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Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Tag: Barbara L. Fredrickson

Despair or hope

In her book Positivity, Barbara L. Fredrickson writes, “As I see it, there are two basic responses to hardship.  Despair or hope.  In despair, you multiply your negativity.  Your fear and uncertainty can turn into stress.  Your stress can morph into hopeless sadness, which in turn can breed shame.  Worse than this mushrooming negativity, despair smothers and snuffs out all forms of positivity.  With positivity extinguished, all possibilities for genuine connections with others are lost.  Despair opens the gate to a downward spiral that may well lead you to rock bottom. 

Hope is different.  It’s not the mirror reflection of despair.  Your hope, in fact, acknowledges negativity with clear eyes.  More important, though, your hope kindles further positivity within you.  Even the most subtle shades of hope can be a springboard for you to feel love, gratitude, inspiration, and more.  And these warm and tender feelings open your mind and your heart and allow you to connect with others.  So hope opens the gate to an upward spiral that empowers you to bounce back from hardship and emerge even stronger and more resourceful than before.

Some people — either genetically or intuitively — seem to understand the gifts of positivity better than the rest of us.  We call those people resilient.  They are the ones who smile in the face of adversity, reframe bad events as opportunities, and adopt a wait-and-see attitude about future threats.  This doesn’t mean that they never feel bad.  They bleed just like everyone else.” Continue reading

Positivity

In her book Positivity, Barbara L. Fredrickson writes, “You are constantly changing — not just your clothes or your hairstyle, but your inner core, the very essence of your being. Change is the rule, constancy the rare exception. Consider the change underway within you at this very moment. What you know as ‘you’ is actually trillions of cells living and working together. Most only live for a few weeks or months. When they die, they are replaced by new cells. This cycle continues for as long as you live. The pace of cell renewal varies by body part. Your taste buds live only a few hours. Your white blood cells live about ten days. Your muscle cells live about three months. Even your bones are made anew time and again. Considering these differences, scientists have suggested that you replace about 1 per cent of your cells each day. That’s 1 per cent today, another 1 per cent tomorrow, amounting to roughly 30 per cent by next month and 100 per cent by next season. Seeing yourself and your cells in this way, every three months you get a whole new you. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that it takes around three months to learn a new habit or make a lifestyle change. Perhaps we can’t teach an old cell new tricks.” Continue reading

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