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Have you ever meant someone who is truly passionate about something? This person could be passionate about his or her career or maybe even a hobby that they have. Or perhaps they just so happen to be passionate about some worthy cause like feeding starving children or stopping animal abuse. It’s even possible that you might know someone out there who is passionate about another person in their life. And when you meet these kinds of people or hear about them do you ever think about how they’re able to do the things that they do? Have you ever wondered why somebody can sit in a tree for weeks and protest against some big business that is destroying a forest full of wild life? Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they could put so many hours into their job to the point that they fail to spend enough time with their loved ones and start to lose sleep, and yet, despite all this, they still have a smile on their face? Or have you ever heard of someone who decided to move to some poor village in a third world country so that they could spend time helping out those who don’t have as much as they do? All of these scenarios involve different people doing very different things, but they do have one common factor. All of these people are passionate about these things that they have decided to devote so much of their life to; they have a why.

And they don’t just have a why. They have a strong why. These people can’t do the things that they do without having a why that’s strong enough. You don’t leave your family, give up all of your gizmos and gadgets, and move to the middle of nowhere because you’re kind of into helping make life better for people who are living in poverty. You do it because it’s a cause that you strongly believe in.

Or you could do all of these big acts if your why wasn’t that strong, but if you did do it you probably wouldn’t be happy while doing it. Joining the Peace Corps or some other similar organization isn’t for everybody and that’s because not everyone can find a why that’s big enough and strong enough to help them through their time of service. Wanting other people to think that you’re a good person isn’t going to get you through all of those years, but truly wanting to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate probably will.

And p­­­­­­ositive thinkers, you need to find your whys in everyday situations too. So figure out the reason why you’re working that job that you have. Find out the reason why you’re in the relationship with that guy or that girl. Find out the reason why you get up and go to church every Sunday. And find out the why behind why you go to the places that you go. Finding your whys aren’t just for the people who are deciding to give up their life of luxury in order to join the Peace Corps. It’s for everyone.

The chances are, if the whys behind whatever you’re doing in your everyday life can support the activities that you’re doing then you’re going to have enough energy and determination to keep up with those activities even when they get tough. If the why behind the activities that you’re doing aren’t strong enough then you have two options…

You can either choose to give up on that thing that you’re doing that doesn’t have a big enough why for you, or you can search to find another why that is big enough. And neither of these options are necessarily bad decisions for you too make. If you want to keep up with whatever activity you’re doing then finding a new why that’s stronger will help you to keep on doing that activity even when you’ve lost some interest in it. Sometimes your why needs to change and there’s nothing wrong with that because as we change our whys might have to change right along with us. And if not having a big enough why is problematic for you and if you’re unable to figure out a why that is big enough for you to keep on doing that thing that you don’t want to do then giving up on it might be what’s best for you. That thing might not be important enough for you to keep on pushing through with it, but if it is important to you, and you do want to keep on going on then make sure that you find a strong enough why that will help you to keep on moving forward. ­­­­

Positive thinker, the next time you take on something new or the next time you find yourself loathing an activity that you’re engaging in ask yourself this…

“Why am I doing this?”

“What’s driving me to do this?”

“What’s that thing that’s going to push me forward even when things start to get difficult?”

“What’s my why?”

You have to have a why positive thinker…

What’s yours?

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Writing a story can be a challenging yet equally rewarding experience. When the first sliver of an idea pops into your mind, you become filled with instantaneous excitement. You become wound up with all the possibilities that your story has to offer, and as you start to fill in the story and come up with the details of how you want that story to unfold, you also start to reach a point where you believe that your story will be able to come to fruition and provide your readers with as much joy as you had when you first thought of the idea to write your work of art.

Delight will once again radiate through you when you finally finish writing a story. As soon as you write down that last word or type that last thought, you start to really see that all of the time and effort you put in to your writing has finally paid off. Finally finishing your story is exciting, but just because you have finished writing your first draft, doesn’t mean that there is not still more work to be done.

Once you’re finally finished with draft one, you still have to go over your story again. You have to look for minor revisions like typos and repeated sentences. You have to look for minor revisions like typos and repeated sentences. And you also have to look at your story as a whole and see if all of the parts work together. Once you start to re-read your work you may also start to notice that there are holes in your story or there may be ideas that don’t make sense to you anymore. You realize that not thinking through some of your ideas fully in the early stages of your writing has also led you to produce work that wasn’t consistent with your story as a whole. Sometimes you end up writing whole chapters that simply don’t have any place in the book at all, and when this happens you may even start to think that your first draft was so bad that you should just throw it out altogether.

