When we discover a new or empowering insight, it’s usually our first instinct to share it with everyone we know. I’ve eased up on that approach. The purpose of an idea, in my evolving opinion, isn’t to convert others into it. The purpose is allow that idea to be fully absorbed and assimilated into my own consciousness. Personal development isn’t about global proselytization. It’s about personal transformation. Paradoxically, however, there is nothing that contributes more powerfully to global transformation than the transformation of the individual.
If you’re interested in being an optimist, then be an optimist for you and for the sake of its own value. That’s enough. You don’t have to convert your family and friends to positive thinking. If other people don’t want it, there’s nothing you can do to override their free will and make them want it. People will gravitate towards whatever it is they need in their own time.
Besides, attempting to change people’s minds about anything via argumentation is one of the fastest ways to work yourself up into a state of annoyance and agitation that is sure to work against the happy lifestyle you’re trying to create.
If somebody is a pessimist, I can assure you they didn’t get there overnight. Their pessimistic outlook on life, whether they are conscious of it or not, has been cultivated over time. The average pessimist is capable of demolishing any argument you offer for the bright side in a matter of minutes. No matter how many Henry Ford quotes you give them, they can decide that it doesn’t apply. No matter how many success stories you tell them, they can decide it doesn’t apply.
A pessimist can only transform himself by deciding, for himself, that his problems are not too special to be solved. He must decide to buy into the idea that happiness and success can be modeled. And he must do this in his own time. Perhaps you can contribute to his process of change, but only by maintaining a positive vibration in your own life. You can’t do that from a place of resisting and resenting their negativity.
So, be there for the people who need you and keep representing the positivity that you stand for. But, if someone disagrees with you, don’t consider it the end of the world. You don’t need anyone else to buy into your ideas in order to continue practicing what you’ve decided is best for you.
You don’t have to be preachy to be positive.
At least that’s my two cents.
If you liked this post, check out:
1. Dealing with negative people
2. Peer Pressure Pessimism
3. Transcending the dimension of disagreement