I wish I had a couple bucks for every time people said that they wished they were as positive as I am. It’s kinda funny when I think about it because I can assure you, I didn’t come out of the chute this way. I’ve been to hell and back more times than I’d care to think about and because of that, I’ve finally got to the point of understanding how important it is to focus on the good, the positives, the successes, the happiness, and what I want – and I can let go of thinking about the fears, the worries, the failures, and what might (or did) go wrong.

In my young adult years, my friends probably thought I was the biggest pessimist on the planet. I always said, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!” People always whined at me because of it, saying I was so negative, so pessimistic, always expecting the worst etc. And my response was “Well, the worst always happens so what else do you expect me to do?”

Then I read about an organisation in America called BLOOP – the Benevolent and Loyal Order Of Pessimists. They claimed that contrary to popular belief, they were not gloomy and depressed because 90% of the time they were proven to be right, and 10% of the time they were pleasantly surprised.

On the other hand, they said, 90% of the time optimists were disappointed, and 10% of the time, they were proven to be right. Therefore, optimists couldn’t possibly be nearly as happy as pessimists, or so BLOOP members claimed.

I was only too happy to adopt their beliefs as my own. It was a great reason (um, excuse) to continue to expect the worst.

(Photo courtesy of StuartMiles at freerangestock.com)

Over the many years since then, I have come to believe that you get what you expect. So of course, as I look back on a few decades of misery, I can see that I was expecting the worst and it kept happening. I continued to put – or keep – myself in situations and beliefs that would validate and perpetuate it.

Now I expect good things, wonderful things – and more than ever before, they are happening for me. This doesn’t mean that my life is perfect or that there aren’t challenges for me or for my family. But how I view those challenges is what makes a big difference. And I continue to do my best to put them in a positive light or to focus on a positive outcome, rather than paying attention to the parts that don’t feel good.

I focus on positives, on health, wellbeing, growth and learning. I choose thoughts that reflect what I want, and not what I don’t want, or what I fear. The more I focus on what I want, the less I want to consider what I don’t want.

(Photo courtesy of StuartMiles at freerangestock.com)

My life is so much lighter and happier for it. And yours can be, too. Every time I’m told how much people wish they could be as positive as I am, or how they wish they could think like I do, I remind them that I wasn’t always like this and I know what it is to learn to change those negatives into positives.

The best bit is that once I started doing it, it felt so good it made me want to do it more. The more I did it, the easier it got; it’s really just about developing the habit of choosing positive thoughts over negative ones. Doing it is its own reward because it just feels so good to live in a positive frame of mind and staying focused on happiness and the outcomes you want for yourself. Then, when Life gets challenging, it’s so much easier to get yourself into a mental and emotional place that feels good.

Being positive is a decision. But once you get good at it, there’s no decision to be made. It’s like if you’re used to drinking cheap wine and you don’t really like it but you drink it because you’re used to it. Then you start drinking better wine, and soon you discover that the cheap stuff is really nasty. It doesn’t take long and you’re bypassing the cheap stuff without even thinking about it, and heading straight for the wine that you enjoy. You will never find yourself standing in front of shelves of wine and asking yourself, “Hmm, should I buy this yummy one that I love? Or this really nasty stuff that I swear is half turpentine?” The thought would never cross your mind.

You get to choose. Do you want the yummy wine? Or the turpentine?