The power of positive thinking

By Nina Steele 

I have always had a strong belief in myself that was instilled in me at a very young age by my mother. I grew up with strong female role models including my mother’s sister and many other female relatives and friends of the family. The eldest of 6 children, my mother left her village aged 14 in search of a better life in the second biggest city in the Ivory Coast, Bouake. With no qualifications or money, she was still confident she could make it and she did!

Her determination meant that she ended up finding a job as a trainee typist and she later became so good at it that when she entered into a competition to find the best typist in the whole of the Ivory Coast, she came second! That was in the fifties. She eventually got a job as a tribunal clerk and took her 5 siblings in. Without her intervention, they would have most certainly spent their lives in the village, farming the land and barely subsisting. Instead, she gave them a chance in life that many at the time could only dream of. As her only daughter (I have 6 brothers), she had big dreams for me. She always taught me the value of hard work and dreaming big and so I grew up with a strong sense of self that continues to grow to this day.

As I grow older, I see clearly how important it is to have a positive mindset. For the truth is that our thoughts are very powerful and determine the world around us. The saying that ‘you are your thoughts’ is not a fancy new age idea, instead it is an old wisdom that has been proven time and time again. Look around you and start observing the lives of the people you know and you will notice that those who have no faith in themselves and are constantly negative about everything are often very unhappy. On the other hand, those who are generally very positive about life and think highly of themselves, are generally happier. This is because positive people tend to have an open mind about life and often view challenges as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to letting those challenges ruin their lives.

A positive frame of mind generally leads to a can do attitude that is missing with people who spend their lives being negative. When you have a positive frame of mind, you believe that everything is possible and even when you don’t get what you want, you learn from the experience and move on. When life is lived that way, things become easier and opportunities start to come one’s way. When you make life your friend, the universe responds accordingly.

I hear some people say things like, ‘I will never make it’ and then complain later that their life is too difficult and that they wish it could be different. The truth is, by saying that they will never make it, they have written their own script! Full stop. They have created their own reality and only they can change this by changing their frame of mind, no one else can do it for them.

I suppose it is easier to blame other people for our failings than to recognise that ultimately our life is our responsibility and that whether we are happy or unhappy is up to us and us alone. Recognising this will force us to make changes to the way we live our lives and many people aren’t ready to take that leap. It is far easier to blame others than work on ourselves.

But who are we kidding? The more we refuse to take responsibility for our lives, the more unhappy we will become. The universe helps those with courage and the courage to admit our failings and take responsibility for ourselves always opens up new opportunities that a narrow mind does not allow. If you want to be happy, don’t dwell in negativity, instead, become more and more positive and grateful for your life and see what happens!

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