We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. —Aristotle
Since at least Aristotle’s time (384 BC), we humans have known that having a positive outlook can have a profound impact on ones capacity to live a deeply satisfying life. There is a growing evidence-base on learned optimism and the modern science of positive psychology has linked positivity to longevity.
I heard a recent interview with young war Veterans with triple and quadruple amputations and was struck by their optimism. Despite having unimaginable physical difficulties, they were filled with gratitude for surviving their injures and a deep sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. They had made a decision, set an intention to focus on their potential, to end their suffering and live fully.
And so, I gave up complaining. That is, I decided that I did not want to be a person that complains. This is not to say there are not problems, disappointments, and frustrations, not to say that I refuse to see the truth or that I plaster a yellow smiley face on or ignore problems. Rather, it is to notice the negativity, but not to focus on it. In nearly every situation I can think of, there is a positive aspect, a source of light, and the key is to find that source, focus on it and feel it. So if we set an intention to water the good stuff and not the weeds, we place our energy in its rightful place, on our ability to flourish REGARDLESS of our circumstances. Remember, energy goes where the energy flows.