Everything that can go wrong will, right? No! Of course not! Stop listening to your grandparents. That is an old fashioned and completely anti-productive way to think about things. The way that the saying should go is: As long as you keep expecting for bad things to happen they are the only things that you will ever notice in your life. If you focus on the negative you get back negative. If you focus on the positive you get back positive. Yes, I am an optimist. First place public speaking Optimists Club award in high school.
For instance, I like to run when it is overcast. The blaring sun in Central Florida is not fun to run with. It’s tricky to time it though, because sometimes it starts to rain after I head out, and sometimes the clouds blow away and the sun appears. Our clouds are tricky here. I could be negative every time that happened. I could act like an Eeyore, and tell myself that it was bound to happen, or it figures, or isn’t that always the way it goes. That’s not always the way it goes, and I refuse to think that way. How many times do I get to run when it is beautiful outside and I have perfect running conditions? How many times have I made it home just before it started pouring? The truth is that I normally get a nice run, complaining about occasional less-than-perfect conditions in just ridiculous.
Being positive works, it really truly does. Try doing this sometimes, when your kids are driving you nuts, or you are in a fight with your spouse, or your dog just spread garbage all over the living room. List ten things that you love about them, or ten reasons that you love the dog, or ten nice things that your partner has done for you. It is effective. If you can put your brain in the place where you are thinking of positive things, then your brain will seek out more positivity. You may notice more good things happening around you than you ever saw before.
This works in arguments too. You can help turn a discussion in a positive direction by making the right comments. By saying: “You just made a really good point there,” or “You explained that really well,” or “I can agree with that,” you can move the disagreement in a productive direction. By telling the person that you are arguing with that you are open to hearing their perspective on the issue and resolving the problem, you make it possible to find resolution. When couples argue in circles calling out mistake after mistake that one another have made, the arguments just get worse and worse.
Good things happen constantly. Being grateful can help remind you of that a lot and if you actively try it you may discover yourself becoming a much happier person. If you could glimpse into my mind during the day you would catch me saying little thank yous for everything. I silently thank the dryer for working, I thank my bed for being so comfortable, and I thank the checkout register when it helps me successfully pay for our groceries. I know that it sounds silly, but I don’t really care. Being grateful makes me happy. Everything can go right too.