Saturday, June 16, 2018

Positivity and Survival

"It isn't about being driven it's about survival!"

"I didn't do it because I was brave, I had another reason..."

There's pain in those words.  They came in reaction to something I'd said to them that at the time I thought was supportive.

I recognized instantly the use of the word "survival" in this context coming from a place of frustration, anger and fear.  

This is an example of the power of perspective.

As the unwitting observer I ran headlong into the clash of perspectives.  Light and Dark were never so clear as those moments on the phone.

We choose our perspective and life unfolds accordingly.  We see only that which we allow through its lens.

Let's do a little word play.  

Let's take: "It isn't about being driven it's about sruvival!"

and change a few words around:

"It isn't about survival it's about being driven"

All we did was swap the positions of 2 words and the whole perspective changes from fear and uncertainty to determination. 

Which one does the better job of achieving your goals?

Fear motivates nothing but itself.  

Now I 'll admit that this person and I often have issues with miscommunication.  My words of affirmation likely were interpreted as condescending.  I will admit that a very long text clarifying my meaning followed.

One that was likely more reactionary than it should have been but hey, I'm not perfect and the positive affirmation needed a bit stiffer hand than flowery prose could muster.

It's an issue that stems from the same perspective that prefers the word "survival" to "driven."

Surviving isn't about living.  It's about trying not to die and while we all go through it the goal is not to get stuck there.  

Yes, the world is full of people that would take advantage of your good nature.  If, however,  your perspective is focused on those things that support instead of threaten your goals you find life gets a lot more manageable.

Remember that positivity isn't about being a happy idiot.  Yes, bad things happen but we can choose not to build our lives around them.  

I've said it before, We're prisoners of our experience.  But only so long as we choose to be.  Wisdom comes from adversity but adversity doesn't have to be a lifestyle.

The wise man uses his gifts to make his world instead of letting the world make him.  

Yeah, yeah, yeah...Flowery words, total BS, easy for you to say.

You know what, you're right.  It is easy for me to say but only because I choose a perspective that allows me to move forward.  

I'm not rich, famous or on anybody's radar but I appreciate the gifts that were given to me and try to share them to make my world a better place.  Bad things happen to me all the time but I choose not to dwell in them.  

What's the point of surviving if all you'll ever be is miserable?

My world is a better place, by the way.   Better because my interactions with others are based on an honest desire to make their experiences more positive.  It's sincere, it's contagious and hey if I may be so self-indulgent, it makes my life a lot easier.  

You can't see the sunrise if you're running in the opposite direction.  

And no, I'm not a morning person but I've learned to love finding the light.

At work I often joke that I'm going to go out on the floor and "spread some sunshine."  It's sounds stupid but it's my actual intention.

Positive begets positive and I've seen it not just in myself but in others.  It's not just about making people feel good it's about creating an environment that encourages a positive perspective.

How we see the world and ourselves has a direct effect on the opportunities that open up to us.  

So when someone says...

 "I didn't do it because I was brave, I had another reason..."

I hear an irrelevant statement.  Without divulging any secrets I can tell you that regardless of the reason there's no denying the action was indeed brave regardless of the motivation behind it. 

They say actions speak louder than words and it's the action that matters.  Perspective frames it to either enrich us or steal our power.

Remember that the next time someone gives you a sincere compliment.  They're just trying to prime the positivity pump.

Let them.



I'm still positive....

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
From The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow takes you to the last verse before any glimmer of hope appears in Rainy Day.  Every verse prior paints a dreary scene.

But that last verse, Oh that last verse!  

The power in it, the power of the poem itself lies not in the soggy resignation to the hopeless but rather the impending emergence from it.

This goes to the core of positivity.  The realization that the world is always seen through your own perspective.  You choose whether the clouds obscure the sun.  You choose whether the rain brings life or drowns your soul.

The light always shines even if shrouded by your darkest hours.  Whether you choose to see it is a different matter.

Look to the skies on a clear night.  

What do you see? 

A thick black veil of nothingness or an intricate tapestry of a million shining jewels dancing in the heavens.

Your attitude is meaningless to the stars.  They exist in spite of your attention.  Their light is always there even if they aren't always easy to see.

So it is with positivity.   You control your perspective.  

Too often we're blind to the light when the darkness is too familiar.  We hope and dream of a better life but frame it in the perspective of what keeps us from it.

Mistrust, doubt, fear, uncertainty draw us into nothingness like a black hole devouring the light.  

But the light will not be denied.

A smile emerges from tears.  Hope from defeat.  Understanding from uncertainty.  Love displaces doubt.

So long as we're willing to give at least as much credence to the positive as we so easily give to its opposite we can find our light in the darkness.