Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

What is Positive Thinking?

Like most people, my husband and I are different people. We look at life from different angles and have different outlooks on situations.

While I tend to look at life from a positive, glass half-full perspective, my husband tends to see everything that is wrong or could go wrong. I would not call him a pessimist, but I would not call him a positive thinker either.

There are times, when we’ve had a disagreement or in times of stress in our life, when he says something disparaging about positive thinking. The other day, when faced with a problem, out of the blue he stated, “I guess I should just sit here and think happy thoughts and everything will be okay.”

And that statement got me to wondering, is that what people believe positive thinking is all about? That we who choose to look at the blessings in our life instead of dwelling on the negativity are just sitting around thinking happy thoughts and hoping everything turns out okay?

I don’t believe that is true at all.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote many positive thinking books wrote, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” How you perceive a situation has a huge impact on how positively or negatively it will reflect on your life.

I have chosen not to dwell on the negative. Focusing on what is wrong in our lives only serves to make us miserable. Instead, we should focus on the positive things in our life and be grateful for them. When a problem arises, we should look at it, figure out a solution and go to work to fix it.

Which brings me to another of Dr. Peale’s quotes, “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.”

To me that is what positive thinking is all about. It is not a passive, “Gee I hope things will turn out alright for me” kind of existence. It is more of a “Life is good, I’m going to be grateful for what I have and if a problem pops up, I’ll figure out a way to get rid of it,” attitude.

A positive attitude without action isn’t what positive thinking really means. I believe we should all be grateful for this incredible life we’ve been given. If you have a dream for your life, then you should make a plan, write it down and start working every day to make that dream a reality.

Even when there are obstacles, and there will be, you stay focused and keep moving forward staying positive and grateful for your progress.

That is what positive thinking means to me, what does it mean for you?

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