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Positivity - The Way of Your Tongue

Updated on April 6, 2016

How do you keep yourself (and others) positive, especially in these challenging times? How do you build and maintain your confidence when life can seem so difficult?

Well… it all depends upon how you look at it.

A shoe factory sent two marketing scouts to a region in Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sent back a text saying, Situation hopeless, no one wears shoes.

The other sent a text saying, Glorious business opportunity, they have no shoes!

It all depends upon how you look at it.

What do you think of the statement on the right-hand-side?

What statement do you see?

Is this what you see?

Or is this what you see?

It all depends upon how you look at it - but most people are naturally inclined to look at things in a certain way.

The Mind Is Like The Tongue

The mind is very much like the tongue in the way that it processes information. What does your tongue do? It moves around your mouth and examines your teeth without you even realising that it is happening. And when it finds a rough edge or a stuck food particle, it nags and annoys you until you are driven to do something about it.

Think about it, it doesn’t stop until it finds a problem. It doesn’t take any notice of what is good. It doesn’t stop and say, “Wow, that’s a nice tooth, it's so smooth.” No, like the mind, it tends to favour looking for and noticing the problems, the bad times, but knowing that the mind works in this way gives us an opportunity to do something about it.

Some people are excellent trouble-shooters. They are like the tongue, always on the look out for what’s wrong, looking for flaws, faults, generating concerns, etc. Rather than experiencing all the good that is happening in their lives, they are constantly thinking of ways to improve their experience. A trouble-shooter can never really be satisfied because he is too busy evaluating his life to enjoy it.

How Do you Train Your Mind?

So if the natural tendency of the mind is to look for problems, what can you do about it? How can you train your mind? Quite simple really. Get the tongue looking for and acknowledging the good teeth! Make yourself aware of all the wonderful, good, enjoyable things in your life and express gratitude for them.

A Very Simple Exercise

Dedicate a few minutes every day to consciously acknowledge what you are grateful for, what you did well that day, and what you appreciate about your life. Come on, do it right now and see how it feels. What three things have you already done well today? Say them out loud.




Now list ten things, also out loud, that you are grateful for. I’ll wait for you below (please do it).











How do you feel? If you can get yourself to focus on all the good things that you usually take for granted, you will build up a positive appreciation of healthy psychological functioning, which will give you an inner-belief of strength and realistic balance, especially useful when times get tough.

I’ve got into the habit of listing everything I’m grateful for as soon I get into my car every morning. And on the way back home in the evening, no matter how tough the day has been, I’ll acknowledge all the things I did well that day. Try it as you wake up, or just before going to bed, it only takes a few minutes!

My challenge to you is this: invest a few minutes every day for a week acknowledging what you are grateful for and what you did well and I bet you’ll make it an ongoing practice.

We've Been Conditioned

We’ve been conditioned by others for many years. “Who do you think you are?” "You should be ashamed of yourself”. And we add to this by being far too hard on ourselves. We worry and strive to improve our lives and in the process, often forget what we have achieved. We tend to forget or deny, or even feel embarrassed about admitting the things we do well. Here’s another exercise to help build self-esteem. Most of us have been taught that it’s quite arrogant to boast, and how important it is to have humility.

There is however a big difference between thinking much about yourself and thinking about yourself so much. Unless we have self-respect and think much of ourselves, how are we going to project confidence and enjoyment and inspire others?

The following exercise has been designed to keep you in touch with your good side, to acknowledge your achievements, and to maintain a well-deserved feeling of self-esteem.

To begin the process, simply ask yourself the following questions and write down as many answers as possible. When you have completed the exercise, read through your list and add to it from time-to-time.  Make a point of reading it especially when you feel low.

• What do I like about myself right now?

• What makes me unique?

• What have I achieved in my life?

• What am I proud of?

• What things have I failed to notice or appreciate about myself?

• What are the things I wouldn’t want to change about myself?

• What am I grateful for?

• What am I proud of?

• What do I have right now?

• What accomplishments have brought meaning to my life?

• What qualities and skills do I possess?

• What do others admire, respect, and like about me?

• Who are the people I am glad to have in my life.

• What else makes me happy?

• What are the main reasons that make me feel glad that I am who I am?


A Riddle For You

And finally………… Is this just another hub or self-improvement idea that you’ve read which has left you thinking that one day you might try the exercise? Well then here’s a riddle for you:

There were five birds sitting on a wire.

Three birds decided to fly away.

How many birds were left on the wire?

The three only decided to fly away, they didn’t get around to it (the answer is five).

When all is said and done, much more is said than done! Take some time and put the ideas into action now. It’s simple and the results are immediately tangible.


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    • erin boote profile image

      erin boote 4 years ago from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania


    • Russ Baleson profile image

      Russ Baleson 4 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Erin! Thank you, I miss you too. So lovely to hear from you. For some reason I haven't been inspired enough to write haiku but now that it is summer and I'm spending time in nature, I hope it is soon. And how about some more writing from you? Russ

    • erin boote profile image

      erin boote 4 years ago from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

      I miss you and your brilliance Russ!

    • Russ Baleson profile image

      Russ Baleson 8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Dolores, beauty is found everywhere if we look for it.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great points, Russ. It's a waste of time to dwell on the negative when life is so full of positive points and beauty can be found anywhere.

    • Russ Baleson profile image

      Russ Baleson 8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Wavegirl, thank you for reading and mostly for putting it into action. It works!

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 8 years ago from New York, NY

      a lot to think about .even more to think out loud about and even more than that .. I took my little book out and made my list(s) . .

      again thank you:)

    • Russ Baleson profile image

      Russ Baleson 8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Chris, Frieda, Whikat and Jewels. I appreciate your feedback. Just writing it made me realise how important it is to keep my focus on the good stuff that is happening which I've often missed in the difficult times. Let me know how you get on with it Jewels.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

      What a great hub, thanks for writing it. I'll give it a go.

    • profile image

      Whikat 8 years ago

      Hi Russ, Another fun and positive read. I really enjoy being enlightened by your articles. Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Loved the riddle and the "opportunity is now here". Thanks Russ.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Great insights here Russ. I guess it is human nature to lean towards the negative side of things - it's more dramatic and therefore does get our attention more than the other side. But I guess you're right, it's a matter of conditioning - and who does not want a positive outlook? Thanks for sharing, I' motivated :D