When it comes to positive thinking, the secret lies deep within.
Positive attitude. It’s something that’s spoken about often.
Positivity is associated with satisfaction (happiness). Negativity is associated with disappointment (sadness). I know which I’d rather.
But that’s easier said than done.
After all, the unexpected does happen. Life more often than we like goes differently to how we want it to. But that’s life.
Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD.
He ruled like many before him did. But he was different to his predecessors. He’s considered as one of the few good Emperors to have ruled Ancient Rome.
As well as a military general, he was a philosopher.
He’s better known for his intellectual work than his work on the battlefield.
He once said: “You have the power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”
Now, don’t forget he ruled during a turbulent time in the Roman Empire. Outside threats were no doubt at the forefront of his mind.
But during this time of fighting rival nations and tribes, he would find peace – a state of psychological stability and composure expected from a leader of a nation – through nature.
Nature would guide him. It would inspire him.
We see nature as trees, oceans, mountains and creatures. We are also part of this group. Life itself.
What nature really is, though, is something that doesn’t have rules. It doesn’t see threats. And it lives on regardless like it has done in many forms on Earth for over 3.5 billion years.
It’s better to not try and understand it.
Because that would be unnatural – we’ll probably never understand life on Earth to the full.
If you don’t believe me, ask yourself how did life begin? or what is the meaning of life?
If you’ve found the answers from scientific theories or religion, you have cheated.
That’s where I think most people go wrong. Trying to understand everything, and more importantly, trying to understand others. Caring too much about how others judge us and what we do.
You are what you think you are.
Of course, if you work in marketing you’re always trying to please others. To convince people to like you so they buy from you.
But does it have to be like that?
Maybe when we deal with others, we should stop caring.
From an early age, we’ve been told by our parents and our teachers to control our thoughts and behaviours. A role which our bosses are now taking up. But they shouldn’t because they belong to us. Not to them.
We should let things run on instinct away from these external pressures and rules and let things go.
Just like nature.
Marcus Aurelius also said: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” I think he’s right.
If we start letting nature take its course (like it was always destined to) then we may start seeing things different. We may change our attitudes towards stuff.
We may even like it. We may gain a more positive outlook.
Take a stream, for instance.
A stream flows continuously. If it comes up against a stone, it will find a way to go around it. It won’t think to stop. It will never think.
It has a crazy vision to get to the ocean.
And it’ll do everything it takes to keep flowing; to stay alive. To get to that ocean.
It’s not perfect. But it’s always moving forward. Always making progress no matter what it may come up against on its way. It doesn’t care.
That’s what nature is.
That’s a positive attitude.
And it comes from deep within. All you have to do is find it.