If I said that our culture has a problem of positivity, would you be able to assume that the problem is that we are missing? In many ways, this is certainly true: our current social and political landscape is not cluttered with unicorns and rainbows. But I would also say that the other end of the spectrum – the world of inspirational quotes, sunny affirmations and endless positivity of the body – is not the antidote we need now. In fact, facing a world where negativity is inevitable could be counterproductive.
However, we seem to forget that there is a third option: the realization that the amorphous jumble of good and evil is the essence of humanity. It’s realism, and when I embraced it in my own life, I became free in an unexpected way.
By contrast, at the beginning of my twenties, I spent most of my life thinking in black and white. I wavered between feeling like I was never good enough and wondering why I could not be happy with everything I already had for me. There was no intermediary. Or rather, the in-between felt messy and my mind felt pretty messy.
The world is filled with people who work hard to be positive, peaceful and spiritual, and who then feel bad when they can not compete. I know because I was part of them. And I’m always here from time to time.
It was before I noticed something:
1 It does not work.
2. Spirituality is not what you do. It’s something you are, and it’s you now. Just as you are under your babbling, you are also positive and peaceful.
3. You are already as spiritual as ever.
Happiness can become a dangerous level of complacency if you can not find a balance. Gruber emphasizes that the link between happiness and positive outcomes in your life is non-linear. This means that more happiness does not necessarily mean a better life. It may sound strange, but there is a threshold of happiness that can actually exacerbate one life in one way or another. It’s good to feel other emotions – sad, anxious or frustrated. It is indeed necessary if you want to avoid finding yourself in an unmotivated fish bowl, with limited creativity and risky behavior. Consider your luck as a muscle: do not go out, keep your strength at the right time and move it where it’s best for the situation.
Caring for a happy life only leads to a life full of worry. Focusing on the bigger picture is not only discouraging, but also difficult to achieve. Your life consists of all the little things we live every day and knowing how to enjoy it is one of the easiest ways to let happiness fill up slowly. For this to happen, you need to do two very simple things: put yourself in situations where you can experience happiness, find ways to enjoy the experience and let it overwhelm you.
According to the Harvard scientist, the psychologist is Susan David, who has spent more than 20 years in search of emotions, happiness and success. Understanding and managing your difficult feelings and passing them on is the key to a better tomorrow.
Her book Emotional Agility: Unlocking, embracing change and flourishing in work and in life has been named Amazon’s 2017 Book. It shows the four-step process you need to turn negative feelings like fear into a benefit.
David’s argument is that emotionally agile people are not immune to stress and setbacks, but have developed crucial knowledge about how to deal with them – and insist that everyone can do the same by following a four-step process.