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Positive Thinking

Jumping for Joy

Positive Thinking can enhance your life beyond belief.  It can shape your family and others around you in such a remarkable way that a negative-thinking person would not believe it possible. 

Of course, good things don’t always happen to a positive thinking person and neither do bad things always happen to a negative thinking person.  But the scales are tipped so dramatically in one direction that sometimes it seems like only good things happen to positive thinking people.  It’s amazing why anybody would give any credence or justification at all to a negative thinking habit; but they do.

Negative-thinking people lose friends.  Negative-thinking people lose jobs.  Negative-thinking people lose self respect and self confidence.  But negative-thinking people do gain other negative-thinking friends, with whom they commensurate and cry and whine – until the other negative-thinking person cannot take it anymore and leaves. 
A positive thinking attitude does not happen by accident.  People chose that lifestyle on purpose.  Learning to spell does not happen accidentally; people go to school and work hard to learn to spell.  Yet, once you learn it, you use it consistently without even remembering how you got that ability in the first place.  Learning math also does not come naturally; you have to work at it.  People are not born already knowing how to read; they have to learn it.  So why would anybody think positive thinking just comes naturally for some people but not for others?

Few people are fortunate enough to have parents who know the importance and usefulness of positive thinking and the destruction and harmfulness of negative thinking.  Most parents grew up not knowing any difference at all, just as their parents grew up not knowing the difference, and the parents before them grew up not knowing the difference.

Positive thinking is not something done by accident; you’ve got to do it on purpose.  And if you were not raised in that way, then you’ve got to learn it on your own, even if it goes against everything you’ve been taught by your parents, your grandparents, your uncles and aunts, your friends, your school teachers, your television shows, and the magazines you read. There’s no such thing as deciding, “I’m going to start thinking positively,” and then think positively from then on.  It’s something you’ve got to work hard at and learn.

Positive-thinking people soon find out something wonderful that negative thinking people would never believe – it’s like magic.  Something does happen that seems spiritual, or magical.  Things start to happen that you only imagined, or asked for, or uttered into the air.  That happens short term as well as long term, and you never know where your next blessing comes from.

Two people may get a flat tire while on the road, a negative-thinking person and a positive-thinking person.  Thinks the negative person: “On no!  *#!!%&#E@.  This had to happen to me.  It always happens to me.  I should have known this was going to happen.  Nothing good ever comes my way.  Now it’ll probably rain before I get the tire changed.  I’m going to be late and dirty when I get there.  How th’ #$$#* did I ever get born into this miserable *!*($# life?”

Thinks the positive person: “Oh wow!  What’s going to happen now?  Somebody’s going to stop and help me, and I may even find a new best friend in my life, or my future wife (or husband).  Fortunately, I’ve got all the tools I need to change the tire, and I can get it done before the rain starts.  Then I’ll get cleaned up when I arrive and join the party.  Let’s go, God!  You and me, Buddy!”

Nobody likes a sourpuss – not even the sourpuss’s mother.

So, how did a person become a negative-thinking person, and what does he have to do to change himself into a positive thinking person?  Usually, he grew up in a negative thinking environment – his family.  Soon it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that feeds on itself as the person devises ways to justify his attitude.  It’s much easier for us to justify wrong behavior than it is to humble ourselves, admit our mistakes and take steps to change our course, showing the world we know we were wrong.

So now… what steps do you take to become a positive thinking person?  First, realize that you’re on your own; you’ve got to do it yourself.  It’s like you deciding to move from New York to California.  You decide to make the trip; you (not your mother) pack up your clothes, you get a car that will make the trip, you (not your mother or a friend) get funding for the trip, you drive your way to your new life.  It’s a journey that you decide to take with a permanent, irrevocable decision, and you’re going to do it yourself.  You are responsible for yourself.

I’ve already covered two leading way to become a positive thinker – make a decision and take responsibility to fulfilling that decision.  You’ve done it before, and there’s no reason you can’t do it now, for this.

However, just as we did not grow up in isolation – we had a support group and teachers – in positive thinking we also need a support group and teachers.  Teachers are easier to find; the support group is a little more difficult, so let’s talk about that, first.

To find a positive-thinking support group, shun negative thinking people, just as other people should be shunning you if you were still a negative thinker.  That doesn’t mean you have no negative thinking people as acquaintances; of course you do.  But you’re not best friends with them.  You don’t hang around with them.  You don’t go to bars or movies or clubs with them. 

Shunning negative thinkers is only a step; it is not the way to find a positive thinking support group.  Cultivate the friendship of every positive-thinking person you find.  Form a networking circle of friends.  If you need help, pray for help to meet such people.  If you are invited to join a group which you think is composed of relatively positive-minded people, join the group.  As I said, finding a support group that will replace the negative influence of your family is hard, but one that you can do.  So do it.

Finally, teachers are abundant.  You can find perfect and excellent teachers nearby and everywhere.  They’re as near as your computer and your bookstore.  The greatest, wealthiest positive-thinking gurus in the world wrote their memoirs and lessons.  There is no secret on how to become a positive thinker and how beneficial it is for you.  Read!  This is like taking a hungry, starving, poverty-stricken wretch to a food banquet.  Eat all you want.  But don’t fall for the fake food, plastic apples and plastic bananas in bowls on the shelf created by charlatan farmers.  Go for the real thing.

Although thousands of such books exist, I’ll name just a few excellent ones to get your started; please don’t neglect them.
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Peale
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Personality Plus by Florence Littauer
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Self Talk by Dr. Shad Helmstetter
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Get in the habit of reading a moral, positive-thinking, uplifting book every day of your life.  Read 15-20 minutes every day.  Read at least one book a month.  Plan to do this for the rest of your life.  This is not “the price you must pay” to become a positive thinker.  It’s the magnificent reward you get in indulge in for being a positive thinking.  It’s wonderful.

And while you’re reading, don’t omit autobiographies, a powerful source of positive-thinking inspiration.

That, my friend, should get you on your road to a brand new positive-thinking life.