Depending on your answers to these and similar other questions you will
know if you are negative or positive in your outlook.
Negativity prevents us from fulfilling the promise in us. It robs us of
the enthusiasm it takes to excel. Nothing valuable or great in this world
is achieved without immense enthusiasm. In respect of studies, negativity
breeds restlessness. Our patience with studying a particular subject
depends to a large extent on if we are positive or negative towards it. If you
like Mathematics, for instance, you will want to spend more and more time
studying it, simply because you enjoy it. Negativity kills enjoyment
and turns the study of a subject into a burden. The problem is not with the
subject as such. It is with our attitude towards it.
Next time you
feel like avoiding your class work in respect of a particular subject, you
should be able to know why this happens. You should also know that the right
way forward is not to neglect but to study that subject all the more so
that your attitude towards it changes from the negative to the positive.
A negative attitude corrupts our personality and leads us to less than
honorable practices. Take cheating at examinations, for example. The
need to cheat arises out of having neglected one’s studies, which resulted
from one’s negativity to studying. Those who are positive in their academic
outlook do not think of examinations as a pain, but as an opportunity
to excel. They look forward to it.
Negativity disables us from making the best possible use of the given
opportunity. There is a story about a poor man on whom Parvathi, the (Hindu) goddess, took pity because this man was a devotee of Lord
Shiva (Hindu God). So
Parvathi pleaded with Lord Shiva on his behalf that, through a divine blessing,
he be made a rich man.
“That is impossible,” said Lord Shiva, “If it were
otherwise, I would have helped him a long time ago. He is negative and
not even gods can help one who is negative.”
But Parvathi persevered in
pleading on this man’s behalf.
“All right,” said Lord Shiva, “You will
see it for yourself.”
She was shown this man walking along a road and Lord
Shiva caused a bag of gold to be placed on the road ahead of him so that he
could come upon it and have it for himself.
The poor man came long, and a few
meters from where the treasure was kept said to himself, “All my life I
have walked with my eyes open; and it is precious little that I have got for
it. From now onwards I shall walk with my eyes closed.” And he walked past
That is the problem with negativity. It makes us walk past
the treasures of life, with our eyes closed.
Positivity makes the difference between heaven and hell. There is a
Korean story that illustrates this.
Once upon a time there was a little boy
who used to pray to God for an opportunity to see heaven and hell so that
he could make up his mind on where to go. One day his prayers were
answered. God deputed an angel to guide the boy on his excursion to heaven and
He was taken, first, to hell. What he saw there was different from all
that he had heard about hell. He found a huge dining table piled up with
excellent food and people sitting around the table looking famished and
miserable. The reason for this was that they had to eat their food with
chopsticks and they were given chopsticks bigger than walking sticks,
with which they could not feed themselves. So they were all sitting in front
of tasty and appetizing food, tortured by hunger but unable to eat.
boy decided then and there that hell was not the place for him. So he was
taken to heaven. On arrival there, what he found truly astonished him. He
found the same enormous table, the same fabulous menu and even the same huge
chopsticks. But there was a glorious difference; the people sitting
around the table were looking visibly happy. This surprised him no end. Then,
in a moment, the difference dawned on him. Unlike the people in hell, these
men and women were feeding each other across the table with the long
In simple terms, they had the capacity to respond positively to each
other and to the given problem. The huge chopsticks were a problem only in
respect of feeding oneself, but they were a blessing in respect of feeding
their neighbors sitting at a distance. Heaven, in short, is a place where
people respond positively to each other.
Barring a few glorious exceptions, most people are tinged by negativity
to varying degrees. But the good news is that there is something we can do
about it. The function of spirituality is to help us change from
negativity to positivity.
The main purpose of worship, for example, is to become
positive towards God, and not only to extract material favors from
God. The real blessing that all of us need is deliverance from negativity and
empowerment for positivity. The primary level of positivity is our
positivity towards God. That is because God is unlike us. It is not
difficult to be positive towards those who are like ourselves. That is
not genuine positivity.
Positivity is proved by our responses to those who
are different from us. God is more different from us than any other human
being in this world. Through worship we learn to be positive towards God.
That makes our personality itself positive, which then leads to a host of
blessings in life. Those blessings do not come directly from God, but
from the positivity that godliness imparts to our personality. The function
of spirituality, which is different from religiosity, is to nurture
positivity in individuals and societies.
It is all the more important for us to understand this today, because
religion is being degraded by the merchants of communalism into an
epidemic of negativity. This is utterly contrary to the purpose of spirituality.
Any religious tradition, practice or ideology that breeds negativity is a
curse on its practitioners.
Parents in particular need to wake up to this
serious danger that their children are facing today. The communally charged
atmosphere in which their children grow up is sure to infect them with
negativity and undermine their welfare as students and cripple their
growth as human beings. They need to make a special effort to ensure that
their children –indeed all children- are protected from this religious
Communalism is an academic roadblock, a personal affliction and a
collective disaster. Communalism is the outbreak of negativity in the sphere of
religion, which is meant to be the nursery of positivity in a society.
If children get infected by it, and become negative in their personality
orientation, they will remain negative towards everything else,
including studies, relationships and human potentialities.
The secret of being a good student is nothing but the spirit of
positivity. Parents and teachers have to work in partnership to ensure that the
human and intellectual formation of their children is enlivened and empowered
by positivity. The larger goal of education is to nurture a culture of
positivity; and no one should be deemed educated unless that person is
imbued with a positive vision and outlook.
Keeping an Attitude of Gratitude
When was the last time you stopped to acknowledge all the good things in your life? Very often, when we're focused on a 'big' goal, or just caught up in day-to-day living, we often forget about the things that bring us joy.
You Can Choose: Is Today Going to be a Good Day or Bad Day?
Every day you have a choice: Will it be a good day or a bad one? It really IS up to you. You can't control the external circumstances of your life
but you can control your response to them.
Optimism: How to Avoid Negative Thinking
Have you ever wondered why some people feel down and defeated when faced with difficult situations, while others feel challenged and hopeful? Or why some people get all worked up and angry over small inconveniences and disagreements, while others respond more positively?
Turning Obstacles Into Blessings
In almost every part of daily living, there are obstacles that prevent you from accomplishing your goals. You have to get above it, over it, under it, or around the obstacle.
Source: Christian Light of Life Magazine