I know many of you know what I am talking about. Some of you may not.
I wanted to write a satire today about an author of self-help motivational ‘power of positive’ thinking books. In my satire he would be too depressed to write anything positive. I may get to that satire and humor before long, but I got derailed thinking along a different line.
Part of my mental wandering is being brought about by the fact that I am going to compete in the famous Penn Relays this Friday. I am going to run on a 4x100 meter relay team with my Houston Elite teammates. Normally when I compete I am not nervous at all; but in a prestigious relay like Penn a mistake or failure on my end will have an impact on three other people. There are high speed baton exchanges, take-off zones, drop dead zones, hand positions and enough other details to make what appears like a simple endeavor seem quite difficult.
And so I have been mentally working on staying positive and quite frankly there have been moments when my anxiety wrestles the positive thinking to the ground and gets in a few good punches. From that process developed a thought I don’t often see discussed.
The positive thinking evangelists take us to the doorstep, but once we are there we often wander astray at the smallest sighting of the negative or a failure from our ‘positive thinking’ to bring a suitable result.
How then do we distinguish between the fanciful ‘Pollyana’ type positive thinking as opposed to true belief in ourselves and the power of belief in a positive outcome?
How do we find the silver lining of the darkest cloud and cling tenaciously to it as if we were blind to any darkness?
Maybe our weakness is that we seek the improbable rather than the positive? With intent I did not use the word impossible in the previous sentence. Someone always corrects me that there is nothing impossible to us.
When I expect the improbable, do I concentrate so hard on the ultimate goal of my positive thinking that I might miss the alternate positive that knocks on my door? Is our vision of positive too narrow?
Maybe it’s only a larger Faith that we need. Faith that by believing in the ultimate good that awaits us all, we run in the proper direction, and find the world more palatable than if we embraced the negative; but knowing we should keep keen our senses on all things positive and good, not merely the good we have outlined in a static exogenous fashion.
The true test of our ability to seek the good comes when times are toughest; the most negative of all our experience. We all know that and I assure you I didn’t come up with that thought by having a genius philosopher pass me a note.
We all know this phenomenon, yet we still let failure to reach our preconceived notion of ‘the ultimate positive’ derail us.
I’m full circle here to understanding the old wisdom about silver linings on dark clouds. And I’m hoping to add a twist to the old adage. Hoping and working on the Faith to hold on to the slimmest of silver linings that surround the darkest of clouds; defining what Faith in all things good actually means when measured by the strong and determined.
Remembering to define the good not by what I might believe is good, but instead by what the universe offers to me in a positive spirit.
Please wish me well. I will find the good in
I know you will find the strength to hold tight to your silver linings too; and expect the best of all things by any and all definitions.