"I am staying positive," she said to me adamantly. I've been saying things to myself all day like "it can't get any worse than this!"
I wish that was some sort of a punch line, but the girl I was speaking to believed wholeheartedly that this statement represented her being “positive”.
She didn’t realize that it’s really difficult to phrase a positive statement around negativity.
It's like trying to motivate yourself to lose weight by saying that you want to be less fat today than you were yesterday. It's like trying to get positive about your education by saying you want to be less stupid.
I wrote in my book Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can about keeping a journal of the high point of my day. Nothing else other than a one sentence statement indicating the high point of my day. I kept a journal for 3 years until seeing the high point became habit and something I could easily do.
I recommended it to a friend going through a hard time and then I saw her journal. Written on the front was “It’s good news week…. It can’t get any worse”. Arghgh!
I’ve been in a rut before where the world seems like it’s falling down around me. We all have. But I can assure you, fueling your mind with negativity ‘aint going to break you out of that rut.
We’ve all done the exercise where you close your eyes and try to pick everything blue around you (if you haven’t, do it now). Now open your eyes and all you can see is blue – pens, the sky, clothing. Your mind will gravitate towards what you focus on. What are you choosing to focus on?
So where to from here? Maybe each night when sharing dinner with a loved one, you share the high point of your day. Maybe you tweet it to the world or to me - @kirstydunphey. Maybe you email it to a friend. Recognise the highs, the positive moments and I assure you, they may start small and less frequent, but by choosing your focus there will be more and more to focus on.