You might think, in the age of positivity, that testing positive would be a good word-set, that we would be happy, yet the converse is true, is it not?
We fear being 'tested positive' because it implies we have an illness, a disease, an affliction – something that will limit our life in some way. Don't worry, you aren't alone. Everyone fears the diagnosis – it is one of the few things most adults could agree on – the meaning of 'testing positive' and the perceived impact on our lives.
So, let's turn that assumption over for a minute, if only for the purpose of this discussion.
That's your diagnosis.
Why is that a scary term?
Of course, we know that people with medical problems, diseases, and infections – when they test positive, that is usually a bad thing. Scary thing. Something that means good health is in danger, that death might come closer …
Why is it then, such a beautiful word has taken on such a negative meaning?
I would love it if everyone tested positive for attitude.
"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes." – John Wooden
I would love it if everyone tested positive for outlook.
"Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success." – Charles Glassman
I would love it if everyone tested positive for expressing feelings.
"Focus on an ocean of positives, not the puddle of negatives." – Kevin Ansbro
I would love it if everyone knew how good it feels to feel good.
"Creativity is bound up in our ability to find new ways around old problems." – Martin Seligman
I feel good – I'm positive that I am.
"Being positive doesn't happen by chance. It's a decision." – Diamante Lavendar
I became a fan of Martin Seligman a few years ago – he is the guru of positive psychology. I watched his TEDtalk, and also visited in Penn website to take the 'are you happy' tests. I found it all so instructive for my life that I've not hesitated to pass it on. The talk is a bit dated now, but thinking rings as real and fresh today. And I learned the meaning of eudaimonia.
Positive talk impacts us positively.
Negative talk, the opposite.
Be careful what you listen to, who you listen to, and how long you listen.
Most of all, when listening to yourself – to that person in your head, it isn't about voices – it's about attitude. If we see ourselves inside our head as beautiful, lovable, smart, kind, and useful, we will be that way – not through self-talk but through self-esteem we cannot hide because it shows itself to everyone in everything we do.