If you want to apply a positive explanatory style, there are two types of reality that you need to differentiate.
Think about this scenario: you have been informed that you have a serious disease, the diagnosis is not good, and your only option is to have an operation to remove the tumor, but this only carries a slim chance of success. And when you go under the knife, many things can go wrong. First of all, your immune system gets compromised and you become vulnerable to all sorts of infections and antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
There are always many risks and complications associated with surgery. For example, the risks of general anesthesia include heart attack, stroke, and pneumonia. Many people die after surgery when they catch a super-bug, i.e., a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to every available antibiotic.
What can you do about it? After consulting one or more physicians and specialists and being completely certain that you need a surgery, you should follow all of their instructions, assume that everything is going to be OK, and do not think and analyze things too much.
On the other hand, if you choose to think over and over again about everything that can go wrong, you will become anxious and depressed, you will sleep less and worse, you will reduce the strength of your body and immune system to cope with the sickness and comply with the doctor’s instructions. In other words, you are sabotaging your chances, you are making matters worse.
What is the best way of dealing with this? Have faith and trust your doctors. Enjoy the simple and little things in life and forget about tomorrow. Perhaps, you can even discover and appreciate your true friends and your loving family members and the beauty and joy they bring to your life.
Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know that everything happens for a reason, Albert Schweitzer.
Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason, John Mayer.
You have to think there’s a reason for everything, when a door closes another door opens, this is nothing more than an obstacle, an opportunity to grow and evolve in this messy life. As you overcome it, it will give you the strength and confidence to succeed in life. Maybe, it is wishful thinking, but it is a healthy and helpful mindset nonetheless.
I suggest that you think about situations when you do not know for sure what you can get, but you can do something about it. For example, you had unprotected sex with a stranger on a crazy night and did not use contraceptives nor use a condom. What should you do? Is it OK to think that everything will be fine and carry on with business as usual and even repeat this reckless and dangerous sexual behavior?
Let me be plain and simple: Of course not, that’s just being a jerk, a complete moron. Don’t push your luck! What goes around, comes around. I cannot say it clearly enough: Avoid sex with strangers, and if you do, use condoms and highly effective contraceptive methods.
Another example is as follows: You have high blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol, you eat like a pig, smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish, and the only exercise you do is stretching your arm to reach your television’s remote control. Is it a good mindset to think like this: “it does not matter what I do, everything will turn out just fine because I’m visualizing myself being successful and healthy”?
No, of course not! On the contrary, you should be consulting your doctor and trying to improve your lifestyle: quit smoking and drinking, live a more active lifestyle, do more exercise and outdoor activities, eat a more balanced and nutritious diet, and have more quality time with your family and friends.
Once you’re working hard on changing your lifestyle and making healthier choices, do not become a hypochondriac over your health, obsessed with the food that you eat, someone who is always worried about his/her heart, etc. This will not help you at all. Just think about what you can do about it, do it, and let go of all worries and be grateful for all the positive in your life.
A third example can be found in the Great Recession of 2008/2009. What should we do? Do we choose to ignore it? Do we use the ostrich approach? Shall we put our heads in the sand and pretend that everything around us is all right? Or, on the contrary, do we become helpless, resentful, bitter, and frustrated, completely at the mercy of mass media and its bad news?
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, truth is not black and white. We need to understand and accept reality in order to adapt and act accordingly. For example, in the midst of a big recession, it is wise to live within our means, reduce our expenses, avoid getting into debt, limit our salary expectations, improve our professional profile, and become engaged in social and political activities.
However, pessimism should also be avoided, thinking that all is lost and there is no hope in mankind. It is important to follow the evolution of the crisis and the big problems that we are facing, staying aware and informed is a good thing. However, consuming too much news can spell trouble as we seem to be bombarded with too much negativity, please never ever let them undermine your hopes, confidence, and self-esteem.