chapter six

“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.”

That is my favorite quote about pursuit of happiness, my ingrained motto for a more positive and motivated outlook on life.

Do I always follow it to a T? Not necessarily…I’m only human after all. 

But it keeps my mind in check when I’m feeling down, my goals in focus. It helps me remember what matters. What to look for and what to prioritize.

I’ve come to appreciate all your incredibly sweet comments about my generally sunny attitude, but I wasn’t always this way. It took a lot of hardships, lots of failures and disappointments on my part and on others’ to build the perspective that I have now.

I was a product of my surroundings and upbringing, a lot of negative events that corrupted my childish mind into overdramatizing and always expecting the worse out of situations. Or in contrast, being so incredibly idealistic that I seemed foolish. And well, I was foolish, on both accounts.

Foolish in being so idealistic and dreamy that I ignored the true, cold, hard facts. Being hopeful and wishing for the best was my excuse for dealing with certain situations.

Foolish in being so negative, in believing wholeheartedly at times that my worth did not measure up. That I could just go through life self-destructing and expecting others to toss me aside when they were through with me.

Wrong.

How, sad these two perspectives are. Two extremes.

Perspective. Simply defined it’s your outlook and way of thinking on something, your point of view.

Obviously, perspective is molded from many different reasons. Where you live, how you were brought up, your friends, current media, etc., all play a part in shaping who you are and how you think.

Frankly I think with social media and pop culture being so overbearingly present in our daily lives, having a positive perspective on yourself and life in general is increasingly more difficult.

The “cool it girl” has this, you’re fashionable if you wear that. This girl is too skinny, but this one needs to drop some pounds. Teenage girls are more and more looking like mid-twenties fashion glamazons and c’mon, me at their age trying to look like that? Even now I’m drooling over their esteemed good looks and poise! (AND attributes…Kylie, share summah that lip with me!!)

Some people are blessed with things we all don’t have, yet are glorified and sought after for these intangible characteristics. So, with all this talk of desperately wanting to change ourselves to have more “in” and “cool” attributes that we may never be able to achieve, no wonder why some of the world is so sad. No wonder I see so many people, young girls and boys especially, struggling with their identity. Not just who they are now, but who they want to be. Or really, what they “should” be.

These stresses, all these unknowns and “if onlys” really can damper someone’s perspective on themselves and life in general. It’s hard; I’m not saying it’s easy. But believe it or not, accepting yourself for exactly who you are meant to be is a CHOICE. Holding your head high and thinking more positively is a CHOICE. Wanting to be happy is a CHOICE!

I found another interesting story/quote floating around on Facebook the other day. It’s about dogs so you know, best example ever.

“There is a story they tell of two dogs. Both at separate times walk into the same room. One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling. A woman watching this goes in to the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad.

To her surprise, she finds a room filled with mirrors. The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog saw only angry dogs growling back at him.

What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are.”

The times you think negatively on an event or situation will only bring about negative outcomes or perspectives on what actually happened to support your pessimistic theory. With a negative perspective, you only really pick up on what is bad or what can be contrived to be negative. With all that negativity, there is no room to look at the positives because of your gloomy bias.

Sometimes not everyone is out to get you. Sometimes annoying things (first world pains, my friends) WILL happen to you. But is that really what the focus should be?

What about the beautiful things around you? What about where you are today in comparison to where some people are not? You may be dying to be in the shoes of someone else, but believe it or not people would give up everything to be where you are now. There can always be worse and there can always be better. So why not focus on what you do have, what wonderful beauty does surround you?

I promise it’ll make you much happier.

I used to be sad about my parents not being together. I’d go over to my friends’ houses and be so jealous that they were so close to their fathers, that as a family they were so “real” and unified. But you know what? My family is real and they are perfect for me. I was never loved any less, if anything I felt overwhelmed with love! My mom chauffeured me to all my acting, theatre, dance, and sports (HA!) practices. She would listen to me belt my audition songs over and over and still be a good sport about it all. She gave up the world for me to succeed. What is a family if not that?

Perspective.

Once I got over my negativity about the past, my dad and I developed a wonderful relationship and I’m so happy we went through the ups and downs to be where we are now. What’s the point of staying upset forever, with any situation? What’s the point of not appreciating what you do have, not trying to mend a situation when it is important to you? I love my mom. I love my dad. They have both taught me different things in my life, good and bad. But all important.

Perspective.

For about a year or so when I initially moved to LA I struggled with different aspects of my life. I felt like an outsider to my new surroundings and I feared I would transform into something I had no intention of becoming just to stay happy and relevant. I let myself stay in a haze without appreciating what I did have, what incredible blessings and opportunities were given to me. I only had to open my eyes to see it.

Perspective.

I jumped on the #100daysofhappiness challenge last year and I highly suggest it. Honestly, I might try to start a challenge similar to it. It helped me to stay positive through a trying time by finding something beautiful in my daily life. And once I was looking, you know what? It wasn’t hard to find the little things to be happy about. They came pretty easily. I just had to get over myself to realize.

Think of right now. What has made you happy today so far? This week? I challenge you to share your thoughts and your stories in the comment section below so we can inspire each other! So many of you have spilled your hearts to me and I can’t tell you how meaningful it is to relate to so many people with different life journeys but the same sentiments. So let’s lift others up together! Then we can go back to this page and read all the little happinesses with a big smile on our faces. 

Infuse positivity into your perspective and I promise you will see it back. Actively seek and want happiness. People and situations will always bring you down at times, but face them with your head high. With a smile. With kindness.

You can do it.

A little positivity and kindness go a long way.

For yourself. And for those around you.

Here’s mine.

I’m so thankful my journey has led me here, that everything has culminated to this point. This day, even. I would have never imagined I would have the accomplishments I do. That I would be writing again, MY story for you all! And I wouldn’t be here if not for a positive perspective, if not for believing in myself and surrounding myself with people that supported me.

I am so happy. So fortunate for you all.

This is bigger than I’ve ever dreamed.

Thank you.

Love,

Kirstin

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