Can positive thinking really make our lives better?

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
 ― Abraham Lincoln

I used to find all these positive thinking stuff to be boring and exaggerated and quite honestly, I never saw myself as someone who would be into these same POSITIVE THINKING STUFF. Every time I see preachers or evangelists on television, it won’t take two seconds before I switch channels.

Even in my choice of reading material, I never paid much attention to personal development. I was more into fiction because I’m a big Stephen King fan and the horror genre in general. Even I am surprised that as of today, I’ve read more non-fiction books than fiction. It’s crazy!

So what changed? Why did I suddenly become a fan of personal development and all these positive thinking stuff? The answer is simple. It’s because I experienced a big failure that opened my eyes to the fact that optimism does help and it really works.

Everyone needs hope

Imagine a world without hope. Can you even picture what this world would look like? If everyone who suffers from poverty and misery suddenly decide to give up on life, what will happen? We’ll probably see a rise in suicide cases or more people committing crime because there’s nothing positive to look forward to.

Positive thinking brings hope into our hearts. It gives us this great idea that no matter how difficult our situation is, no matter how deep our struggles are, that we can come out of it a victor. It gives us a reason to continue to fight because all these negative things that are happening around us will soon come to an end.

This is how I got into personal development. I experienced a big setback and I was so down at one point that all I can do is look for something positive. I needed that spark of positivity to keep me going and then I heard Joel Osteen.

Like I said earlier, I was never into ministers or evangelists but in sheer desperation for positive input, I sought him out through a friend’s recommendation. I listened to one or two of his sermons via his weekly podcast and in a short span of time, I was hooked.

Maybe it’s his tone, maybe it’s his delivery, or maybe his sense of humor that got my attention initially but listening to his weekly message made me realize a couple of mistakes I’ve done in my life. Most importantly, his hopefulness and optimism is what kept me glued to my earphones. This is where it all started for me. My wife even teases me if I am going to become a born-again Christian soon because she always hears it when I put it on the car stereo.

So where am I now? Well, I can’t really say that my financial woes have improved dramatically but we’re getting there slowly. What I am sure of though is that my attitude and approach toward the mess I got myself in has vastly improved. I am no longer miserable and I am no longer worried because I am more hopeful now I make it a point to feed my mind with positive input and to stay away from anything that exudes a negative vibe be it a person or a circumstance.

It’s All in the Mindset

My daughter Kylie used to be a negative thinker. My wife and I noticed it in the way she thinks about certain things. For example, there was this time when they were supposed to have an educational field trip the next day but she was so worried that it might rain the next day and all their plans would be ruined. It was a big red flag for me especially because here I was, reading about positive thinking and practicing what I read everyday and my daughter was doing the exact opposite!

I told her that she should be thinking the other way around. She should be expecting to have a good time because it will not rain and their plans will happen as expected. I told her to always do this in everything especially when it concerns her grades. I told her as well that whatever her grades will be, it will be up to her. It will depend on how much hard work she will put in it and I think becoming a preacher on those days actually paid off because she’s one of the top students in her batch base on her grades from the recent quarter. I am very proud because I saw how much she worked for it. She studied until 1AM sometimes and only had four hours of sleep before she prepares to go to school.

As Murphy’s law states, if anything can go wrong, it will. But why think of it this way? Why not think the other way around? If anything can go well, it will!

You have to make optimism a habit if you want to enjoy life. Everyone has problems. Even the rich and famous have problems but it’s no reason for you not to enjoy life. I believe that our first encounter everyday is crucial because it will dictate the mood of the rest of your day that’s why I always make it a habit to start the day by listening to motivational audio and it’s been great so far.

Do you know what millionaires and successful people have in common among others? They are all optimists. They did not let the negative things that happened to them take over their lives. Just look at Warren Buffett, Zig Ziglar, Richard Branson or Robert Kiyosaki.

So in closing, does positive thinking really work? Yes it does. I am not rich, I am not a millionaire, but I still consider myself to be successful because my family is intact, we get to eat thrice in a day, and we are happy regardless of our situation. It’s far from perfect, but it is totally fulfilling.

Over to You

Does positive thinking work for you?

I would love to hear from you and I will appreciate it so much if you can leave a comment or feedback below.

Originally published at on January 9, 2015.