Positive thinking is a mental attitude, a process of generating thoughts that transform energy into reality. In this article, we will approach positive thinking, especially in education, from a psychological perspective. What is positive thinking? How does it occur? What factors are associated with it? How does the student reflect their education by positive thinking?
Positive thinking is a process of choosing positive emotions from stimuli in the environment and applying them to perceptions and beliefs. Life satisfaction is defined as “a global evaluation by the person of his or her life” (Pavot, Diener, Colvin&Sandvik, 1991, p. 150). It is generally the cognitive part of mental well-being. In this context, it is different from joy and happiness. A high life satisfaction is important for individuals because it leads to positive mental health and healthy interpersonal relationships.
A positive attitude starts with something already secured and weighty and moves from that point forward. While a person keeps looking at things or events from the perspective of certain considerations, their character and temperament will gradually take shape in line with that way of thinking. People’s way of thinking shapes their behavior. While new opportunities are generated, success depends on the person’s perspective. Here’s an example of positive thinking: there were once only ten people in the audience at one of Mozart’s performances. He did not really bother himself with this disappointing number of attendance. After the performance he said to his wife: “It was a perfect concert, and everyone gave a standing ovation.”
This reflected his inner purity and faithfulness. I think we need to think like Mozart. Such thinking brings inner peace, success, improved relationships, better health, happiness, and satisfaction.
Positive thinking about others, too, is most becoming for a righteous person. It is our duty to cherish good opinions, and we must always think positively. Our behaviors and actions must be parallel. Consistent with this is taking a person and their actions in the best possible way. We should not be suspicious of a person and should accept the best possible motives for their behaviors. We must remember that it is better to be mistaken in a good opinion than being proven right in a negative opinion.
This is especially true in the field of education. A student or teacher is supposed to avoid making judgments like they avoid poisonous snakes. In the case of false judgments, they should immediately talk and try to find solutions, with the hope of being pardoned. A fine balance exists between refraining from bias and not giving in to negative thinking after a temporary lapse, since a bias is a greater danger than distrust. Saying, “There is no more hope for me” and totally giving up, indulging in the swamp of regret, and finally being seized by pessimism leads to a loss of hope.
Even when one bumps into an embarrassing situation of a friend, he or she should turn their face to another direction, and not inquire the situation even further. One must continue to think positively about that person, should not develop suspicion and reach to quick judgments about them.
In the same way that it is essential to hold a good opinion of others, it is also important to refrain from behavior that might raise suspicion. Some people fail to avoid acts and conditions that might possibly lead to ugly thoughts arising in the minds of other people. They might sometimes present behavior that can be open to criticism in terms of their personal lives, businesses, or social relations. Worst of all, an unmannerly act by a single individual might cause all members of a group to lose credibility.
Here are a few actions I have taken. Consider them “tips” to help you develop the power of positive thinking:
- Always use only positive words while thinking and while talking. Use words such as, “it is not the end of the way; surely there is a new way”; “I can”; “it is possible”; and “why not?”
- Watch movies that make you feel happy.
- Focus on feelings of happiness, strength, and success.
- Use words that evoke feelings and mental images of strength, happiness, and success.
- Associate yourself with people who think positively.
- Try to ignore negative thoughts. Replace them with constructive ones.
- Have limits on the amount of time you listen to the news and read the papers.
Personalization is another technique optimistic people use that allows them to see their problems as something external and not internal. Through personalization, an optimistic individual is able to look at the broader picture of a negative situation by “detaching” from it; that is, by externalizing the negative causes of that situation, and internalizing that its negative impact on the person’s life is only transitory: that life will move on. For instance: if a classmate gets upset with you because of someone else’s comments or rumors, you should not attribute this entirely to yourself. You should instead try to amend the situation in the best way possible, without thinking that the fault for the rumors lays entirely on you. It is partly because of “word of mouth” communication among common peers.
Through persistence, optimistic people can see bad situations as something specific and not global. In this way, someone who is going through a tough time will realize that this situation will not affect them permanently. For example, when a student gets a bad grade in an activity, he/she should understand that this one experience should not affect his/her overall academic performance. It is important to remember that one should never, ever give up. He/she will be able to gain more wisdom and more conscience by choosing to learn from their mistakes.
We hold the belief that success is always achievable with hard work and dedication. While this is true for many occasions, things do not always turn out as we would like them to be. There are limits to what we can do. However, I do believe that success is more likely achieved with hard work and determination.
This is especially true for young people and students. A student should always maintain a good opinion about life, at every phase. They should constantly live with this hope. They should say, “I may be a loser, not self-confident, and hopeless, but I am trying to build trust with my teacher and my family. Therefore, even though I might slip and fall at any moment, they will support me.” This trust is similar to the trust a believer has in God.
Sometimes you have to lose your way to discover your ability. You will find your way with your positive thinking and hope.
Positive thinking is not as simple as it seems; going after it has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits or going through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointment, etc. However costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who did not live honestly. Because one day they will look back and hear their own heart say, “I wasted my life.” For that reason, never lose patience and never stop thinking positive thoughts.
- Pavot W., Diener E., Colvin C. R., & Sandvik E. (1991). Further validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being. Social Indicators Research, 57, 149–161. http://dx.doi. org/10.1207/s15327752jpa5701_17