I’m all for positive thinking in principle. I believe that the thoughts and the outlooks and the attitudes we focus on, grow. We give these thoughts our attention and energy in some way, and they devour it like a hungry animal and expand.
Ever bought a new car and suddenly you notice the same make of car everywhere you go? Where have all these cars appeared from?!
This is the same effect in action, your focus is now alerted to that type of car, whereas before you were oblivious.
An even simpler example is to stop reading right now and focus only on the feelings in your feet. Be aware of each toe, your soles, your heels, their temperature, the texture of the material of your socks or shoes, any little aches or itches.
Ten seconds ago you weren’t consciously aware of any of these sensations. A tiny shift and focus and now it’s the predominant thought in your mind.
It’s clear then that what we focus on grows.
I don’t mean your feet are about to expand three sizes, but that your awareness of what you give your attention to expands.
This is true whether it’s negative or positive thoughts, as no doubt you’ve found in your own experience.
So it makes sense to only ever focus on positive thoughts, right?
Well, yes. But no. There’s a balancing act here.
Being aware of the reality of any situation is also crucial too. Even if it’s negative. Sometimes especially if it’s negative.
If you’re in a ship that’s rapidly sinking, then however much you look at how beautifully blue the sky is and enjoy how lovely the sun feels on your bare skin, it’s not going to stop your ship from sinking. You need to take action!
In terms of being creative, definitely focus on what you’re good at, and what you enjoy most.
But also be aware of what you’re not so good at, or what you don’t enjoy so much, and find better ways of approaching or handling it.
For example you might be a very creative and imaginative writer but be terrible at spelling. So you could use a spellchecker or get someone to check your work manually. It’s probably not worth you spending hours struggling to spell correctly, when you could be using that time just writing creative new stories and exploring new ideas.
Or in more personal areas, acknowledge where your weaknesses may be negatively affecting relationships, and adjust. But also focus on your good qualities, bring these to the fore and make the most of them.
It is a tightrope. And leaning too much either way will result in you losing your balance and suffering.
Either by focusing on the negative so much you’re totally unmotivated to even get out of bed, or by being so blindly focused on the positive you ignore any destructive or damaging behaviours or situations.
Where do YOU stand on this positive negative tightrope? Where is your focus right now?