Strengths and Positivity


October 30, 2015

Odd as it sounds, positivity seems cast in a negative light in our culture. At times it’s almost as if positivity and naïveté are being conflated—we see positivity being scoffed at as an unrealistic, even unsafe, attitude. We’ve all heard a version of this put-down, “Sure, you think that now, but wait till you get older.”

How is it that we’ve reached a place where “thinking positively” and “having a lack of experience” are synonymous?

Positivity is more than dawning rose-colored glasses. And, it is certainly not, for example, when a person stands in front of their house as it burns to the ground and says, “At least I have a place to warm my hands.”

No. That is insanity.

Instead, positivity, like all of the strengths, is about being able to see beyond the immediate circumstances—however difficult they may be—and understand that it has a greater meaning.

It is the ability to find new depths within a given situation. Positivity is about finding value and seeking purpose. It is a worldview that sees all of life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and personal evolution.

And, not just the fun stuff—all the stuff—is worthwhile from this perspective.

The presence of positive thinking signifies a sophisticated worldview, one in which there is an awareness that no situation is “all good” or “all bad”. That is, it is an awareness that the world isn’t black and white; instead, it is infinite shades of grey.

Within this spectrum, the strength of positivity can identify, hone in on, and mentally expand that which is valuable and productive.

It’s more than a mindset, it is a way of seeing and being seen in the world.

We don’t need to have positivity as number one on our list of strengths in order to practice its main principle. That is, we can all participate in the art of looking for and finding the value in each situation.

And, this doesn’t mean finding only the “happy parts” (because sometimes there are no “happy parts” to be found). Instead, when we focus on locating the meaningful parts we will never come up empty handed. From there we can always determine where the opportunities for growth are.

Positivity and those who practice it daily—those who live it—teach all of us about becoming the best versions of ourselves by revealing deeper layers of importance, significance, and relevance in situations that might feel overly complicated or impossible.

Those with positivity teach us how to value all of life, not just the “good” parts.

What is one new thing that I learned today?

What is a situation that I am viewing too narrowly? Is it all black and white? Where can I make room for greys?

Who is the most positive person in my life? Are they more productive than most? Are they someone who is committed to learning, growth, and personal evolution?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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