Focus on the bright side, Embrace ‘glass half full’ mentality

The graphic above appeared in a German magazine in 1892 popularized by the Austrian logician and philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. It was meant to represent the subjectivity of the mind depending on perspective. What do you see, a duck or a rabbit?

Lately, I have spent an immense amount of time on social media scrolling through the lives of “perfect” people … or purposely avoiding things I had to do, hoping it would please me, but that never happened. 

Instead, I became more and more displeased and unhappy with the person I became. Countless times I’ve found myself staring in the mirror for hours focusing on my “imperfections;” countless days passed where I didn’t even bother leaving my room, for I was literally hypnotized by the screen in front of me; countless seconds, minutes, hours and weeks gone by, none of which I can ever take back. 

I became so focused on what I lacked rather than what I had that it made me unrecognizable to what I used to be. Most times it felt like a vortex that sucked every “good” thing and left what was “bad.” So “bad” that it almost made me believe there was nothing “good” left. 

“Bad” enough for old me, who used to read books after books, to question the last time I actually finished one. “Bad” enough to think of the last time I went out for a walk to enjoy nature, or “bad” enough to think about what I appreciated, what I was grateful for. 

I felt the colors fading one by one, leaving me with a black and white canvas I sat across from while constantly searching for something else. 

I kept refusing to appreciate the beauty of black and white, how it pointed out the depth and the emotion of a frame which I wouldn’t be able to recognize with colors. I was so conditioned to the negative that I searched to prove the negativity of something rather than the positivity. 

I slowly started losing my motivations, my values, the strength in my goals. What’s worse is that I stopped caring. I stopped caring about the person I was becoming, I thought it didn’t matter. 

Step by step I convinced myself that I wasn’t enough, was never going to be enough and nothing I did was going to work. I thought I was stuck with this mindset forever and it was too late to make a change now. 

So, I started believing the way I lived instead of living the way I believed, which was very harmful and unhealthy both mentally and physically. I was always aware of the harm; yet, I chose to avoid it. It was my decision to refuse the existence of  beauty and positivity around me; it was my decision to focus on the negative; it was my decision, my choosing, me. 

There may have been outside factors that manipulated me into making these decisions, but in the end, it was me who sailed to the vortex. Personally, admitting the fact that I was responsible for the person I was becoming was probably the most important step to take. After the big confession, I was curious to know what I should do next. Just around the time, I found the answer to my question in one of my classes. It went like this, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” 

As much as I agree with it, this quote by Shakespeare’s Hamlet made me think for quite a while, and it made me realize the importance of perspective and how the smallest change of meaning in our minds can have such huge impact. By focusing on the beauty and positive things life has to offer, it makes nearly no sense to ruin our happiness by focusing on what’s ugly and negative. 

There are always two sides to a story, and you are the one deciding which one to go by. It is your decision to make it a better day. I am still not perfect, and being the pessimist I am, I can’t always quickly switch the plot and go by what’s best for me either … but that’s OK. 

Even the results of efforts spent on positive thinking has made more of an an incomparable impact on my life than any other thing I’ve done, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my journey of perspective, it is that it may not always make things better, but it always saves it from being worse.

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