As I’m embarking on adulthood, I’m realizing more and more everyday that life is about choices. Our lives end up being the sum of the choices we make. One of the biggest choices we all face on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis is the choice to be positive or negative.
I am coming to believe that life is what you make of it. You can make the best or worst out of any situation. As John Milton says in Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
This morning I gave myself a Jessica-style pep talk when I first woke up.
This pep talk, this choice I made to make today a good day regardless of what happened, really made a positive impact on my day.
I also have gotten into the habit of listing at least ten things I’m thankful for at the end of every day. I can write about more than ten, but it has to be at least ten. This is the last thing I do every day, so I always end the day on a positive note. This habit has helped me to cultivate a more positive attitude.
I really believe that a positive attitude is something delicate and tenuous that has to be cultivated. It’s not just going to fall in your lap, you have to tend it to help it grow. A large part of helping it to grow is choosing to focus on positive things.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul encourages them, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Another large part of cultivating and maintaining a positive attitude is to pick out the weeds in your life. By weeds I mean people who keep the good parts of your personality and life from thriving. These people could be friends, coworkers, boyfriends/girlfriends, family members, anyone. I am a big believer that we all should be kind and respectful to everyone, but you choose who you allow to be your inner circle. Don’t allow people in who are going to keep you down in anyway. You don’t need people in your life who don’t want to you be positive, happy, and successful, and they will bring you down. This is a hard lesson to learn because everyone won’t be happy with your choice to live a positive life. In fact, it will probably make the weeds around you very angry. But it is something that must be done in order to live a truly positive life.
I truly believe that any sacrifices and changes that have to be made in our lives to make them more worth living and more positive are worth it.