Positive thinking is an invaluable source of productivity and happiness. Without positive thinking it is impossible to have a positive life.
Negative thoughts are also necessary to have a positive life. For instance if you refuse to think anything negative and say to yourself, “The waves are not that choppy today I can swim in them safely. I am a great swimmer!” and then you drown, you crossed the line in terms of thinking in a positive mindset. Or perhaps a better example is when people took out massive housing loans thinking that the banks had their best interests at heart and that if they just worked hard enough they could afford their very own McMansion. Well, the housing market crashed and their positive thinking backfired on them. They lost their homes and became financially destitute. Obviously, I have simplified these examples but you get the picture.
My personal problem is that I am too prone to negative thinking. I can spot the flaw in everything. In fact, the flaws stand out to me like a leopard lying on a couch. I get consumed by these flaws and only focus on them. Some of the biggest flaws I see with our world are overpopulation, climate change, war, and resource depletion. Undoubtedly, these problems are causing catastrophic results like the 6th mass extinction event. Catastrophe is surely in store for the future. Basic science is rarely wrong.
But there comes a point when thinking about it is no longer helpful. There comes a point when thinking about a problem turns into ruminating about a problem. Yes, shit is fucked up and will continue to get more fucked up. Once you have acknowledged that, it is time to move onto the partial or whole solution to the problem. I already have my partial solution to the problem, building a homestead and being as sustainable as possible. I must accept I cannot fix the whole problem. I do not have the scientific brain power. I doubt anyone on the face of the planet does. Sometimes problems are actually blessings in disguise. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective.
Negative and positive thinking must be combined to form the most satisfying life. If you think too negatively you will always doubt yourself and never accomplish your goals. If you think too positively you will be unrealistic and you will fail at your goals or even worse, destroy what you’ve worked so hard to create. Being realistic is important. At times it is may also be better to be more positive than necessary. Thinking, it’s going to be a great day today, the future is very bright for my family, or I am an excellent artist, is good for your psychological health. And obviously, your lifestyle is largely connected to your happiness levels. It’s also insane how much better I feel once the weather warms up! Things like exercise, healthy food, meditation, and good relationships go a long way. See the forbes article link at the bottom of the page for more information.
My message to myself and others that can relate is this: “Stop living in fear of failure and try your best to focus on the solutions to the problems we face. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Think positively whenever you can. Focus 90% on positive thoughts and 10% on negative thoughts. Identify the problem and then quickly move on to creating a solution. This is the way to a positive life.”
Here’s an great example of someone who identified a negative problem and came up with a positive solution.
Reading positive books help too