, or in a new age class, or in a business convention, you’re given the obvious choice to be either negative or positive. That is not fair for you, because most states of consciousness are not negative or positive — and they are not supposed to be. Why is that?
Go beyond the limits of over-confident, naive believing. When you look at a problem, you want to consider many possibilities for what the cause, or causes of this situation could be. You need neutral clarity for it.
When you consider possible solutions for your circumstance, you will need to have the ability to verify those numerous solutions. You will need to have the ability to take into account the answers with the clarity of mind that allows you recognize whether the solutions are appropriate and doable. Again, you need neutral clarity — Mr. In-between.
What happens when you forget your neutral clarity?
Notice how when you replace your neutral clarity with simplistic positive thinking, your ability to inspect solutions becomes restricted — because all of the solutions seem great. Every concept is genius — Not.
Likewise, when you get stuck in negative, hopeless thinking, your ability to find solutions is unquestionably limited — since there’s absolutely no space in the head to consider solutions in any respect.
But why should not positive thinking automatically offer you the solutions — after all, are not positive energies supposed to necessarily lead in a positive direction?
The main reason that positive thinking becomes negative is easy to comprehend, when you analyze it for a minute. Positive thinking assumes that something is great, merely because you shower it with belief and confidence. And in real life, not all decisions produce useful results — and some can be harmful. Positive thinking assumes that everything will work. In real life, that just is not so. Positive thinking assumes that any choice, entered into in a positive mindset, is sure to be useful. This isn’t necessarily correct.
Does this mean that when you let go of needing to be positive all the time that you are giving up on positive thinking? Not at all — you are giving up on extremism. You’re giving up on denying that your common sense. You’re giving up on denying your intellect. You’re letting go of the positive thinking extremism that prohibits your right to calmly find the answers that are available for you — when you’re eager to access them.
So what’s the suitable location for the can-do soul — the anything-is-possible mindset — the nothing-will-stop-us feeling? All of these are designed to uplift your emotions. When you will need a psychological lift, use these positive attitudes and feelings to lift yourself from the swamps of hopelessness. But not assume that positive thinking will give you wisdom, common sense, or clear answers — it is not supposed to do that.
Properly used, positive thinking sweeps the cobwebs clear, and informs you that solutions are possible — but then, you’ll need neutral clarity to proceed efficiently.
You will need to have the ability to use positive thinking sensibly, and you will need to have the ability to use it for its intended purpose — to prevent you from getting stuck. But if you let yourself get locked into happy-talk property, where no problems exist, and where all options are equally good, then your condition is just slightly better than when you’re stuck in negative thinking.
Tips to get effective solutions with wisdom, clarity, and elegance
1. Look at a situation that worries you.
2. Imagine that you’re containing that scenario in its own bubble of energy. This gives you a little healthy distance, and permits you to stay stable and centered.
3. Here’s where you get to be positive — tell yourself that you will find solutions for this circumstance. Don’t begin thinking about what they may be just yet — simply know that alternatives are available. That’s real positive thinking.
4. Now set your positive thinking hat aside for a minute, and wear your own clear-thinking neutrality hat. Imagine you could consider the situation with a clear-thinking pair of x-ray spectacles, so you could obviously look inside the situation — and you are still wearing your clear thinking neutrality hat.
5. Look at the obvious solutions. Don’t agree with them. Just write them down. Obvious solutions are the solutions that anybody would produce. Just consider them, but do not align with them yet.
6. Now think about the creative solutions. Just write them down in a list, even though them seem unlikely, difficult, odd, or not typical solutions. Don’t agree with them, and only have them written down.
7. Now you are going to look over every potential solution — the clear ones, as well as the creative ones. Wear your clear-thinking neutrality hat.
8. When you look at every solution, place that alternative in a bubble of light. This keeps it in its own little world, and prevents you from getting too attached to it. This way, think about the obvious solutions, and the innovative solutions. Write any insights you have about them.
9. Look over your notes. You’re still wearing your clear thinking hat. If some of the solutions actually seem improper, cross them from your list.
10. Look at the probable solutions. While still remaining pretty neutral, have a tiny creative brainstorm with all the ideas. Get a sense about which alternatives are attainable. Sense if you want to combine any of those solutions.
11. In the coming days, research — in a sensible, grounded manner — the thoughts that seem most useful.
12. If you end up getting into the darkened cloud condition, wear your positive thinking hat, and remind yourself that alternatives are definitely available — once you get them.
13. And the majority of the time, you will be sporting your clear thinking, neutrality hat. That’s because you will need to have a clear comprehension of what is happening, so you can move forward .
Clarity and Neutrality: the exciting New Stars of Greater Consciousness
If this concept of being clear-headed and impartial sounds dull, think again. Clarity is like turning up the magnifying lens on a magical microscope or telescope — you can see the beauty of the skies, or the deeper reality of whatever you decide to examine, with beautiful clarity. Neutrality lets you’re totally present. It’s exactly what the ancient sages were talking about if they told you to come from your waking dream. They were always telling you to wake up, and now you’ve got a sense of exactly what that means.
Maybe it happens to you that you could be positive and clear-headed at precisely the identical time. You can. The main reason for suggesting that you place your positive hat aside for a time was that you could get knowledgeable about neutrality, and find out about what it could teach you. Positive expectations are all good and well, but if they interfere with your ability to have a definite sense of things, then you are indulging in something that’s not positive — ungrounded dream or denial.
Now you understand that you don’t need to puff yourself up with always positive happy conversation. But, are there people who are overly negative? Of course — they are the men and women who insist there are no probable solutions, and you have to take life as it comes to you, because everything is futile. That’s passive, despairing, and negative. Don’t get stuck there, either.
You are not one of those negative men and women. More likely, you are reading this because you would like to be positive, but you had suspicions about if positive thinking was the simple solution it is sometimes claimed to be. And now you understand that you can be positive in a healthy balanced manner, since you’ve got the means of being intelligently and sensibly optimistic.
There’s a curious sameness about the world of the positive thinkers and the negative thinkers. The earthly waking dream of the negative thinkers, surrounded by their negative despairing clouds, isn’t so different from the positive thinkers that are puffed up with continual happy conversation. Both kinds of people are stuck in a restricted, waking dream that keeps them out of the rich depth and clarity that life provides in every moment.
When you research any situation without sugar-coating it by hyped-up positives, you’ve got the capacity to face the situation and find creative solutions that actually can make your life simpler.
Explore your own life
Your life is endlessly fascinating — not because you are pumped up with joyful bubbles — because being present puts you at the front-row chair of the best occasion — your own life. When you are within every moment of your life, and you encounter it with clarity, you realize that there’s something more meaningful than dazzled happiness, and more satisfying than a hazy hope for a miraculous fantasy future.
Welcome to this instant. Life awaits you, but it is here today — not in a cloud of hope down the street. Breathe into it today, let’s look at any situation that warrants closer examination, and discover that the answers are obviously there — when you neutrally let yourself explore them.