You have probably heard some variation of negative life philosophies. They often focus on criticizing life and things you shouldn’t, won’t and can’t obtain. Lacking and terrible; you’ll never be good enough, they say. Then there is also a part about our existence being mere coincidence which can be erased by number of likely scenarios. If humanity doesn’t destroy itself that is. We almost destroyed ourselves in the recent past and as news tells us, some tough times are ahead.
So, looking from that perspective – why even bother? We all will die anyway. Even if we spend every waking hour of our life working and trying and giving our best and struggling against adversity and fighting disappointments, we will essentially end up in the same state as those who decided not to bother at all and went on with distracting themselves.
The core problem with negative life philosophies is not whether or not they are *correct*. The core problem is that they are built as an excuse. People who end up embracing negativity always first acknowledged that it is easier to give up than try. It obviously is. And once that easy choice was made, all that was left is finding excuses to justify the decision.
Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. The same way others pick pessimism you can pick optimism. Will making that choice be harder? Sure – but only for start. After someone truly makes positive outlook part of his character he is unable to let it go. For all those unhappy who need one small reason to get depressed, you have those who you can’t knock off happiness no matter what you try. Throw obstacles, frustrations and problems toward someone who is positively-focused, and he’ll keep evading and crushing them while laughing like a maniac.
It’s inspiring, really. Knowing that a persistent shift to the right state of mind is all we need to become unstoppable. That those unhappy ones laying around and saying “I don’t care” to everything offered are using exactly the same phrase that happy ones utter while facing challenges. So, decide to try and stay positive for your own sake. Ignore or deal with negativity of environment the best you can, depending on situation. And just keep going!
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way -Viktor E. Frankl
Note: This post was inspired by life and work of Dr Viktor E. Frankl. Kind human being who survived Auschwitz and bore no ill will toward anyone. Not even to the neighborhoods who reported him and his family to Nazis. The same ones he treated as a doctor – both before and after the World War 2.
More yet, he wrote a great book – Men’s Search for Meaning. I highly recommend that you read it. Learn more about this great human being.
Even if you can’t reach perfection, you can still try to be better. It’s ain’t pointless.
Very inspiring! I struggle to be positive at times, but it really is contagious once you get going 🙂
i like your angle for us taking responsibility for our viewpoint – i am working on an upcoming title called ‘Celebrating What “is” Instead of “What’s not”‘ dealing with the topic – thanks for the responses
Live in the moment is the key to happiness
This is excellent! Thought provoking and inspiring 🙂
Amazing writing!! I like to look at other’s posts in order to gain more knowledge of writing skills and techniques.
Love the way you put together this thought-provoking post.
Some important existential life philosophy here!! I grew up with a mother who also expected the worst, so that at least when it happened, she was not surprised by it. I on the other always expect the best, and then deal as best I can with what life throws me.
But whether one is essentially a pessimist, or as my mother would say, a realist, or an optimist, some may see this approach as naive and unrealistic, influences everything.
The surest way to happiness is gratitude on a daily basis.
Inspiring post and I’m definitely going to look up the book he seems an amazing figure.
Going from one extreme to the other is a problem of mine. I’m either in a “I want to do x, y and z, and I can surely do it” mindset, or a “What’s the point, anyway?” one. The positive/ motivated outlook is hard to sustain for prolonged periods of time. With all that used up energy, I find myself with an empty tank. And you cannot go anywhere without gas, right? But then, one day, you realize your car can also be powered by solar energy, so you charge it up, go, fill your tank with gas, and onto achieving bigger and better things. And so the cycle continues.
I too am often floating between those two extremes. I’m sure many do. Previously I thought I will be able to get rid of down periods… Now I realize the only thing I can do is to minimize or (even better) ignore them.
This blog and meeting people like you helps a lot though. It’s nice to be able to exchange comments with like-minded people.
This topic made me think all day…
I tend toward the cynical. Even then, as you very succinctly put it, I control my response. No one else. I can respond constructively or continue to add to the problem. I’ve read some Chaim Potok but not Dr. Frankl. Thank you for the “introduction”, as it were.