Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Now Say Something Positive

The fact that negativity is rewarded in society is self-evident to anyone who can turn on a television or read a gossip website. It's pervasive, and we're all encouraged to be that way, pretty much all the time.

It's pervasive, because society rewards it, by and large. From Perez Hilton, to the unprivate woes of the Jon and Kate Plus 8 couple, it seems like we all love to hate.

I know for a fact that I'm as guilty as anyone of behaving badly, and maybe more guilty than most. Like the food critic in Ratatouille said, it's often fun to be negative and mean for it's own sake.

Don't forget that a little cynicism is healthy. Certainly, it doesn't hurt to be unafraid to point out to someone that they're pissing on your leg and trying to tell you it's raining.

But how much is enough? If you're a bottomless pit of cynicism, how are you going to enjoy life at all? Who even wants to spend time with you if everything out of your mouth is a critique?

Like all guilty pleasures, negativity is something that you have to enjoy in moderation. If, like booze, you feel powerless over it, maybe the best thing you can do for yourself is abstain.

Another alternative, is that if you indulge in negative commentary, follow it with something positive. Say to yourself, "Now say something positive." Much like a palette-cleanser between courses, refocusing on positivity will help get the taste out of your mouth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

There's A Fine Line Between Goals And Barriers

While setting goals is critical, you need to achieve them. That's the whole point, after all.

Oddly enough, goals can become barriers. You set them, but never reach them. Or if you do reach them, it took an unusual amount of time and effort to do so.

Self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors come in a lot of different guises, and can have many different underlying motivations.

Making a conscious effort to change and progress can be one of the scariest things a person can undertake. Even in the most motivated individual, deep down you'll find kernels of doubt and worry.

Often, when faced with a goal, there's a feeling of existential dread, of worrying "what then?" Other times, you lack a deep-seated belief that you can do it. Wanting it, and wanting to do it are two different things. Lots of people "want" things, but lack the resolve to take the steps on the path to get there.

Set goals. Achieve them. Once you're there, set some new goals and set about achieving them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Gorilla's Number One Favorite Aphorism

"If you want to do something you'll find a way, if you don't you'll find an excuse."

-- Unattributed

I love motivational aphorisms, and this is my absolute favorite. So much so that it's on my laptop's screen saver.

It really speaks to me because, for me at least, it cuts both ways. It's 100% true for me, in that it reflects both the best and the worst of my character.

Since that quote says it all, I'm not going to belabour the obvious here. I'll just say that central to making big positive changes in your life is to figure out exactly what you really want. Not what you kind-of want in a vague, half-assed way, nor what it's hip or fashionable to want. No, find out what you really want, and once you know that you'll do the things to need to do to get it.