We all go through a myriad of thoughts on a daily basis ranging from positive to negative to neutral to I don’t care. And our thoughts determine how will our everyday be like. With work overload and stress levels enormously high both at home and at work, the tendency of ours has become to be in a bitter sweet and often irritable mood all day everyday. While we do hear and know about how having a positive/ optimistic mindset helps us to cope with our emotions and thoughts in a volatile world, it’s certainly not easy. I, myself, am an overthinker and focus mostly on the worst case scenario first in any situation. Though it doesn’t lead to any major disappointments, it does give enormous stress and anxiety. And that’s really not a healthy way to have a sane and positive mind despite adversities. Thus began my usual quest to understand what it takes to have a positive mindset and how does one inculcate it as a daily habit to remain calm, sane, sensible and productive amongst all the craziness in the world. This blog of mine is an attempt to bring to you some of the aspects that I came across in order to build a positive mindset.
Positive mindset begins with constructive thinking which culminates into meaningful actions. Constructive thinking, simply put, implies the way one relates to others and accordingly react to situations around themselves in a controlled manner. The question then arises is how to put into practice – the habit of constructive thinking. That’s where someone recommended to me a wonderful novel by Stephen C Lundin, titled – “FISH! A proven way to boost morale and improve results”. Though the novel mainly highlights about how if everyone chooses to bring passion and a positive attitude to their jobs everyday, it manifests into an efficient workplace, I could draw parallels from it on inculcating constructive thinking into one’s life overall.
The authors bring to light the first and core ingredient, that resonated to me as the first step in how to start thinking constructively, which is (I’m quoting the novel directly here) “There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself……We can choose the attitude we bring to our work.” What it implies and also applies to our daily life in general is – we can start our day with a gloomy mood and make it a depressing day or we can start our day with a cheerful attitude and make it a satisfyingly good day. It entirely depends on us to make our everyday a good one by choosing the way we go about it entirely! A choice as simple as this also determines how we choose to be as a person in general. And this very fact is also the catch here! Choosing our attitude is the most difficult task to do and it doesn’t develop overnight. It requires a lot of faith, patience and consistence. Instead of playing a victim of life, it requires you to not resist the change and believe that this one simple step will make your daily life enormously better.
The second ingredient (which to me is the next step in developing constructive thought process) that the book talks about is “PLAY“. What it implies is – one’s life definitely is to be taken seriously but why not have fun with the way we lead it daily. Simply put, let things flow!! Sure there will be difficult situations; but how about we take things one at a time; embrace life’s challenges and not get scared or run away from it; celebrate life’s accomplishments and cherish them; learn from our achievements as well as our mistakes and move on towards a better tomorrow.
The third ingredient (or the third step in inculcating constructive thinking) is “Make their day” which I will rather put as make yours as well as others day daily by engaging with everyone around you ensuring constant flow of positive feelings. One thing we all should acknowledge is that memories are not made in formal occasions or celebrations but in unexpected moments of life. And when such unexpected memories are created, it simply makes everyone’s day including yours leaving you feeling satisfied.
The last ingredient, as the book simply puts it, is “Be Present“.
What it implies, as the last ingredient in inculcating constructive thinking, is that it’s important to be in the moment rather than fill your heads with thousand different things. You got to be in the present! Do worry about the future but a bit lesser; let go of your past, it brings nothing but despair! Be aware of yourself and your surroundings instead of being lost elsewhere.
What I would like to point to finally is that inculcating constructive thinking allows you to be realistic and helps you make sense of your various experiences. It gives you the much needed flexibility to deal with ups and downs of life in totality and helps you build meaning in your life. All the above ingredients are already out there and in the novel’s very own words – ‘You are the only one who can put them together into that pattern that will be your life.’ While making constructive thinking a habit is for sure a lot of efforts and practice, it still is worth it.
P.S.: I suggest you do read the novel by Stephen C Lundin to know why it’s called FISH! 🐟🐬🐳