But you don’t have to throw your story out. You have a chance to go back in and eliminate those chapters or rewrite them so that it does make sense with in the broader story that you were trying to create initially. Going back and eliminating chapters in a story or rewriting them can be a tedious process, but within this process you start to realize that just because you have a few bad ideas or concepts within your story doesn’t mean that your story is bad and needs to be thrown away. The first time around your story might not have looked how you had wanted it to look, but by the time you get finished with your second draft, that story will start to look more like how you had set out for the story to look like when you first got started.

The same can be said about the story that you’re living every day. Your life is a story positive thinker, and I’m sure you have a vision of how you want that story to play out. We all want our stories to turn out in the way that we visualized them to be, but that doesn’t always happen. We hit snags in our stories. Major and minor characters are sometimes lost. Sometimes we may end up having a bad chapter or two that aren’t consistent with how we originally wanted our story to play out, and sometimes we may even end up repeating these chapters a few times before we realize that they don’t fit in with the story that we want for ourselves. We all have moments where are stories don’t live up to the stories that we have concocted in our minds, but just because the story that you have for yourself in your mind doesn’t match the story that is playing out in the real world, doesn’t mean that you have to give up on having a great story play out in your life. A few bad chapters doesn’t mean that your story needs to be thrown out.

You may not be able to go back and rewrite your chapters, but you can turn to the next blank page and make sure that all the chapters that you have from here on out are good ones. And take the time to fully think about what you’re going to do before you end up writing that next chapter because if you do, you may avoid having bad chapters in your story. But even if you do end up having more bad chapters in your life after you make the decision to only have good ones, you can still just turn to the next blank page in your story and write a new good chapter. And when your story does start to actually look like how you envisioned it to look to begin with, the few bad chapters that you had to experience won’t seem to matter as much.

It’s not too late to have a story that you’re proud of positive thinker. You just have to go out there and make it happen.

Remember, “A few bad chapters does not mean your story is over.”

So if you’ve been having some bad chapters as of late, turn to that next blank page, pick up a pen, and make the rest of your story one to remember!

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Do you remember how back when you were a kid, you had to listen to everything your parents told you to do whether you wanted to do it or not? Some of these things happened to be for your own good. Like when your parents made you eat vegetables, they did it because they wanted you to be healthy. And when they made you do your homework in school, even though you didn’t want to, they taught you the importance of discipline and hard work.  Or when your parents made you share your toys with your younger sibling they did it to teach you the importance of being generous and a team player.

On the other hand, some of things that your parents made you do as a child didn’t necessarily make you a better person because of it. Now as I reflect back on some of the extra curricular activities that my parents made me do when I was younger I still can’t see the purpose of doing it. I don’t think I’ll ever see the importance behind taking piano lessons that I had absolutely no interest in taking. Nor do I see how playing soccer has shaped me into becoming a better person. And I’m pretty sure that the accordion lessons that I took for many years will never help me out down the road.

When you were a child, your parents made a lot of decisions for you, but as you got older they started to loosen the reigns, and you were able to use your brain to make some decision of your own. By the time you reached high school your parents or guardians had enough trust in you to believe that you would use those life lessons that they taught you to make informed decisions for you own life. So, it was okay if you stopped playing basketball because you didn’t find it fun anymore. You didn’t have to wear the clothes that your parents picked out for you because you were old enough to make style choices by yourself. And they let you make the decision to take the foreign language that you wanted to take. Even though you were still under their control, you started to develop your own sense of autonomy which would help to shape you into the person that you would one day become.

And now that you’re an adult, you have complete freedom to choose how you want your life to look like. You no longer have your parents or guardians telling you what to do. No one gets to pick how you want to spend your life but you.

And you probably have much bigger decisions to make besides whether or not you’re going to learn how to ballroom dance or not, but if that just so happens to be one of the decisions you need to make then that decision is completely up to you.

Positive thinker if you want to be a doctor then do it.

If you want to change religions or give it up all together then do that.

Want to get married? Do it.

