Posted by: Admin | January 4, 2011

Positivity, please


“The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
~John Milton, Paradise Lost

Hands up who’s resolved to give something up this January? Thought so. Here’s a thought – if you really feel the need to post a list of New Year’s Resolutions on your fridge door, think about changing the language. So, instead of saying you won’t eat chocolate, say you’ll eat more fruit. Rather than vowing to lose weight, resolve to increase your fitness. Don’t tell yourself you’ll watch less TV, say you’re going to go out  more, or read more often.

You get my drift – positive affirmations are so much more powerful than negative statements. The subconscious mind, which is so much larger than the conscious mind, only understands absolutes. If we tell it consistently that we are fat, lazy, lacking in willpower, (or whatever your own personal self-flagellation of choice) it will move to make us feel better by directing us towards the things that comfort us most. In my case, that would be cake and trashy TV. Fail.


I can see clearly now...


Have you ever noticed how negative the English language can be? It was really brought home to me when I spent some time in Japan and found myself the only fluent English speaker in the University program. I hadn’t realised how often we say things like: “Do you not want to go?” until I was faced with total bafflement. I spent a month checking myself, trying to say “do you want to go?” – ie: using positive language – to make myself understood.

We don’t realise the drip-drip-drip of gloom that negative thinking causes. “That’s just my luck”, “trust me to mess it up”, “this country has gone to the dogs”. “nothing ever changes”. Our national Press has a lot to answer for, whipping up moral panics and feeding into national insecurity. So does so-called “reality TV” and soap operas. What do we get out of watching other people being miserable? Does it make us feel better about our own lives?

Like many people my age, I’ll be dusting down my trainers tomorrow and filling up the fruit bowl. But if there’s one resolution that’s worth making this year, it has to be cheer up already!



  1. Ok – I’ll try to give up flagellation…

  2. Lets see what did I give up. Oh yeah. Nothing.
    I might take up self-flagellation though. I haven’t done that yet.

  3. hmm – I find I’m getting a clearer picture of you two as the blog evolves…!

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