One of the most important survival skills in life
Geoge Lucas, the famous film director of Star Wars said, “Always remember – your focus determines your reality .”
Why we must focus on the positive.
1 Life will throw a lot of obstacles at you. Some are disguised as opportunities. Being negative would only make you think about problems. Staying positive makes you take action.
2 Research and studies have shown that the human mind tends to be affected by negative thoughts and hold on to them longer. I think that our minds naturally gravitate towards negativity which may be due to self-preservation.
We have to work hard to get out of a negative mindset.
We need to train our minds to think of the good stuff.
Let me relate my experience about focusing on the positive.
One day, my patient brought her 18-year-old daughter to my clinic and said, “Please give her something to do while waiting for her results. She wants to do dentistry”. She seemed like a good girl, somewhat reserved.
My negative tendency was to note that she had no experience whatsoever and would consume much of our time to train her. She was only going to be a temporary help.
The positive angel in me told me that this young quiet lady would have a bright future if I could inspire her. This was my chance to do some good for someone who needs guidance.
So, patiently, we gave her the ropes – taught her the basics about teeth and dental health, encouraged her to learn, coaxed her along, caught her doing right as a dental assistant, and complimented her. Errors were gently corrected.
She felt encouraged and bloomed over the months. She was joyful and helpful, tried to perform well, and built her self-confidence in the process.
She became determined to join the dentistry course after her interest was piqued. We believed that she could handle the manual dexterity test and interview well. Turned out that she was accepted into dentistry in July. She was elated.
Around the same time, I have taken in another patient’s son who wanted to be a dentist though already had a diploma in biotech. It was close to impossible to get a job as a dental assistant as most clinics only employ female dental assistants. But he found his calling in dentistry.
My negative tendency kicked in again. I started to worry about what my patients would think having a young male dental assistant milling around. However, I felt that there are many male dentists and they should have their fair share of exposure to this career as well.
I introduced him as the future dentist whenever my patients looked odd or queried about being assisted by a young male dental assistant. Through positive engagement, enthusiasm, and hard work, he picked up a lot of clinical knowledge and was a suitable candidate for the dentistry course.
Unfortunately, he was rejected and I decided to take a positive view and analyzed that the barrier was his age. He was already 24 and they might have wanted him to pursue his biotech career instead.
We wrote in an appeal to the authorities to reconsider his application as age should not matter but passion does and they could test him on his clinical knowledge learned on the job. He got accepted.
Focus on the positive and you get possibilities.
Staying positive gets results.
How does one stay positive
1 Change your perspective — -Every incident is a double edge sword. While you may lose something, you would also gain something else.
When presented with a challenge such as a work project or even a presentation that seems insurmountable, see it as an opportunity to hone your skills. You just need to get started and thereon, each piece of work just gets easier. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Look for the good in a difficult situation and it may not seem so bad after all.
2 Manage your expectations. People don’t excel overnight except for the exceedingly few talented ones. Behind that, bet that there was a lot of sweat and tears. Expect mediocrity when you first try something. On receiving feedback, work on it and one would only become better.
Patience is a great virtue and expecting progress with reasonable time and effort will make you feel more positive.
3 Surround yourself with happy, warm, and genuine people
Friends who are supportive, encouraging, and caring give you a boost of energy to overcome the little slings and arrows of daily living. Have friends who have a positive outlook and that would also rub off on your psyche.
It is for this reason that I stayed with SIM II Toastmasters Club for close to thirty years as I find it a nurturing and positive environment for personal growth and interpersonal relationship building and honing communication skills.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to be a beacon of light in others’ lives too.
4 Be grateful for the things in your life.
A proverb goes, “Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”
It is easy to list at least three things to thank for every day — thankful to be live life to the best of my ability, thankful to sample the goodness of life, thankful to overcome challenges and become a better person.
A grateful person has more energy to dissipate and is a magnet for good things to happen. A grateful person attracts other positive people reinforcing your ability to overcome adversity.
Focus on the positive. It is totally within our grasps and power to live life happily.