Apparently this year there is no naughty list! Or so some advertisers would have you think. It seems that because of everything we’ve been through, Santa doesn’t have a naughty list!
Okay, it’s just a cheap marketing line but rather than thinking about whether we’re going to get presents from Santa or not this year (I hope you do!), I thought about how we see things around us – naughty or nice? Or in other words, do you focus on the negative stuff around you, or the positive?
For many years, I have been accused of being too positive! Firstly, let me tell you that this is not always true and my family and closest friends will agree wholeheartedly with that! In fact I started writing this on a day when I wasn’t feeling as positive as normal. But actually, whether I’m feeling positive or negative, I am wired up so that I want to encourage others which often comes across as being positive. Whatever way round you want to take that, it’s just how I see life. I just choose to see the good around and focus on that, rather than being sucked down by the bad things around. And I make no apologies for that. It’s actually hard work, but it’s who I am.
You see, the more we focus on the naughty/bad/negative stuff around us, the more we get sucked into a naughty/bad/negative way of thinking. Yet a nice/good/positive focus can help us to shift the thought process, to ways through whatever you are seeing. If it helps, John highlighted some of the recent positive things in the community in his blog this week.
This is not to deny that bad stuff is around. It is not to pretend there are no issues. It is not to avoid dealing with difficult things. But it is to attempt to focus on your own life, your own opportunities and by living a better way, attempt to show those who focus on the negativity just how they can do the same. So if I say that we live in a great place, I genuinely mean that, because there are some amazing people in our community who want to make positive change for themselves and others. That doesn’t make the issues go away. But it’s a start.
Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome which basically means he has no arms or legs. He made the choice to be positive in his life, not despite his physical issues but because of them. He said this:
You can be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have
This positive thinking is not being naïve. It is not ignoring issues or circumstances whether personal to you or things around you. It is not believing that any bad stuff around you will just vanish if you’re positive. No. But it is a step to making your life and your community better because of the way you choose to focus. As Nick Vujicic says, being thankful for what you do have.
Lets take a few moments away from my writings and have a listen to this from another motivational speaker, American Steve Harvey.
So yes, we have many issues in our community that need dealing with. Crime. Drugs. Poverty. Unemployment. That’s just four. We cannot and will not ignore them. But there is one element of community that can help us move forwards and drive positive change. That element is YOU!
There’s a fancy title for this way of working called Asset Based Community Development – we’ll talk about this more in the new year. We have many assets in our community and the biggest asset is the people. I may have only lived in the area since the summer of 2016, but I have met a lot of people who are amazing and have so much to offer to this community. Many of them are doing that already to great effect, but some are just on the first rung of the ladder and that’s okay because you have to start somewhere. The journey will be different for every resident but as long as we all keep moving forward and focusing on the good things around, then we will make a positive difference.
So who’s going to join me on this journey towards positive change? Will you focus on the naughty or nice?