“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” — Michael Jordan
People tend to talk about the power of having a positive mindset. That’s good, because too much negativity stops us from actually trying stuff.
But as with anything, it’s important to strike a good balance between being positive and being negative.
Let’s say you’re about to set sail across the Atlantic.
What negativity brings up is all of the “what ifs”. You start mulling over all the things that could go wrong, and if you’re overly negative you’ll end up not doing it.
Hell, you probably won’t even bother if your mind just says “What’s the use anyway?”
Positivity gives you the “can do”-attitude to persevere and follow through with the project no matter what challenges come your way.
Now, we’ve already established what being overly negative will do. What would being overly positive mean?
Well, it could mean that you discard the worries about the trip taking longer than you thought, not packing enough food for the trip, not taking emergency or backup equipment in case something happens, etc.
We need to recognize that too much negativity or positivity might not serve us well.
If you tend too far toward the negative spectrum then I think your quality of life might very well be improved by an increase of positivity.
If you tend too far toward the positive spectrum you’ll still enjoy life, but might not have the desired outcomes because of your failure to see the world as it really is.
I’ve been on both sides of it, and neither one has been as productive as when I finally found a balance that works for me.
Now, to be honest I oscillate between the two, usually tending more towards the positive, so I’m not always perfectly balanced. I don’t know if anyone truly is, but you need to find where your sweet spot is.
Perhaps in your life it serves you better to be 75% positive, 25% negative. In someone else’s case the numbers might be 56% negative, 44% positive.
Recently my girlfriend was invited to go to Turkey. She was dubious about the trip from the start, but was convinced by others that it’d be fine. A couple of days before her flight there was a terrorist attack.
I looked up some information for her about travel recommendations and what areas were considered more or less dangerous.
Given that there’s been a terrorist attack in Turkey approximately every 52 days during the past 2–2,5 years, statistically there was a less than a 0,5% risk of something happening during her visit.
We talked about her feelings about the trip prior to the attack, what it meant in financial terms to cancel the trip so close to departure (~$350), whether she’d be able to enjoy it despite the risk, and so on.
As we talked she decided to cancel the trip.
What instead happened was that there was an attempt at a military coup that occured the night before she would’ve flown back home.
While she would’ve been fine, at worst her flight would’ve been delayed, there was still unrest in the country in general that would’ve made the trip not as enjoyable.
This isn’t meant to compare in any way, shape, or form to the pain the people affected by this attempted coup and the terrorist attacks. I only use it as a way of illustrating an example.
There’s room for both approaches, the trick is to understand when to use them.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!