How to Live Positively by Linda Contreras

Positivity. There are many interpretations of this five syllable noun. Is it an action? Is it obligatory to pursue throughout life? Is it actually beneficial? These questions often times flood our minds, but these questions also persuade us to live a positive life each day and for those around us. Optimism is a very powerful trait since it can drastically affect your own life and the manner in which people see you. But how does one become positive and optimistic? Is it predisposed, is it nature or nurture?


If you ask most people, including me, optimism and trying to live a fulfilled life is all about nurture. Nurture is the upbringing, education, and environment one grows in and how that affects the individual they become. It’s very typical to meet a pessimistic person then see the people they hang out with- also very pessimistic. The nurture theory is that the people you hang out with or the things around you affect the person you are and become. If one is constantly surrounded by negative influences, rude people, and hopelessness, one is bound to inherit these unfortunate traits. But what do you do if you seek out to be optimistic and happy but are surrounded by people pursuing the exact opposite?


There’s a few simple steps to pursue a happy, positive, an optimistic life. Step one: surround yourself with the correct people. There’s a saying that goes “tell me who you’re with and i’ll tell you who you are.” If you surround yourself with the wrong crowd of people you’re eventually seen as one of them and adapt to the people they are. Therefore, it’s essential to surround yourself with people who motivate you, who build you up, and have the same positive outlook on life as you. Step two: do things that make you happy. In order to live with optimism, you have to start with your own internal happiness. That includes doing hobbies which bring you joy, whether that be journaling or art. These hobbies work to bring internal peace and push towards the happiness you’re seeking. Step three: the final step is to be altruistic. Altruism is the action of doing things for the better of others before yourself, basically a fancy word for selflessness. Doing things for others can bring you happiness since helping the people around your or your community as a whole can bring a sense of fulfillment. Not only are you working towards your own happiness but helping and allowing others to find theirs as well.

Being positive in your life is often times difficult to do, but once you change your mindset and practice new actions on your day to day life, it becomes a habit. Positivity allows you to see the glass half full and simply be a happier person overall. By having an optimistic perspective on life, you not only better yourself but better those around you as well. As Helen Keller once said, "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."

Triveni Patel