the pursuit of the positive…

Our brains are such busy little things, always looking for something to notice to comment on, to judge. When we think a lot about something, like “I don’t have enough money” “I don’t have enough time” “I’m lonely, I don’t like my body, I’m clumsy…” our brains start looking for things to notice so they can validate those thoughts. And we start seeing all kinds of things that seem to validate our belief.

So what if we flipped it around? What if we started telling ourselves that life is easy, there is always enough, I am beautiful just as I am… Suddenly, as if by magic we start seeing things that validate that new belief. Our brains start looking for proof of the positive; suddenly you notice a stranger is smiling, the client who’s late gives you time to take a deep breath and stretch, you walk past a window and see the beauty of the clouds instead of the cloudy sky, you find a quarter on the sidewalk…

I invite you to try this experiment. For the next week, look for things to appreciate. Constantly, all day, keep your eagle eye and judgemental brain on the lookout for cool things to appreciate and be grateful for. When you find yourself slipping back into negativity, remind yourself that you are performing an experiment, and appreciate yourself for catching yourself.

Be ruthless in your pursuit of the positive. When negative thoughts come, toss them out the window and look for something, anything that reminds you that life is good and we are blessed. It’s really not hard to find things when you instruct your brain to start looking.

I’d love to hear how your week goes. I am taking the challenge as well, and beginning by appreciating all of you and the gift of our connection.

In appreciation,


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Riel - February 16, 2012

Thanks for a great post! This is so true, we don’t see with our eyes, we see with our minds and we see with what is “in our minds” We see or hear or feel to confirm our beliefs not what is “out there”, if we change our mindsets we change our perceptions.
I’ll try your experiment and let you know.


Vera - May 31, 2012

What a great post Carol, just read it now as it’s exactly what I needed to reaffirm to myself today! Thanks for being

Tom Rohrer - March 17, 2013

It’s so true that it’s amazing everyone doesn’t just get it and practice it. Positive Psychology and many theologies promote this idea.

In his first book called The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz uses this ideal to ask, what if you set-up the structure of your life so that your most desirable path was the easiest one.

I used Robert’s ideal in my Your Recovering Future model. What if you set-yourself-up so that the most desired path for your recovery was the easiest way.


Terry - March 17, 2013

Much to be said on this. A good reading to s group after wathing the film “The Secret”. This further promotes the ideas of the lawas of attraction and how you bring about what you think about. Thanks.

John C. Fentress, PhD - March 17, 2013

A lovely posting. As a brain and behavioral scientist I have long been fascinated by the limits of and shifts in our attention. Even given that I can get caught up with the tasks and “problems” of the day. When I do this I too can forget to notice the trees, a sunrise or sunset, or the birds singing outside of my window.

I have also worked with individuals under various forms of stress and addiction. What you suggest is not only valuable for these folks, but for all of us.

Thank you for your post.

John C. Fentress, PhD

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