On Balance: A little bit of negativity in your life


Anyone who knows me understands that I have more than one issue with a little something called The “Law” of Attraction. You know, the idea that what you think about is what you get? I could kvetch about this false law for pages, so that’s for another entry. Today, we’re going to be talking about one of its tenets: The idea of rejecting negativity in your life.

Negativity is bad, according to the Law of Attraction, as Lisa Whatley points out in this interesting little quote:

“Remember that you must focus your attention 95% of the day on positive thoughts in order to benefit from the positive law of attraction.”

Whoa, whoa, WHA? Your mind’s gotta think about positive thoughts basically 24-7! Umm, I don’t know about you, but I got a lot of other things to deal with in my mind (And so do you) that’s going to keep this from ever happening. Between all the news you need to process, and the tasks given, and the boss man coming down upon you, I’d fairly say it’s impossible to accomplish this. And those who say they can are either lying or deluded.

That being said, it’s actually GOOD to accept negative thoughts in your life, with moderation. Here’s why:

Negative thoughts keep you grounded

In her book, Negaholics, Cherie Carter-Scott argues that one of the reasons the negative or “I can’t” side of your brain exists is to protect you from causing a disaster to yourself.  Negativity tells you “something’s wrong here!” Think about it, if we had no negative thoughts about something, we’d think things such as “I’m sure that lion won’t eat my head if I stick it down his throat!” and “Nah, I’ll definitely survive this jump off a bridge” and of course “Why no, I can definitely have faith that this Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer-written movie will be awesome!”

Negative thinking protects us from making stupid mistakes. It also allows us to evaluate the pros and cons of a situation, and whether something is possible or useful. If we cannot find a good reason to do something, we should by all means NOT do it.  We shouldn’t hope, be positive or just keep deceiving (visualizing) ourselves with success when it’s not going to come.

That isn’t to say that we should all be a bunch of Negative Nancies. I find that many people go down the “Eastern Oriental/Hindi” road to propagate their nonsense (I’m looking at you, Deepak Chopra) REALLY embellish the positive end of the spectrum, and not the negative. That isn’t what it’s about. Taosim, Buddhism, etc all concern one thing:

Balance.

Balance is being stable in your personality and soul. It means having the same about of positive mindfulness as you do negative. For there must be an equal amount of Yin to match the Yang, and vice versa. If one end is overdone, bad things happen. Too many of us push that Yin as if it’s the only thing that will work.

I end this with this quotation from William Arthur Ward:

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

Be like the realist. Don’t hope for the best, don’t think the worst. Just be ready for what happens.

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About J.T Dabbagian
J.T Dabbagian has a master's degree in Communication Studies, and is a freelance writer, social media & community manager and public speaking consultant.

One Response to On Balance: A little bit of negativity in your life

  1. Alicia says:

    These are great points James. And I mean that with a big G.

    Another positive that comes from negativity (ha), to me, is creativity. Some negative thoughts or actions can spark a creative idea, which can lead to a piece of writing, art, music, etc. Maybe on the happy side, maybe on the not-so-happy side (I mean, we don’t all have rainbows and puppies flying out of our asses, ya dig? :), but something creative and beautiful just the same.

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