The world is filled with both good and evil. In our daily lives, we will always experience good times and bad times. A life without pain, suffering, and difficulty will never be found. It is a fact of life that there will always be hard circumstances to endure.
This reality leaves many people jaded, always on the lookout for the next shoe to drop. We know that we will experience pain and suffering so that becomes our focus. We see evil everywhere. We revel in our pain and wallow in our suffering. And we get stuck in a place of negativity and defeat, completely missing the reality that there is also good in our lives.
Everywhere you look, you can see good or you can see bad. In every experience, there is always a way to focus on the evil or the good.
And your experience in life is based on which of these you see. If you always view the world through the lens of negativity, focusing on the evil and the bad, you will feel far more negative emotions. But if your view of the world is always on the lookout for the good, then good is what you will find, and joy and peace and beauty will be yours.
Positive people don’t ignore the evil in the world, they aren’t ignorant or naive to the bad things that can and do happen. It is just that positive people recognize that our lives are filled with both good and bad. This can’t be changed or overcome. It is what it is. But positive people recognize that what you focus on expands into what you experience overall.
We can focus on the evil in the world and feel depressed, anxious, sad, frustrated, and angry. Or we can look out for the good in each situation. We can look for ways we can bring good and light to the dark places in the world. We can be grateful for the blessings that always exist, even in the worst of circumstances. And when our focus is on these things, we begin to feel joy, peace, love, hope, happiness, and goodness.
If looking at the bright side of life is something you struggle with, here are some steps you can take to move toward becoming a more positive person.
Recognize that life is half good and half bad.
This is step one in the process. So often negative people see so much evil around them that they forget that good even exists. They are always expecting and preparing for the next bad thing. They distrust everyone, knowing that no one is truly good.
I’m not asking you to ignore the bad. I’m not suggesting that you become delusional and pretend that life is always filled with flowers and puppies. But what if you gently remind yourself, on a daily basis, that just as much as life can be bad, it can also be good. For as many negative experiences we face, there are at least as many positive ones.
Negative situations and experiences are simply a part of life. They are not something to be feared or anxious about. We will experience some difficult times, it is a fact of life. We can own that, but we don’t have to live there. We don’t constantly have to be looking out for the bad, preparing for the worst, and focusing on the evil.
What if you began to notice both. For every bad situation you see, look for a good one. Slowly begin to train your mind to recognize that there is good just as much (if not more) than there is evil in this world.
Be grateful for the good.
Each day, write out three things you are thankful for. In every circumstance and season of life, there is something you can be thankful about. I’ve been following this practice for years. Somedays I’m able to write out some really phenomenal thing that is happening, while other days I struggle to come up with something profound. But I still make it a practice to find something to be thankful for, even if it’s as simple as clean running water in my home. That’s actually something that many people in the world would consider profound and huge.
If you find yourself wandering into negativity land throughout your day, stop and look around you to find something you can be thankful for. This helps to train your mind to always be grateful and looking out for the good around you. You cannot be thankful and bitter at the same time.
Stop negative thoughts in their tracks.
Most of the time negative people don’t think they are being negative. They believe that they are just being realistic. And oftentimes they don’t even notice that the majority of their thoughts are negative, even when some of the thoughts aren’t even true.
A positive person, on the other hand, consciously looks out for their unconscious thoughts. Most of us realize that we think a lot of things throughout the day and we aren’t even aware of many of our thoughts. They happen automatically and subconsciously. But that doesn’t make them right, good, or helpful.
If you want to start looking at the bright side of life, you have to bring awareness to this process. Look out for the negative messages that run through your mind and put a stop to them. When you notice a negative thought pass by, take the time to squash it out by replacing it with a positive thought. Many times the negative messages that unconsciously run through our mind are lies that we believe about ourselves or the people around us.
You can begin to notice these by not only being more aware of your thoughts but also your emotions. If you suddenly notice yourself becoming angry, frustrated, sad, or otherwise upset out of the blue, stop and rewind your brain. Try to think about what thoughts you were just thinking prior to feeling these emotions. Your emotions are always caused by your thoughts, so if you find that inaccurate thoughts are leading you to negative emotions all day, it’s time to make some changes.
Look out for negative influences.
Have you ever heard that you are most like the 5 people you spend the most time with? Take a close look at the people around you. Do they constantly spend their days in bitterness, complaining about all the things, looking out for all the ways the world is a terrible place? That will rub off on you.
And it’s not just the people in your life, it’s also the experiences. Your Facebook newsfeed might need some cleaning up. You might want to avoid watching certain shows or news programs that tend to fill your mind with worrisome and angry thoughts about the bad things in the world.
I’m not suggesting you stick your head in the sand. You can be aware of the world around you without letting your life be overwhelmed by the negativity in the world. Because the truth is that staying informed by reading all of the terrible stories circulating on Facebook does absolutely nothing to make the world a better place. It actually just makes things worse because it fuels your anger, hatred, and frustration. Instead, turn it off and go do something good.
Hang out with people who are doing great things. Start conversations with people about inspiring, motivating, and uplifting topics. Begin discussions that will lead you to overcome the negativity and bring a positive light to the world around you.
Be the good.
The world isn’t filled with evil and darkness because of the good people in the world. If you stop focusing on the evil people and the things they are doing and instead look for the good people and the things they are doing you will begin to see true beauty and greatness.
True joy in life comes when we are the good people doing good things. We begin to run into more good people doing more good things. We start to surround ourselves with all this good and it begins to drown out the negative. We still know that there is evil and darkness in the world, but we also recognize that light always, always, wins over darkness.
So today, do something good. And then do another good thing. Until that becomes your routine and your life mission. Be the good you wish to the see in the world and suddenly you will begin to realize that the world is actually a pretty great place.
Today’s Action Step to Become a More Positive Person
I think even the most positive people in the world still struggle at times to focus on the good. So take some time to evaluate where you fit in the above 5 areas. Which one of these steps is the most challenging for you in this current season of life? Take some time today to begin working through the ideas in this post to begin to train your mind toward the good side of life.