A Chinese proverb reads:
Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they become your habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Negativity is poison. Especially in large, continued doses. Sooner or later, the negative thoughts you have about yourself become your truth. After that, convincing yourself that there is a different truth becomes infinitely more difficult.
Negativity builds like a snowball
The first negative thought seems harmless. “Math isn’t my strongest subject.” Which is fine to recognize – people have different interests, skills and strengths. But such a thought may lead to “I’ll flunk the next math test, too” or “I’ll never get an A in Math”. So instead of studying for the next test with a positive attitude, we approach it with fear and resentment. The focus no longer lies on solving math problems, but more on proving your own negative thoughts right. At which point, you’ve sabotaged yourself, like a biker who sticks a rod into his own front wheel. Getting an A under such self-imposed limitations is quite unlikely.
So you don’t get an A, which confirms your own negative thinking. Go through this cycle often enough, and you’ll graduate from “Math isn’t my strongest subject” to “I’m no good at Math”. The next ‘logical’ conclusion from that is “I’ll never be an engineer”. Wouldn’t that be a shame if, as a kid, you loved taking apart technical equipment, figuring out how it works and then putting it back together? Now you’re eliminating the possibility of doing this for the rest of your life just because Math wasn’t your strongest subject? Instead, you become a realtor, because that will make you a lot of money, or because it’s a family tradition.
But will it make you happy?
Negativity and Fear Discolor Your Life Choices
Chances are, it won’t make you happy. Not if your only motive for doing this job is to make a lot of money, or out of a sense of obligation to your family. Those choices are made out of fear – fear of not living well or being poor, fear of disappointing your parents.
Choices made out of fear – the most negative of all forces – don’t pave the path to happiness and fulfillment. To your destiny. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Instead, do what you feel drawn to. Do what you love – the most positive of all forces. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, what you’re not good at. Instead…
Focus on your loves and passions
Thoughts of your passions are filled with positivity, hope and eagerness. Those positive thoughts will become hopeful words, which will turn into eager actions, which will become effortless habits, which will turn you into a happy character, leading you toward your destiny of content fulfillment.
At least five times a day, I want you to consciously think positive thoughts, about yourself as well as others. Whether you catch yourself in a negative mindset and correct it, or whether you strive from the first notion to stick to the positive doesn’t matter. Five positive thoughts per day.
Then write them down. Doesn’t matter when; immediately or at the end of the day. Just write them down. Remember them.
(To stick with the above example, don’t think “Math isn’t my strongest subject”. Instead, think “I will conquer Math” or “I will make Math a strong subject by studying for it”. In that way, positive thoughts are similar to affirmations.)