As of late I have been focused on pointing out the pitfalls of negative thinking, particularly how it holds you back from reaching your true potential. In conversation I've noticed this message has been misinterpreted as waging a full scale attack on negativity. When I speak about being positive, it is not to say that one should not be experiencing negative feelings, or eradicating negative thoughts. Negative feelings are a healthy, natural part of life. To feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, etc. are all ways in which our emotions signal us to pay attention to problems we need to address in our lives. Problems arise when this negative vibration becomes ingrained in habit and persists as a low grade humming in your daily life below your radar.
First it is important to identify non-constructive forms of negativity as they apply to men (some of these can be applied more generally):
In trying to keep up with a whirlwind of inspiring events over the summer my last blog focused on the negative press that surrounded Gabby Douglas after an electrifying performance at the Olympics. Some of you asked me what Gaby Douglas has to do with self-improvement for men. The real question that blog post addressed was how negativity can have a detrimental impact on your life and a model for how to overcome negativity directed at you.
Because of this tendency to seek positive emotions and avoid negative emotions I think that people have prioritized comfort over happiness. But do you truly feel happy in the comfort of your daily routine? Do you really feel happy going home after an 8-10 hour work day to catch the latest episode of the latest reality TV show? Sure numbing yourself after a long day at work feels comfortable, and we all need to do this sometimes. The problem is that with the heightened demands of life and our jobs to be productive this numbing into a state of comfort can become an everyday occurrence. Yes, comfort is the absence of negative emotions, but it is also the absence of the natural positive highs that can be experienced in life as well.
As I stated last week, how you define success for yourself is going to directly influence how successful you feel. This feeling comes down to taking the focus off the result itself, and honing in on the actions you are taking toward the result you desire. What goals you set for yourself are essential for maintaining that focus, perseverance, and most importantly, your self-confidence. In doing this it is important to create reasonable criterion for success for whatever you are looking to improve on.