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Why I value being creative more than being positive

For many people, “being positive” amounts to trying really hard to be a good sport who laughs a lot and gets along with everyone.

But this image of optimism fails to account for all of the healthy, successful people who don’t seem to be friendly, upbeat, or outwardly cheerful at all.

While I freely embrace conventional terms like “positivity”, “optimism”, and “happiness”, in actual practice I tend to be very broad and flexible with how I apply so-called “principles of positive thinking” to my daily life.

I don’t believe success, happiness, and health are the result of “positive thinking” as much as they are the result of “empowered thinking.” For me, optimism isn’t about fitting any one person’s definition of what it means to be positive. Optimism is about finding whatever approach works for you in the quest to create the kind of life you truly love.

It’s far more important that you develop your own process for creating desired results (whether you desire happiness, wealth, or anything else), than striving to outdo the guy who walks around with a smile on his face 7 days a week.

If having a serious face helps you to focus more, then the smiles can wait for a later time.

If you’ve found a way to successfully channel the feeling of anger along creative lines, may the force be with you.

Forget about the positivity stereotypes. Trying to conform to them is a big pain in the tush.

After all, the value of your life isn’t determined by how positive others think you are, but by what works and feels right for you.

That’s my two cents. What do you think?

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Perkiness & positivity are two different things

2. What to do when being positive feels fake?

3. Must An Optimist Always Be Positive?

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

86% of your week is problem free Pt 2

Yesterday’s post (click here to read) addressed the idea that our problems, measured as physical events occurring in real-time, constitute a very small percentage of  our actual lives. Yet, these “small” problems seem to set the tone of our entire day. A 15 minute argument with a co-worker can amount to a week’s worth of sleeplessness. Let’s talk a bit about why this happens.

Most problems are imaginary

One of the primary reasons that small problems seem to consume so much of our energy is because we’re conditioned to use our imagination against ourselves.

Not only do we argue with the “jerks” at work, but we take them home with us in our imaginations and continue our debates. We fantasize about what we should have said or will say next time. Not only do we embarrass ourselves at work, but we actively choose to subject ourselves to the experience over and over again by reenacting it in our imagination.

It’s bad enough when others seem to create trouble for us. It’s even tougher when we create trouble for ourselves by voluntarily meditating on unpleasant experiences.

It seems that in many cases where “bad” events do happen to us, our greatest problem lies in how we use our imaginations to sustain and amplify the existence of the event.

If you can’t find it on a map, it’s in your mind

As physical events, most of your unpleasant encounters don’t even exist anymore. They’re nowhere “out there” for you to find.

That embarrassing moment you had last month when you put your foot in your mouth? You’d have to hop into a time machine to find it now.

The guy who cut you off in traffic this morning is not in front of you right now. He’s somewhere having the time of his life at a pool party while you can’t even enjoy your dinner because you keep talking about him.

Get inside of your own head before someone else does

Most of your troubles exist primarily in the mental world of memory, imagination, and interpretation.

If you can just get control of that, you can significantly reduce the amount of daily stress, frustration, and unhappiness you feel.

Resist the temptation to start dwelling on the things you can’t change (ie. past events that don’t exist anymore).

Focus more on what’s going on inside of you and you’ll have a lot more psychological and physical energy available for the more difficult problems.

In the future, I’ll be talking more about how you can reduce stress by reorganizing and gaining more control over the contents of consciousness.

For now, that’s today’s two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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