Positive Thinking: How To Stay Positive At All Times

Not only can a positive attitude make your life more fun, it even helps you live longer. Learn how to rid your life of negative thoughts and how to enjoy an upward spiral more often.

First of all: nothing is good or bad

We have written before about the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. If you want to have a positive attitude towards life, it is important to realize that good and bad are nothing more than agreements you have made with yourself and with the people around you.

Nothing is inherently good, and nothing is inherently bad. Things just are, and nothing more than that. You can name numerous examples of things that you are convinced are absolutely bad. And then, you can think of just as many reasons why these manifestations of ‘bad’ can just as well be seen as something good.

Yes, I can legally smoke weed

What we humans think of as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ changes from time to time, from continent to continent. It is different in every country, every city, every family, or even for every person. There once was a time when the stake was an acceptable way to sentence people. There are places where men can have multiple wives, where young children are being given away in marriage, places where using bullets is seen as an acceptable way of settling conflicts.

Here in Delft, I can even legally buy cannabis on the corner of the street (I don’t, because I don’t like it). Some friends of mine has undergone abortion, I have gay friends who are married. A lot of people see that as something very, very bad.

Some (actually quite a lot) people think war is something ‘good’. There are people who find it acceptable to pollute our planet, who have no problems stealing or hurting other people.

In western culture, living in abundance is fine, while a few hundred kilometres away, there are people who are dying from malnutrition. We use clean water to shower while there are children dying of thirst. We can cure malaria and slow down aids, and still they are the two most important causes of death worldwide.

We live at the cost of our planet, we destroy ecosystems at a fast pace and we are about to change the climate, making it more difficult for us to live on this planet.

But at the same time, our progress has given us a lot. We have been able to cure diseases, people on earth are richer and happier than ever before in the history of mankind. People are smarter, they grow older, they make technological progress and they take the challenge of changing society at a fast pace and saving our planetary ecosystems.

What is your opinion? Do you see yourself as bad now? Or as good? Who decides that, and what is this decision based on? Good and bad are illusions. They are prejudices of the human mind. So don’t be afraid to let go of this prejudice, and to see things for what they really are.

You decide how you feel about something

Thoughts don’t happen to you, you create them to. Negative thoughts only exist in your head because you allow them. Give a negative thought space, and before you know it, it will turn into a ‘worst case scenario’.

Give yourself some more time with a negative thought, and you will become convinced of its truth. You will start to believe your own line of thought, and you will start acting accordingly. You will start acting according to your fears, which puts you in a downward spiral.

You will notice how your negativity influences others, you will notice how you are constantly looking for confirmation of those negative thoughts. You will not feel inspired but defeated, life will lose its appeal and you are fed by fear of all kinds of ‘bad’ things. You feel tense, and even, after a while, less healthy.

Realize that this downward spiral of thoughts is no more ‘real’ than an upward spiral of thoughts. Negative thinking often feels safe and comfortable. It feels closer to reality because many things in society are organized on the basis of negative thoughts. It gives you a feeling of power and control.

Still, you yourself can choose how you respond to the things you go through. You can decide whether you will handle a situation in a positive or a negative way. You can decide to what extent you will allow negative thoughts, and for how long you will let them occupy your mind.

Positive thinking is the path to love and unity. Negative thinking is the path to fear. The path to alienation. Neither is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You decide which path you choose, on the basis of where you want to go. Do you want to live a life of love? Or do you want to live a life of fear?

Positivity attracts more positivity

In the way that negative thoughts can drag you into a downward spiral, positive thoughts can endlessly inspire you. Positivity brings more light into your life. You feel better, more optimistic and stronger.

Positive thoughts stimulate creation, they allow you to see possibilities. You can grow, take chances, enjoy every moment a bit more. Positive thinking helps you be comfortable in your own skin and it helps you feel better.

You don’t feel happier because only positive things happen to you. You feel happier because you shed a positive light on the things you go through, instead of experiencing them as negative. You choose to have a hopeful, loving attitude towards the world and towards your life.

Choosing for a positive attitude

Good and bad don’t exist. You can decide how you want to experience the world. You can choose the path of love and unity, and try your hardest to look at things from a positive perspective.

And if something happens that you absolutely consider to be ‘bad’? Don’t let the negativity of the situation suck you in. Find solutions, possibilities and chances. Don’t let your negative thoughts defeat you, but rather, be inspired by positivity!

You can always stay positive by asking yourself where a certain thought comes from. Does the thought come from a feeling of fear? Then let it go, do not give the thought the chance to grow in your head.

Does the thought come from a feeling of love, faith, hope and unity? Give this thought the attention it deserves. Give it space to create an upward spiral. Focus on the positive things in life, and see how your life will change!


Jelle Hermus

Founder of soChicken. Jelle (28) is an entrepreneur, designer and health & happiness expert. His passion is making happiness as simple as possible.

One  comment on Positive Thinking: How To Stay Positive At All Times

  1. chrisF  November 23, 2012 om 4:44 am

    We always explain that the Intent is always positive: To feel good, loved, confidant, strong etc.

    However, behaviours can suck. The classic example would be the ‘Social Smoker’.

    (It’s obviously a stereotype and it works for getting the point across.)

    Social Smoker smokes in social situations. The intent attempting to be realised is positive – feeling comfortable in a social setting.

    The behaviour, smoking, is.. kinda rubbish. Yes it may help or even fully realise the intent, however the side effects are.. not so great.

    So, it’s all about finding alternative behaviours that satisfy the original intent without the not-so-great side effects.

    Of course, the real challenge is helping someone explore and realise what the intent behind their behaviour/s truly is…

    Great read – thank you.


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