Want to stay single? You could do that too.

If you want to uproot your life and move halfway across the world then that decision is entirely yours to make.

And if you are ever worried about a decision that you have to make, remember that you can draw upon those life lessons that your parent or guardian taught you. In life you will come across many paths that lead to very different places, and choosing one of these paths over the other may seem very daunting, but the elders in your life taught you important life lessons so that choosing a path wouldn’t seem as scary. They taught you those lessons for a reason, and now that you’re out on your own in this world, you can use those lessons to help you to make important decisions in your life. Not everything that they made you do can help you out, but those important lessons will always be with you to guide you during your troubled times.

So go out there in the world and pick the path that you want to choose positive thinker, and choose that path knowing that it’s what you want to do and not what somebody else wants you to do.

And never forget, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!” -Dr. Seuss

Picture this…

It’s the first Saturday of summer, and you’re eight years old again. You wake up at the crack of dawn, because that’s what kids do even when they don’t have to be at school, and you put on your play clothes and run down the steps, taking them two at a time, and as you reach the bottom of your steps you go straight to your back door, push it open, and run outside. Even though the sun’s barely out, you can still feel the heat of the sun start to break away the cool morning air. You breathe deeply, taking in this mixture of hot and cold air, and then you run to the fence where you have just spotted your favorite ball and when you finally reach it, you pick it up and start to play with it. Without a care in the world, you kick your ball, bounce it, and throw it until you can hardly move your arms.

After you finish playing with your ball, you take a short breather in order to give your arms some much needed rest and then you move on to jumping rope. You jump and jump and jump until your legs turn to jelly and then after another short recovery you finish off your morning by hula hooping until it’s time to eat lunch. For lunch, your mom makes you your favorite lunch time meal that you devour in a manner that would make anyone think that you hadn’t had anything to eat in weeks, and after you finish eating your lunch your mom tells you that you get to go to the park!

Upon entering these sacred grounds, you sprint at full speed right to your favorite place, the sand box. You build sand castles with nothing but your hands and the water from the water fountain as your crafting tools. You expertly construct massive and intricate buildings that even an architect would be impressed by.

After finishing your masterpiece, you rush over to the jungle gym and onto the monkey bars. You move effortlessly from bar to bar until you make it to the other side of this colossal-sized playground. After going from one side of the monkey bars to the other side and back again, you decide that you’re going to have a go at the swings. You just learned how to swing by yourself, and since then you’ve been determined to get as high off the ground as is physically possible before jumping off.

After deciding to go on the swings, you slide down the winding slide and run over to the swing set just in time to grab the last free swing. You lean against the swing and start pushing it back as far as you can until you’re standing on your tippee toes and then you jump onto the seat and take off. As you feel the hot air blowing on your face, you start to pump your legs in an effort to urge the swing higher. With each pump of your legs- backwards, and forward, backwards, and forward, and backwards again- you go higher and higher until you’re higher than you’ve ever been before. Pure and unadulterated elation coarse through your veins and you hoop and holler as your stomach excitedly turns over and over again from the best swing ride of your lifetime.

And just when you think you can’t get any higher you do! This is exactly what you’ve been waiting for! Now’s your chance! As the swing rears back one more time and starts to raise you higher, you let go of the chains to your left and right, and fly in the air higher than you ever dreamed possible. As you move up and up into the air, you feel as free as a bird does as he flies and soars through the air.

As you start to make your way back to the ground, you realize that you were so wrapped up in this life-changing moment that you have forgotten to brace yourself for the landing, and just as you come to this conclusion, you land face first on the ground. SMACK!

Your face stings as you roll over onto your back, and you instantly reach for your throbbing knee that slammed on a rock when you landed face down on the ground. As you hold your knee against your chest, unrestricted tears flow down your cheeks and onto your now dirt-covered t-shirt. As you look up from where you lay on the ground, you see a blurred image of your mom rushing right over to you.

“I hurt my leg mommy,” you cry once she is by your side.

“Do you want me to kiss and make it feel better?” she asks in a soothing voice as she kneels down next to you.

After nodding your head vigorously, your mom leans her head down and places her lips on you leg making a loud and exaggerated smooching sound. “Better?” she asks after finishing her kiss.

“Mmhhmm,” you respond as you let go of your leg.

“Good. Now are you ready to get back up and play some more?” she inquires.

