Positivity leads to happiness

I’ve always been a cheerful person. In fact, there have been times I wasn’t aware I was unhappy with something until after I found a way to be even more happy.

For example, in every job I’ve ever had, I’ve always found a way to have fun, no matter how menial a task.

I was illusioned that I loved my job. I recently realized I used to hate my jobs, seeing how much I enjoy both of my current jobs. Now, I don’t have to find a way to make them fun, I genuinely enjoy doing them.

If you’ve taken psychology, perhaps you are familiar with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The basic definition is a presupposed psychological mind-set that ends up being true because it was decided on to start with.

If you go to a party and decide before you get there that it’s going to suck, chances are it’s going to suck. You’ve already decided you won’t have fun, so you actively stop seeking it.

However, a self-fulfilling prophecy works both ways. If you assume a positive result, you will most likely achieve it or believe that you have.

I’m not saying anything as silly as if you just think happy thoughts nothing bad will happen. I’m saying that if you maintain a positive mind-set, when the bad things do happen, you might see them differently.

Your thinking doesn’t change the events that happen in your life, it just changes how you look at them.

There are plenty of negatives in life I could choose to focus on: The series of unfortunate events that comprise my love life thus far, the fact that I am a junior in college and still have no idea what I want to do with my life and every single bad decision in my life being stuck in my head on permanent replay.

Still, there are many more positive things in my life. I have two jobs that I love, I am fortunate enough that my parents are assisting me with the cost of my education and I genuinely enjoy learning new things.

Negatives look different after viewing them positively.

I am aware of all the bad decisions I’ve made, which prevents me from making them again. Even though I don’t know what I want yet, I am on a five-year plan, and I am actively making an effort to find out what I am more interested in.

I do have a vague idea for the general direction I can go. Even if I had everything perfectly planned out, there is a likelihood that it won’t end up exactly that way. And even though all my attempts at dating so far have ended disastrously, that doesn’t mean it will always happen that way.

The way to change your life isn’t by complaining that it isn’t where you want it to be; it’s by actively making steps to change it, even if the only steps you are capable of making are purely psychological.

As my favorite communications professor Mary Haselrud-Opp likes to say, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Michael Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].