The thing about positive thinking

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Are you a positive thinker?

If so, what do you think is more positive, a glass half full or a glass half empty?

While studying positive and successful people I came across many ideas about what positive thinking means and found the following definition:

Positive thinking is never based on facts!

If you thought that a half full glass is more positive then a half empty glass, you are mistaken.

It is just a different wording for a fact and like every fact can be interpreted in any way. This does not change the fact.

Positive thinking is only based on possible actions and results!

What you can do with a half empty or empty glass is what counts.

This means that any fact can either be turned into something positive or something negative, depending on the action taken. Not taking action does not make any difference either. You are just not in control of the outcome (like playing the lottery).

If you know that any fact or state cannot be positive or negative and if you want to control the outcome, you need to decide what you want to make of the fact and act accordingly.

If we are talking about a positive person then we mean a person who looks at the given facts and decides to create something positive with this fact. Let’s take an example.

Always look on the bright side

A friend of mine lost her job a few weeks ago. It happened all very quickly. Understandably, she was devastated and worried about her situation. She was full of fear – and this pulled her into a very bad and negative thought tornado.

When I found out about it, I met up with her and the first thing I did was congratulate her to this amazing opportunity to make a real positive shift in her life.

First she was stunned and couldn’t understand what I meant. I asked her what she loved most at her last job. After a long period of silence, the only think she could come up with was security and a monthly income of 2.500 €. Otherwise, she didn’t really like the job, but she was happy that she had something.

Next I asked her, if you could have any job you like, what would it be?

Again, after some silence, she said: “Actually, I always wanted to work with children, I just never had the chance.”

So I said: “Great, from now on you are going to work with children. How does that sound?”

And there was the smile on her face for the first time during this meeting.

“But how do I do this?” she asked and I said: “That is the exciting part, but first let’s make it clear that the fact you lost your job is your amazing opportunity to do what you always wanted to do. Losing your job allows you to proactively design your future. Do you agree with me?”

She agreed.

Time to face the facts

We decided to meet up two days later to discuss the next steps and to give her time to let it all sink in, enjoy the moments of opportunity and to start feeling good about herself again.

The fact that she lost her job is neither positive nor negative, but just a fact.

What you decide to do with this fact defines if it will become positive or negative for you.

That decision followed by action is what turns every fact either into something positive or negative.

So my description of a positive person is this:

Someone who can turn any given fact into a positive outcome for herself or others.

And with that, I wish you lots of amazing opportunities in your life 🙂

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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