Several of my friends and family have heard me preach this by now, so it’s probably past time for me to write a blog post on it. Think positive! If there’s only one message to be taken from my many posts, I hope this is it.
My well-read dad often sends me interesting article links. This one happens to be from one of my favorite sources, the Harvard Business Review. In short, the article states that positive thinking has measurable effects on your productivity, your likelihood to receive a promotion, your health, and especially your creativity. The author also gives a plethora of concrete advice on how to practice positive thinking. This is as good as gold in my opinion!
To add my own twist on why thinking positive is so valuable I want to emphasize two things:
1) Thinking positive means shifting your perspective on the many things in life that are beyond our immediate control–it does not mean refraining from all fear, sadness or pain. (For those who saw Pixar’s Inside Out, we know these emotions are important too!) Choosing and practicing thinking positive is like forming mental habits that reorganize your default way of thinking, so that when you do need to feel these heavier emotions you have a space for them when necessary, and a way to return to lightness when ready.
2) Thinking positive changes your relationships in a significant way. Again, unfortunately I have no hard data to support this, but I see people come out of their shells and change their entire demeanor (which eventually increases their willingness to think, give, take smart risks, etc.) when they are given permission to be positive. When one person in the room confidently establishes this positive thinking precedent it increases the collective value of a family, team, or group and it is very inspiring.
But don’t read me wrong–this takes practice! You will probably find it uncomfortable, strange, or simply forget to do this regularly, unless you make it intentional. But, hey, this might be the best investment ever of your time and energy… Free Up-Front, meet Personal Gold.