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Being Positive in Good Times and in Bad Times

By Remez Sasson

Though there is so much talk about positive thinking, there is misunderstanding of what it really is. Being positive doesn't mean ignoring what is happening around you and living within some kind of a "positive bubble".

You cannot expect someone going through problems or disasters, or living in difficult circumstances, to ignore his/her current condition and start thinking positively right away.

It is easier to think positively when in comfortable situations, but not when in the midst of problems, disasters or a harsh situation, unless you are trained to do so.

Being positive, like any other skill, requires gradual development and training. No one can speak a new foreign language, before studying and practicing for some time. A person, who is not trained, cannot lift heavy weights, run or swim like a trained athlete.

Saying that everything is going to be all right, forcing yourself to smile with no reason, or ignoring problems and difficulties, without trying to solve them, is not being positive. It is being unpractical.

Positive people expect the best and believe that a bad situation would improve, but they are also practical people. They act, not just daydream. They look for opportunities and for solutions, instead of doing nothing and blaming everybody for their troubles. They don't dwell on their problems, live in self-pity and believe that they are victims.

When going through bad times, faced by disasters, misfortune or hardships, what good can you gain by becoming despondent, negative and unhappy? Why let circumstances and situations affect your moods and state of mind? Being positive will not make circumstances and condition disappear, as if by magic, but with a positive attitude you will be more in control of your state of mind, your reactions and your behavior, and therefore, in a better position to improve the situation.

You can dwell on the problems in your life and keep suffering, but you can also make a choice to focus on solutions, improvement and success, and refuse to let circumstances affect your mind too much.

You cannot always control external circumstances, but you can change your attitude and the way you feel.

It is not easy for people in difficult situations to think positively, and therefore, it is a good idea to learn to do so every day, all the time. This will improve this ability when in difficult situations.

By being positive you do not allow problems and difficulties to overpower you and affect your mind and moods, and therefore, you feel happier and suffer less.

Even in the midst of war people can think of peace. Even in the midst of disasters people can see light and seek solace. This requires a positive frame of mind

Positive thinking means to be hopeful, and hope brings light and happiness into the soul.