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Am I a positive person? Are you?

Have you ever hung out with overly pessimistic people? People with a negative attitude? Cynics? It's no fun. It can get infuriating at times to constantly hear what's wrong with the world and why what you're doing or want to do may not work out the way you expect it to.

At the same time, it's not all that fun to hang out with overly optimistic people with a positive attitude either. You don't want to be constantly told that you can do it and that you just need to believe and things will fall in place.

Then I realised that I was looking at it all wrong.

There is a tendency to associate positivity with a belief that everything will work out for the best and negativity with a belief that everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong and that it is foolish to attempt to change the status quo, even though the status quo is not favourable. This is the outside-in view. And I've realised that the outside-in view does nothing whatsoever to change the way I work (and I'm hypothesising that it is the same with everyone else).

I can tell myself that everything will work out in the end and stay positive about it all I want, but that's like taking painkillers hoping that it will cure the underlying cause, while it is at best treating the symptoms, that too temporarily.

No. Positivity and negativity are not outside-in concepts at all. It has nothing to do with believing in how something will turn out. On the contrary, the inside-out view makes a lot more sense.

Be it positivity or negativity, they both start from understanding the current situation. Understanding the reality. Acknowledging the reality.

Once you acknowledge the reality of the situation, there are two paths you can take. You can either work out what it takes to change that reality or you can throw in the towel and resign yourself to stay in the current reality. And what you decide to do defines whether you are positive or negative in attitude.

Being positive is not about believing in a positive outcome and then not changing what you do to take things in that direction. Being positive is about acknowledging the reality that you are in and knowing that you can change it for the better.

When you are not fixated on a single outcome, you will notice that many opportunities open up that can potentially all lead you to feeling the way that one single outcome would have. And only a positive attitude will let you see these opportunities. And let you pursue them. And let you achieve them.

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