Do you find the cloud in every silver lining? Is the glass not only half empty, but evaporating? Do you start every day thinking
about how the effects of entropy on the universe make everything you do ultimately pointless?
You may be a pessimist.
Pessimism gets a bad rap. Without pessimists, we wouldn’t have insurance plans, missile defense systems, or Eeyore, and what would the world be without those things?
The thing you have to ask yourself is “Does the negativity make you happy?”
The next thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you were lying with your previous answer.
If you have a negative outlook on everything, I have good news for you: it’s possible to defeat it. No matter how long you’ve been looking at the world through coffin-colored glasses, no matter how ingrained your negative slant is, it’s possible to change it.
You have to want to change it, because, as the saying goes, old habits die hard. Yippee kai yay.
You need a happy butt.
Little known fact: language shapes the way you think. If your language has no words for a concept, you will have a difficult time thinking about that concept, or even understanding it. Statistically, Asians are better at math than their western-world counterparts. Why? It’s not genetic. When a family moves to the US, the edge is lost within 2 generations. It’s not the amount of school they get. Even in backwaters with limited school access demonstrate the same abilities.
It’s the language. Euro-based languages are horrible. They are a clumsy mish-mash of crap from around the world, and the numbering system makes no sense. 11, 12, 13, huh? Spoken, that’s not a progression, it’s something we have to learn by rote. Why is 13 pronounce “thirteen”, with the ones place first, but 23 is pronounced with the tens place first, the way it is written? Where did the word “twenty” even come from? It’s obviously a horrible bastardization of “two” and “ten”, but is it self-evident? Does the progression through the decades follow some kind of rule? Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty. Nope.
The Asian languages (most of them) differ. The numeric progression is spoken in a rules-based progression that makes sense. 23 is literally “two tens three”, making learning math less about rote memorization and more about masters some simple rules.
In the western world, we are handicapped by our language, at least when it comes to math.
The rest of our thoughts are formed by language, too. Learn a language with different roots than the one your were born with and see how your perceptions change.
One of the signs of negative thinking is qualifying everything you say negatively. For example, one person might say “It’s a beautiful day, today” while Mr. Negativebritches would say “It’s a beautiful day, but it’s probably going to rain.” That’s a sad butt, err, but. Every time you qualify a sentence with a sad butt, you are reinforcing your negative view of the world.
The solution? Drop your drawers and paint on a smiley face. You need a happy but(t). You can rephrase the sentence into a happy thought without changing the sentiment or meaning in any way. Try this: “It’s probably going to rain, but it’s a beautiful day, now.” That’s a happy butt, and it reinforces the positive in your mind.
It sounds stupid, but it works. Your language shapes your life. Put a positive spin on what you say, and you will eventually start to think about life in a positive way.
Give it a shot. For the next week, every time you say something negative, qualify it with a happy butt. At the end of the week, come back here and tell me how it’s working and if you can sense a change in your mindset.