Looking on the bright side – can you do that? All the time?
If you’re anything like me, it takes real effort to continue to look on the bright side – regardless. But even though it takes effort, (and sometimes huge effort), it never hurts me in the long run. In fact, it makes my life better, and all those around me feel it.
Once I’ve found the “bright side”, and go with it, then other aspects where negativity could creep in seem easier to manage.
Is it simple to look for the positive in life? Not always.
Looking on the bright side even when it’s hard.
Here are some ways to encourage yourself to focus on what’s good in a circumstance:
Express your thankfulness in a concrete way: words, or actions.
Take time to ponder. We allow the rush of life to overwhelm us and by default the place we end up is negative. Use a timeout to process what’s going on. Prayer always helps me.
Make a pro and con list on paper. (or your computer) Seeing the issues in black and white will often clarify those nebulous clouds of gloom and doom. Talk it through with a trusted friend. A person who loves you can see situations differently. Neither of you is right or wrong. Sometimes it’s good to have a discussion to see another’s view.
Get out of your own way. In the Lead Like Jesus Encounter, there’s a part called “Ego’s Annonymous”. It’s designed to help the participants recognize we all struggle every day with pride and fear – it’s an addiction. As a Christian, I see EGO as “edging God out”. Most times, at least for me, when I can’t find the bright side that’s at the root.
How about you?
What techniques do you use to successfully find your positive place?
PositiveThanksLiving is about being strategically optimistic – not just pie-in-the-sky everything is perfect. Living as an optimistic and thankful person takes work – but it’s worth it!
A few ways to look on the bright side – even when it’s hard. Be strategically optimistic.
Learn to laugh at yourself – it’s a sign of maturity!
I found a fun quote from Ethel Barrymore, a great-great aunt of Drew Barrymore. She was an actor from 1895 to 1957 and part of a family who made their life on the stage. She said,
“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.”
~ Ethel Barrymore
When did you first learn to laugh at yourself?
I’m guessing that learning to laugh at yourself isn’t a one-time event. I think we grow into the ability.
Eventually, we all learn that nobody is really looking at us, even if we think they are. And that we’re not all that important, and the actions we take (on the whole) may or may not be wise and won’t usually make everyone happy or unhappy.
None of us are that important or famous that we shouldn’t be able to see our faults or mistakes and laugh along with others. No one is perfect. Not even us!
What makes you most often laugh about yourself?
I laugh at my own “boring-ness”. I find it easy to put children to sleep (especially the grandboy) because I’m not very exciting. And I laugh when people notice how often I say, “I’m sorry”. It’s a Canadian thing.
Have you ever seen Ethel Barrymore? Here’s a compilation of some of her stage/movie roles – she began acting at 14 after her mother died of tuberculosis and her career spanned 60 years. Her parents were actors, and her brothers were John and Lionel Barrymore. Today her family is represented by Drew Barrymore.
Below you can watch a video with Ethel Barrymore in 1952 on “What’s My Line?” a TV show that had guests guessing the identity and profession of individuals. I cued the video to begin when she came on the episode at minute 16:45, but you might find it fun to watch the whole episode! If you can’t see the YouTube video below, click HERE to go directly to YouTube.
It’s not as though we won’t experience pain just because we’re optimistic people… every person on this planet will suffer in some way, at some time. This hurt that could be physical, mental or spiritual will afflict all of us.
It’s not going to be possible to be cheery all the time. How can an optimistic person deal with these afflictions that cause an ache?
You can treat pain with the love of God.
C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Problem of Pain“, explores the question, “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?”. I’ve underlined a great number of phrases as I’ve read the book, and the quote below is especially poignant for me:
“When pain is to be born,
a little courage
helps more than much knowledge,
a little human sympathy
more than much courage,
and the least tincture of the love of God
more than all.”
So, to paraphrase C.S. Lewis — just a little bit of the Love of God when dealing with pain is more effective than anything else.
Where do you go to feel the Love of God?
I can feel God’s love in many ways – including
reading His Word,
pondering and praying in solitude,
when I listen to praise and worship music,
hearing the Word from the altar at church,
when receiving communion – the body and blood of Jesus and hearing the absolution,
when I pray with Rob, and with friends,
and when I honestly force myself to list all the blessings God has provided for me. Being thankful helps me feel God’s Love.
How about you – where do you feel the Love of God?
Be prompted to be positive via email- not pie-in-the-sky perfect, but rather a strategic optimism. Reminding you that you're loved, of living a thankful life, of encouraging and being encouraged and of setting and achieving goals. That's Positive ThanksLiving!
Excellent! I'm looking forward to prompting you to be positive. Let's do this! (Check your email.)
Hello! I’m Lori –
I'm a writer, a wife to Rob for 34 years and mom to grown children. My focus is to be optimistic, thankful and to encourage you!