“I can’t say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days” (Daniel Boone).
IT PAYS TO BE AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE. We ought never to deny the truth, of course, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at the truth from a wide enough angle to see there are some good things to be appreciated as well as some bad things to be dealt with. And having looked at the larger truth, we can choose to focus on its more positive aspects, those that offer the greater promise of growth and improvement.
The longer I live, the more amazed I am at the extent to which our attitude determines how our external circumstances feel. People with basically positive outlooks tend to feel that they’re surrounded by good circumstances, while those with negative attitudes tend to feel the opposite. As Fulton J. Sheen said, “Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.” And Horace Rutledge’s comment is also appropriate: “When you look at the world in a narrow way, how narrow it seems! When you look at it in a mean way, how mean it is! When you look at it selfishly, how selfish it is! But when you look at it in a broad, generous, friendly spirit, what wonderful people you find in it.”
Since so much depends on our choice of attitude, it’s important to make that choice carefully. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts . . . Take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature” (Marcus Aurelius). Cynical thoughts should be shown to the door and told to leave!
But our dreams and goals are also important, and so we should exercise care and make them as positive and worthwhile as possible. “Your imagination has much to do with your life . . . It is for you to decide how you want your imagination to serve you” (Philip Conley).
Positiveness is the outlook of opportunity. It deals realistically with what now is, but it’s also confident of what could be, if energy and intelligence were applied to the situation. Positiveness dares to believe that the future can be better than the past. It’s the quality that separates the doers from the doubters, the achievers from the agonizers.
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence” (Helen Keller).