I recently had a discussion with a gentleman around the question of how one would define the positive versus negative prone mindset.
We can say that the brain normalizes and grows used to the current mindset, and therefore how well are we able to remember a time when we were happier, when we felt a strong sense of purpose and momentum in our lives. I had a client explain this period in his life as a time when he literally saw the colors and the visual input around him as brighter and more vibrant, he experienced the world more from a youthful perspective. He felt less bogged down, as if he were carrying less on his shoulders, he felt lighter in spirit, new experiences were happening around him, he smiled more, he laughed more.
All of these experiences occurred because of the mindset he was in, however, as difficulties arose in life perhaps he unknowingly or knowingly chose to feed the gray lining rather than the silver lining.
We all know those people in our lives who naturally take the positive hopeful perspective of things and those who take the negative perspective of things. And I’m not discussing the individuals whose personalities are naturally realists and pragmatists with a touch of cynicism; in fact that is how I would describe my personality. Once upon a time, I felt heavy and deeply unhappy, full of judgment and anger, so I truly rewired and build a new mindset, largely out of total necessity.
This doesn’t erase the person I am at my core, but it makes me far more resilient and I naturally am able to remain in that lighter, happier, more joyful positive mindset. When challenging things come up, a person abandons me, or a person I love hurts me in a big way, I am angry, hurt, resentful, all of those things, but then there’s a cut off to those experiences. From there I am able to easily chose to feed the good wolf, rather than spiraling into affirmations confirming my preexisting negative beliefs about the way people have treated me in the past.
What many of us overlook is this treasure trove we have of past memories and experiences where we felt lighter, happier, and as if we were living more purposeful lives. We smiled more, we laughed more, we felt more connected and fulfilled. These memories are like drops of gold, when we harness the experience, the sensations we felt from a particular memory we are tailoring brand new neurons to form and sustain these new experiences. It is the targeted cultivation of a new mindset.