You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
(Chorus to Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen)
One of the many things that jumped out at me as I read Virgina Postrel’s The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion is that one of the reasons we are drawn to glamorous images or lifestyles is because glamour minimalizes the negative and mundane aspects of real life.
What this means for us: If we want to live a glamorous lifestyle, we need to take our focus off of frustrating, mundane, and negative aspects of our lives and focus on the good stuff going on. This is easier said than done because our culture encourages us to “just vent” with each other and social media makes it quite easy to do so.
But what would happen if we started having “feel good fests” with each other? What if we stopped complaining about things that we won’t even remember two days from now? What if we automatically assume the best intentions in other people instead of the opposite?
Here’s what will happen: Our lives will seem much more positive and we’ll be more optimistic. And pragmatic optimists are quite successful navigating their world. They do what they need to do to deal with negative aspects of their life while remaining hopeful about it overall. It’s a reciprocal pattern–our language influences how we view the world and how we view the world influences our language.
Challenge for today: See how often you complain and/or focus on negative aspects of a situation. It may be quite illuminating!
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