Can you win a challenge to be positive for just one day? One 24 hour period can you not have a negative thought or comment to the world? I am sure that a lot of readers are like me thinking, “of course, I am a very positive person”. The problem is that we need to be positive internally as well as externally. By utilizing stoicism into Stoic Lifestyle Design, we can take steps to be more positive in our daily life. Can you win the positivity challenge that I am throwing down? The Challenge to Be Positive for one day? Let’s prep you for your day.
Start your day with positivity
Ok, duh. If you are going to do this challenge, you need to be positive for 24 hours which includes your morning. Try to begin your day with a positive thought or a positive affirmation to re-enforce with yourself that today is going to be an amazing, positive experience. I watched a commencement speech by Admiral McRaven where he makes a good point to make your bed. If you fail with your 24 hour positivity challenge, you can come home to a nice, made bed. Hopefully this will encourage you to try the challenge again tomorrow.
It is always a good idea to spend a couple of moments each day to give gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to be grateful for all that you have in life in your life. A roof over your head to keep the rain at bay. What a glorious thing to have food in the kitchen and running water. Too many times in life we don’t remember how much we worked to get to this point in our life. Was it all for nothing? How disrespectful to our past that worked so hard to get us to this point.
Some people keep a journal where they list what they are grateful to everyday. This way, when we are feeling sorry for ourselves. We can look back upon our lists to see how much we truly have to be grateful for in our lives. This can also be a short meditation of giving gratuity for all that we have. This type of morning ritual is very helpful to clear our mind for the day in addition to giving gratitude.
Don’t be bitter
Yea, life isn’t fair. How in the world could you have been passed up for a promotion from the guy that doesn’t know anything? I am here to let you know that the world is not out to get you. At the same time, I want to tell you that the world is not out to give you any favors either. I have broke this down on a previous post, Amor Fati. This means to take what life has dealt to you and make the best of your current situation. Don’t imagine that you are working with a different life. You can aspire to a different life but work with what you have today to get you there. You can become angry but you are only negatively affecting yourself. Just let stuff roll off your back, it isn’t worth it.
Spin the negatives into positives
Did your cable television go out due to workers cutting the line? Wow! What a great reminder that I have been meaning to read that book on the shelf. Did the boss give you an insane deadline on a work assignment? Thank you for having faith in my abilities to complete this task. Did someone cut in front of you at the coffee shop? They probably didn’t recognize that they did this or they were preoccupied with something else. Challenge yourself to be positive! We get into a negativity rut and that suddenly becomes our default emotion. Try to make positivity be the emotion that we go to first.
Be kind regardless
Don’t let others control your emotions. Maybe the other person went out of their way to cut you off in traffic or to step in front of you at the coffee shop. Don’t let these people affect your life and control your anger. Maybe you can be the driver for another person to stop being angry about life. They can see your kindness and become another positive, kind force in the universe. Be an example of what a kind person is suppose to look like and act like.
Lots of folks like to take the slightest offense when they witness something that they believe is going wrong in the world (just look at our polarizing political parties zealots). Show people the correct path of kindness! Show them that they can be kind and forgiving in the face of adversity just as you are doing. We like to take a gauntlet about how OTHER people should be doing this or that to live up to your standards. Now you can be their teacher by your actions.
Here is the challenge to be positive
For a 24 hour continuous period, be positive with anything and anyone that comes into contact with you either physically or mentally. This means that you are the only person that can keep score so don’t cheat! Don’t worry if you fail before you can get out of your bedroom in the morning. Remember that the 24 hour period can start at anytime. Maybe your time will start after you leave the bedroom. It could also start after you leave your house. The goal is to be aware that you are wanting to make this day positive. You will accomplish your goal and even if you don’t, you have made the world around you more positive by you not bringing negativity into your orbit.