STAYING POSITIVE, IN A NEGATIVE WORLD, CAN BE ONE OF LIFE’S MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES
TWO PEOPLE OF POSITIVE INFLUENCE IN MY LIFE
My first and most influential positive thinking lessons came from my mother. She was a fun-loving, practical joker and always a glass-half full kind of person. When anyone was down, her positive kicked into high gear.
My second influence came from an exceptional, gifted high school teacher, Mrs. Shirley Brackett Mathey. I’ve never forgotten her or her lessons. I believe the class was called, at that time, Family Living. She has written several books that pertain to positive thinking and self-confidence for teenagers. Click on her name above for a preview of her books.
Everyday she greeted students at the door and told them to enter her classroom with positive thoughts, or at least one. She explained in the first week of school, that she understood that sometimes you have to dig deep for those positive thoughts. She expected every student to have at least one a day and be positive in her classroom. She shared much of her own life, and was open and honest with us. It wasn’t unusual to weep in her class and be comfortable with it. Students cried tears of joy and sometimes sad tears, right along with Mrs. B. The main point is, she had the ability to make all of her hormonal teenage students feel accepted and respected.
Without fail each day she invited her students to see her after school and share whatever they had on their hearts. I don’t know how many hours she dedicated to students with heartaches, poverty, abuse and whatever other horrible things they dealt with in their lives, but I know she always had students that sat in the hall and waited their turn to speak with her and receive a loving hug.
She never began her class without playing this song, Accentuate the Positive. I still find myself humming or singing this song through negative thoughts as I did with my sons as they grew up.
I’ve discovered staying positive is an ongoing process, something to be worked on mentally, physically, and spiritually each and everyday, at least it is for me.
These three things help to keep me somewhat balanced, during both the positive and the negative times.
1) Walking, yoga, or any physical exercise
2) Being Grateful for something, there’s always something! (Mrs. B taught me that and she was right.) I do a ten-finger grateful count every morning before getting out of bed and have for years.
3) Make the effort to be around people, (preferably ones that makes you smile) even when you want to hide in a hole— or do something kind for someone else.
The most humbling things I’ve learned are, no matter how alone I feel, I’m not alone and . . . I can only change myself and my attitude towards personal problems and the problems of our world.
How do you keep positive?
*From Above – Song History Note–The original Accentuate the Positive was written by Johnny Mercer, music by Harold Arlen in 1944 and performed in 1945 by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers
This song has been sang by many iconic artists, such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Perry Como, Paul McCartney, and even Clint Eastwood and Bette Midler, the list goes on . . . .