Positive thinking is a powerful tool. It is also simple and free. Maintaining positive thoughts is something anyone can do, but many beginners find it difficult to banish negative thoughts and to find positive ideas on which to focus.
Many people who decide to harness the power of positive thinking have read books describing the wonderful effects they can achieve and have become very excited by the things they discovered. They finish the book in a state of elation, determined to implement the techniques they have learned but, instead of having feelings of gratitude and well-being, their minds stray to wishful thinking or negative thoughts.
The problem can start from day one when the newly hatched positive thinker first tries to feel inwardly positive and grateful. This is understandable: his reason for reading about positive thinking and deciding to use it was born out of a desire for improvement or maybe a longing to change unhappy circumstances. Positive thoughts can easily be hijacked by niggling dissatisfactions.
When he should be giving thanks for the fact that he has warmth and shelter, the thinker finds himself dwelling on the thought that his house is small and shabby compared to the smart home which is one of his goals in life. This negative idea soon becomes a train of negative thought. Following on from thoughts of his unsatisfactory accommodation, comes the thought that his car is several years old and always seems to need fixing. Next comes the thought that there is never enough money to keep the house in good repair and to keep the car on the road. Then he thinks about his pittance of a salary and how he does not get paid what he is worth, it is barely enough to feed and clothe the family and vacations are out of the question. To give the kids enough of an education to get a decent chance in life will mean he will have to put himself into debt.
You can easily see how, in just a few seconds, negative ideas have overwhelmed any embryonic positive thoughts. Instead of feeling of relaxed and happy in the warm glow of positive energy and celebration of life’s abundance, the thinker is wasting energy and pushing positive ideas further away by miserably reviewing all the things that he hoped to change.
It can be hard to feel grateful if this is your situation. When your house is too small, you don’t have enough cash to keep up with repairs, your TV is on the blink, you worry about stretching finances to cover life’s essentials, you don’t earn enough, you hate your job but aren’t likely to find anything better, you don’t have the time or the money to be able to enjoy yourself, life is all work and worry. How can you be expected to feel gratitude?
Imagine surviving a hurricane. You have probably seen many images of the aftermath of a hurricane. Imagine how it must feel to be rescued from the flooded debris which was once your home. Not much is left that is recognisable and, what there is, has been smashed beyond any hope of repair. You are homeless, you have no possessions apart from the wet clothes you are wearing. You are cold. You are out of a job because your workplace went with the hurricane. You don’t know whether any member of your family has come through the ordeal. Try to imagine how you would feel.
Now imagine that the rescuers have taken you into a temporary shelter where there is light, warmth, food and a bed for you to sleep in. You have been given dry clothing and a comforting hot drink. You have been reunited with your family who, miraculously, escaped without injury. How do you feel now?
Now dismiss all thoughts of hardship and dissatisfaction and start again. Start by being grateful and happy that you are alive, that your family is safe and you have been given this new day.