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Published on September 13th, 2017 | by voxx

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Keeping it Positive!

To quote a commonly used phrase, ‘Is the Glass half full or half-empty?’ This question immediately popped into my mind while conjuring up a basis for this article. This question, to me, has a magnitude of relevance today, in a world where we are currently subject to conflicting opinions, terrorist attacks, and inundated with a continual motion of negative press.

It is easy to see why the media causes some people to opt for the half-empty perspective. This has become startlingly true considering the amount of anxiousness I hear in the passing talk of strangers on topics such as politics and education. Sure, we do live in a rather unpredictable ‘world climate’, but this means that it is all the more important to lean on the side of positivity.

It is something I have had to battle and contend with on a personal level, being someone of a naturally negative disposition. I am no stranger to over-analysing the context of a simple social gathering, or thinking if I am ready enough to pass a dreaded maths exam. In recent times however, this has changed somewhat. I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life; a roof over my head, a caring family, and relatively good health to name a few.

It’s often these values that are at risk of going unnoticed in today’s culture.

I have noticed that many people seem obsessed with the concept of ‘more’, and this archetype of mentality is damaging. More Facebook photo likes, more money, more clothes. It speaks volumes about how dissatisfied people really are with their image, their material possessions, and status, and it’s a shame that this focus shifts people’s appreciation for what they currently acquire.

I urge everyone reading this article to spare a moment and consider what you have in your life that is irreplaceable, or at the very least, recall a moment of personal success or joy that granted you with self-satisfaction. Maybe you have a relationship with someone that you cherish more than words can describe, maybe you have recently overcome a longstanding phobia, or maybe you passed you’re a-levels with flying colours. We all have something we can positively reflect on. I believe many people fall into the category of being momentarily appreciative, but it is very much a lifestyle challenge in my opinion.

Our minds are clearly wonderful mechanisms, and surely if we are capable of creating stunningly life-like paintings, complex languages, and inventions that change course of history, we can quite easily also learn to let go of our hatred for English weather. When something goes wrong in my life, I often think that I could be in a much worse predicament, and this allows me to re-calibrate the balance, meaning instead I become thankful and grateful of what I have and become generally content.

You might say it’s easier said than done, and that is very true. It’s hard to flip the mental stance over the course of one night, that’s for sure, but a muscle will only grow stronger after it is exercised and our mental cogs also need to be consciously trained. With this in mind, I encourage you to view things differently.

The next time someone criticises something about you, view it as a stepping stone to becoming a more refined individual, or the next time you feel disappointed because you don’t acquire the latest technological gadget, quietly contemplate the living conditions of the homeless person you walked past on the way to town who has nothing of the sort. Think of the glass as being half full.

- By Steven Keane


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