Looking up at her, you shake your head letting her know that you don’t want to get up.

Concern stretches across your mother’s face. “Why not?”

“I don’t know,” you say while shrugging your shoulders.

“Well you know sweetheart, if you stay down here, you’re going to miss out on all of the fun you can be having. Just look at all of the kids out here laughing and having a good time. Don’t you want to have fun like all of the other boys and girls out here?”

Turning your head to the right, you see all of the other kids running around and playing. You hear their laughter and their excited voices as the run and jump and skip and roll around the park, and as you see them enjoying their day at the park you decide that you don’t want to miss out on anymore fun and that you want to enjoy your day at the park too. You then shift your focus back up to your mother’s caring eyes, and you say, “Ok mommy, I’ll get up.”

Positive thinkers, we all fall down sometimes. We all suffer from failure, disappointments, losses, grief, hardships, and many many other difficulties that bring us down. Nobody is immune to it, but when we do fall down, we can’t stay down forever. You have to get back up. If you want to be able to try again then you have to get up first. And, if you do try again your previous fall can end up helping you because the next time you’ll know what to do so that you don’t fall the same way that you did last time.

And if you don’t want to try again, that’s ok too. You should still make the decision to get up again, and when you do eventually make that decision, leave all of the hurt that you felt back down on the ground where you fell; don’t take it with you. Carrying that hurt around with you and focusing on the pain that your fall caused you might cause you to miss out on all of the other opportunities life has to offer you, so just let go of it.

You may be scared of what could happen after you get back up again, especially after falling hard, but staying on the ground isn’t going to make you feel any better. From the ground, you can only see life pass you by; you can’t participate from the floor, but you can join in in all of life’s joys when you get up. It may be hard positive thinker, and it may be difficult, but in the end, all that matters is that you get back up.

Today, I woke up thinking about the word, Precipice.   According to the World English Dictionary, Precipice means the steep sheer face of a cliff or crag or a precarious situation.  The definition has me envisioning myself standing right on the edge of said cliff, looking down into an abyss of precariousness.  That sounds scary, right?  I mean…what is down there?

In my musings, I’ve determined that what lies in that deep dark place is a decision that a person is fearful of making and the dark abyss is our own doubts making us wonder if we would survive the decision (the leap) and its resulting consequences.  A precipice is something that we encounter in our lives when we are making huge, life changing decisions such as deciding to change a job or become self-employed, or even when we are deciding whether or not we want to stay in our current relationships.  Those types of decisions have us in a complete tizzy because they have the power to change our whole lives, our whole routine, and it can be for the better or for the worse, if we will it so.

I think all people have these points in their lives where they feel they are at the precipice of something.  Something has them wanting to adjust an integral part of their lifestyles and they are standing at that cliff’s edge wondering if they would be strong enough to navigate the darkness and still land on their feet at the bottom if they took that leap.  To them, it can seem impossible and that hypothetical death seems certain.  They know something needs to change if they are unhappy and that’s how they got to that cliff’s edge in the first place but the fear traps them in their situation and often, that is just where their lives stagnate with minimal growth because they cowered from that edge.

But what if we had options? Instead of thinking of the leap causing pain with a broken and devastating collapse at the bottom of the dark abyss, what if we believed we could make it over and to the other side (even if we are a bit bloody and bruised when we landed?)  We, at Positivity Works!, feel that a person’s confidence and belief in themselves and their reselience is what gives our minds the super powers to fly over the doubt and fear.  Remember, this precipice is not literal.  It was created, developed, and made darker and scarier by our own minds, doubts, fears, and experiences.  We will make it through the decision we make no matter what (i.e. how hard it is, how stressful it is, how much it makes us cry), because we have trained our minds to be that strong.  It is the truth if we will it so. And if our truth is that nothing in that abyss can hurt us because we created it, then we will always win.  Just as whatever happens in life is just an occurence and if you believe you can get through it, you will.

Today, the word Precipice was on my mind because I  have a big decision to make.  But no matter what I decide, I know that I will survive because I know my mind is strong enough for the leap.  I will make it to the other side and so will you, just train your mind to believe it and will your body to get it done.

If you, positive thinker, are also at a precipice,  here  is some musical inspiration to help you with your own leap to the other side.  You’ve got this.

Good Vibes

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