Positive perspectives and practices for personal growth.

I Would Cope

Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism. ~ Arnold Bennett, Things That Have Interested Me Optimists are blessed with a gift; one that according to psychologists is the most helpful personality trait we can possess. Those happy-go-lucky, ‘Cheer up, it’s not so bad!’ optimists always see the bright side. They see problems […]

Can I Do It?

How do you psyche yourself up? Do you tell yourself, “I can do this!”; “I’m really confident!”; “I’m really talented!” ; “I’m a winner!” ; “I’m strong and in control!”? Are you? The problem with such positive affirmations is that they’re nothing more than veneer statements… they lack substance; and like anything that’s devoid of […]

Acceptance

There’s a discord running through all our lives… a gap, or maybe a gulf, between what we have and what we want. Do you know what? The disparity between the two is – according to Eastern philosophy at least – pretty much responsible for all human suffering. The theory goes that not having what we […]

The 84th Problem

Life is often hectic, not to mention full of problems. So much to do, so many issues to resolve, so little time to get it all done. We’re left burdened and pressured to the point of being overwhelmed. Of course, some of us cope better than others with this hectic pace of life. My fiancée, […]

Life is Short, Misery is Optional

Life is way too short – I am coming more and more to appreciate – to squander in any shape or form. That means either allowing negative emotions to bring you down; or alternatively, wasting your time on the trivial, or on anything you don’t do with full personal volition. Negative emotions that I am […]

The Art of Optimism

As far as personality types go, I will happily admit to leaning towards the obsessive compulsive end of the spectrum; which, as a not so handy by-product makes me a naturally gifted pessimist too. Thanks to that innate pessimistic proficiency I can state with some authority the simple two part formula that offers a sure […]

Keep the Faith

‘Keep the Faith’ by Bon Jovi is one of my favourite songs. In fact, obsessive though it undoubtedly sounds, and indeed probably is, there’s unlikely to have been a 24 hour period in the last twenty years when I didn’t listen to the song at least once. Why? Well, in addition to the thumping bass […]

Finding happiness through gratitude

We often think of gratitude as nothing more than a mark of politeness; something we do for the benefit of others. Your nearest and dearest gives you the latest CD of a band you haven’t listened to in years, or an item of clothing so vile that you wouldn’t use it as a rag to wash the car, and your default response will probably be to fake gratitude with a forced smile combined with some thinly disguised words of appreciation. “Oh thanks…that’s just what I wanted”. But is that really the be all and end all of gratitude – to shield people from the upset of knowing they’ve given you a dodgy birthday or Christmas present?

Taking Positive Thinking Too Far: Affirmations

Have you ever tried to build yourself up with a self-affirmation? That cornerstone of positive thinking whereby you attempt to convince yourself that you’re likeable, confident and intelligent by incessantly repeating to yourself, ‘I am likeable, confident and intelligent.’ (Or of course, any other positive character trait you desperately wished you possessed.) Did it work, or did it per chance paradoxically leave you feeling flatter than before – feeling less likeable, confident and intelligent?

More than Words, A Way of Life

Well-chosen sayings can shape your life; adopted with enough conviction they take on the mantle of global beliefs that impact the way you see the world and how you respond to events. Choose powerful, motivational and inspirational global beliefs and they can, to quote Rudyard Kipling, ‘force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone’; they can sure up your resolve in the face of adversity; they can even make you fearless.