Community Add OnsFourteen Fundamentals

Fundamental Seven: Develop Positive, Optimistic Thinking


The second major aspect to Fundamental Seven is positive thinking. Here, we pick-up on a theme we introduced earlier in our chapter on Fundamental Five (“Stop Worrying”). In that discussion, we suggested that happiness has often been defined as a “state of mind where one’s thinking is pleasant most of the time.”

To refresh our memory, let’s briefly outline the propositions regarding happiness we suggested then…

First, happiness is nothing more than an emotion — an abiding feeling of well-being and contentment. It is a global feeling, but it is collectively based upon the thousands of specific feelings we experience every day, as they balance-out over time.

Second, the everyday feelings which build or deplete our overall happiness are partially accounted for by the kinds of thoughts which preoccupy our mind. Ample evidence shows that positive thoughts produce positive emotions and negative thoughts produce negative emotions — and in a measurable way, our happiness appears to be directly contingent on the positively or negativity of our daily thought-patterns over the months and years.

Third, overall happiness can be attacked on a minute by minute basis. To the degree that happiness is like a “time clock” (where more time is spent in positive, than negative, thought), then, every additional minute one can manage to spend in a positive frame of mind, the happier one will be.

To accomplish this, several simultaneous strategies can be employed…

One way is to reduce the amount of negative thinking which intrudes upon one’s mental day. Here, we have already made some progress when we discussed ways to “Stop Worrying” a few Chapters ago. Later in this volume, when we talk about “Eliminate Negative Feelings,” we’ll pursue this strategy even further.

Another way to focus the mind on more positive thoughts is to live a fuller life. Here, the first four Fundamentals are appropriate. Our previous discussions of “Be More Active,” “Spend More Time Socializing,” “Be Productive at Meaningful Work,” and “Get Better Organized” each describe excellent strategies to positively focus our mind through enjoyable, involving pursuits.

Presently, in this chapter, our analysis of optimism has shown yet another strategy. As we have seen, developing an optimistic perspective provides a way to interpret the past, present, and future in positive terms. Here we have seen that an optimistic slant on things can fill the mind with many more happy impressions than unhappy ones.

But now we come to the ultimate strategy: focusing on positive thoughts directly!

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[…] 10  Fundamental Seven: Develop Positive,  Optimistic Thinking […]


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