Positivity Can Be Hard Work

Positivity is Hard Work – 10x harder than doing nothing or creating negativity

I was at the hairdresser the other day and the ladies were chatting about Reese Witherspoon, who I have always greatly admired. We were talking about how she has worked super hard on her family and career. She has managed to stay away from “negative press”. All of sudden, she was drinking and disorderly at a party with her husband and all those years with a spotless image are under scrutiny and her image even lost. One mistake and all those good years are forgotten?

It begs the question, why is it so easy to make a negative impact and why is it always extremely difficult to make a positive impact. Victor Sinclair’s Positive Imperative“Posiratio” explains this phenomenon.  As he explains,

PI LogoSignificant Positive creations, like raising a responsible human take ten times the effort and energy to create.   A Neutral one (not participating in a positive way to raise your kids) are actually a Negative and do between three and five times the damage thus also causing a ripple effect. Negatives however take ten times less effort and energy to achieve but do ten times the damage and thus create a huge Negative ripple effect, and sometimes even more.  (PI)

Let’s talk about raising children to explain the quantum effort involved with creating positivity. With my two children, it is challenging to always be a positive force in their lives. Let it be said that I am completely committed and accountable to being a positive guide in their lives. What that means is I need to teach them as many survival tools as possible. As soon as my babies were born I knew that I really had to be on top of my issues in order to care for them in the way they deserved. I needed helpers too – strong counsel, great role models, new tools and approaches etc. It truly takes a community to raise a responsible, whole, happy child.

pic 1On Tuesday night Alyson Shafer, a parenting expert, came to our local school. She was helping parents understand that children don’t misbehave, children are just using a misguided approach. It is up to the parent to figure out the behavior and to get to the underlying symptoms with the right approach. Understanding that one of your child’s primary needs is to connect with others and they will use whatever approach works to meet that need (and they are creative and persistent). A parent needs to encourage a child in their goodness (often well “behaved” children go unnoticed). What if you reverse this idea – acknowledge good “behavior and not bad”.

It is hard to change approaches and mindsets that may have represented the norm in parenting in the past generation. It is not easy trying new ways to retrain yourself and coach your children how to connect in a healthy way. It is far harder learning and trying new ways than simply doing nothing and participating in the same unhealthy dances. It is also much harder to commit to always being a consistent positive force than being a negative force. To be a negative force you just do nothing to help your children connect – just continue to create drama, distress, control, aggression, abuse.

kidsWith the awareness of a new positive parenting approach, you can start small. Maybe you want to start by smiling. Maybe then you decide to stop nagging. Then, you might try to change the negative bedtime dance or the dinner table conversation. Maybe you tackle several moments in the day that frustrate you. When it comes to big change, sizable effort is required. This change has to be consistent, regular and lasting. Everyone around your children have to help too! If you feel yourself slipping back into old ways, you need to get counsel and help to boost yourself back up. Raising positive children is a big task.

Long term meaningful “Positives” take 10 x the effort to create, and the “Imperative” is that people “get it”…. raising a child takes effort and work. Doing a great job means employing the hand,s but also the heart and mind. Making a big difference or any difference takes time, energy and a lot of work. Understanding this concept is critical in accomplishing “the big idea”. If more people understood, there would have to be more “buy in” for doing what needs to be done. But “when the big effort is not done” responsibility has to be taken for not “getting there”.

The PosiRatio was formulated by a few different inputs. Firstly common sense. We all know and understand the domino effect, on the negative side. The positive side is all about building strong foundations to withstand the negatives that face us all.

Next you look at two universal laws: the law of ”cause and effect”, and the law of “momentum”. In the Buddhist philosophy, you apply the law of cause and effect in 10 directions to reflect both time, (past present and future) and direction (including up and down). For a more thorough explanation click here.  

From a research perspective the renown Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, did a lot of research to come up with the Positivity Ratio, by which she states you need 3 meaningful Positives to sustain positive or happy emotions against one bad, and one bad will always happen (death, loss of jobs, etc.). In her findings, she emphasizes the amount of effort and preparation it takes to build that Positive Foundation. Taking that idea and adding the spin off effect x 3 like pay it forward will also give you the 10 to 1 ratio.

So knowing the rationale is one thing, but really the rest is common sense. Negatives pay if forward just as the positive do, only because of their insidious nature, often they go a lot further. Positive Foundations are the same as what we learn with the three little pigs. A house of sticks and straw will never survive the winds of negativity, only a house that took 10 times the effort to create; a house of bricks will survive.

May you find your way, Heather

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