“Taking Positive Steps in Life?”
Hi Douglas Hansen here,
I would guess there are many ways to look at life; but the two most used are: 1. looking backwards over our shoulders trying to prevent negative or bad things from happening to us, and 2. looking forward, planning, implementing steps forward to influence future events.
At first glance looking over our shoulder, making sure bad things do not happen to us seems to make sense. Who wants to get sick? Who wants to be cheated? Who wants to slip and fall on their butt? Who wants to lose their home? Some prevention is a very positive step, but too much will drag us down.
On the other hand, “Who wants to win the lottery?” Who wants a raise? Who wants a new home? Who wants to be treated fairly? Who wants a better job? Making steps in this direction can help build a better tomorrow, but too much can be bad as well.
Notice the above two paragraphs. One contains negative questions, and the other positive questions. Let’s try something; spend a moment and ponder the pile of negative questions, then ponder the positive questions as an individual group. See which pile conjures up the most power, the most overwhelming emotions, or raw power to make us . . .?
If you’re like me, you found that the negative questions create the most raw power or emotion. I do not want to fall on my butt, be cheated, or get sick. Sure, the positive questions sound nice. It would be great to win the lottery, but I am not too hopeful. It does not have the same raw power that fear of losing things, or being hurt does.
Notice the rock balanced above the highway. What were the first thoughts that came to your mind? 1. “Pretty neat, lets click a selfie with it.” or 2. “Stay away, it is almost ready fall.”
I believe people are born with different amounts of optimism and pessimism; and that as we grow up we learn to look at life that way, too. For someone born with lots of pessimism it is going to be more difficult to take on the challenges life; because they see, or lean towards, noticing more of the negative aspects of life, than optimists do. That is fact.
My question is, “If we become aware of these facts, will we be able to take on a more positive approach, which will benefit us? Should we take on a more positive approach?
Something to consider is, “all of the worry and preventive actions in the world, or the universe, are not going to move us one step forward. Yes, it may prevent some problems, but it seems we worry about many things we have no control over. Being aware of the things we can control, and those we can not, will allow us to use that energy to move in a positive direction.
The only way we move forward is when we apply positive creative thoughts and actions. Obviously we do need to do some preventative things; but how many and what things? There’s a balance that needs to be associated with negative and positive actions. This balance between the preventative and assertive actions is critical to our future. If we spend too much time looking backwards, trying to prevent things sneaking up on us, it will rob from our building the positive aspects of life.
Sorting out the positives and negatives, trying to determine how much time to spend with each one, and when we should do them is difficult. In extreme cases, I am guessing it is this quandary, or dilemma that creates PTSD or critical incident stress/post critical incident stress. If we were to get bombarded with many intense critical incidents all at once, which we needed to deal with, sort out, and come to grips with now! Then had to figure out where or what to do, all at the same time, we too may end up in that boat, especially if we are inclined to that.
Taking Positive Steps. I believe it is critical to learn how to build steps or links towards positive goals and become conscious of this relationship with the negative steps. Maybe this is where faith or hope comes in. “Faith and hope allows us to let go of some of the negatives for a while, and go to work building a positive steps. Becoming aware of the power of negatives and how they can rob us of our positive future might be the answer to moving forward, and building a better tomorrow?
Forward is to create opportunities and build futures. How much time do we really need to spend on building our own walls and our own atomic arsenal’s? “I do not have the background or knowledge to answer that; but I think by understanding this principle it will allow us to build baby steps forward, maybe even some really big ones, thus improving our lives.
Understanding this balance between positive future building steps and negative preventative steps just may be helpful to us. It may be like spanking a child for doing something wrong; verses explaining and teaching the child the positive future building actions. I have often pondered these ideas as I raised my kids.
I hope they can be of value to you.