The Power of Positive Thinking.
Do you know how negative thinkers think? How do they spin stories in their minds?
Well, here is a story of one such man called Paul.
Paul, a milk seller, needed to deliver his milk before 8'o clock, but his own motor bike had broken down. Paul thought: "I know, I'll ask my neighbour, Simon, if I can borrow his motor bike. He's a good man; I'm sure he'll be glad to lend it to me."
So Paul began to walk the three or four blocks to Simon's house. After walking one block, Paul thought to himself: "I hope that Simon doesn't have anything important to do with his motor bike this morning and he'll be able to lend it to me..."
Then after a few more minutes of worrying and walking, Paul said to himself: "And what if Simon's bike is old and on its last legs - he'll never lend it to me, will he?"
Yet after another block, Paul said: "Simon was never a very helpful fellow anyway, so maybe he won't be too keen to lend me his motor bike, even if it's in perfect working order."
As Paul reached Simon's house, Paul thought: "Simon can be a mean old fellow. I know, even if he has nothing to do, and his motor bike is sitting there doing nothing, he'll not lend it to me. Just watch me lose all my customers."
Paul walked up Simon's front path and knocked on the door. Simon answered: "Well, good morning, Paul, what can I do for you?"
Paul hissed, with eyes bulging: "You can take your rotten motor bike and go to hell!"
So now you can imagine how negative thinkers think.
How can we identify that we are not like Paul? Well, assess yourself - do you have any of the following traits:
1. When something negative occurs, do you blame yourself?
2. Do you automatically anticipate the worst in a situation?
3. Do you feel that you need to be perfect, otherwise you are a failure?
4. Do you judge others?
5. Do you dwell on the past?
6. You do not like compliments.
7. You have trouble maintaining relationships.
8. You seem to focus on the problem instead of the solution.
Now flip the coin and explore the world of a positive thinker.
Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. A positive person anticipates happiness, health, success and believes that he can eventually overcome any obstacle. When this person is buried under the ground in the darkness, he believes that it is an opportunity for him to sprout, grow and bloom.
For better understanding, let us look at some past and present legends. What characteristics do positive thinkers possess?
(1) Firstly, they are visionaries. This means that they can imagine a world that has not come into existence yet. I would like to quote the example of Allama Iqbal here. Can you imagine that this man, who was a philosopher, a poet and a lawyer, could envision a free country for Muslims at a time when the Muslims of the sub-continent had no leadership, few opportunities and a bleak future? His concept of self-esteem has lasted over a century.
(2) Secondly, people with positive thoughts are excited to become an agent of change. For example, Martin Luther King, the civil right activist of USA, who stood up for the rights of African Americans, blazed his own trail.
(3) Thirdly, positive thinkers have an extra ordinary trust in their Lord to chase their dreams. And here I would share the example of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. He was told he could never become a fast bowler but he became one of the best all-rounders the world has witnessed. Next, Imran Khan was discouraged by critics in his efforts to establish a free cancer hospital and research centre; however, he proved his critiques incorrect by setting up in Pakistan a world class hospital called Shaukat Khanum. Lastly, he was maligned by his opponents that he was a misfit in the field of politics; yet, he rose to power after twenty-two years of struggle to lead Pakistan.
(4) Fourthly, positive thinkers are alert, observant and sensitive to their surroundings and hence they identify opportunities that others do not see. The late Abdul Sattar Edhi is a distinguished example. This man was not ashamed of even begging in the streets to help the poor and needy with the funds he collected. As a result, today he leaves behind a legacy in the form of "Edhi Foundation".
Is there any benefit of positive thinking at the end of the day?
Well, start counting:
1. Positive thinking can increase your lifespan.
2. It lowers the rate of depression and distress.
3. It provides increased coping skills in times of hardships and challenges.
4. Positive thinking saves precious relationships.
5. It even has the power to push forward a speedy recovery and cure diseases.
6. Positive thinkers are looked up to, as they are a source of courage and light for others.
A highly recommended book in this case would be Paulo Coelo's "The Manual of the Warrior of Light". He writes beautifully about the positive thinker who is the warrior of light. He sharpens his sword and tries to fill his heart with the necessary determination to face the challenge. As he advances, the warrior realizes that there are difficulties he had not reckoned with. If he waits for the ideal moment, he will never set off. He requires a touch of madness to take the next step.
In conclusion, an essential parting advice: If you don't want to get into positive thinking, that's alright. Just eliminate all the negative thoughts from your mind, and you will be totally fine with whatever is left. And... stay away from negative people. They seem to have a problem for every solution.