How have you been during the past year?
I hope that no matter where you are in the world, you are doing well. That no matter how difficult things turn out to be, you are still able to see light within the darkness.
Over the years, I’ve learned life lessons the hard way – lessons like the world isn’t always fair, but it is what it is. That we would do what we could with the cards we were dealt. That there’s no use crying over spilt milk.
As an adult, I’ve learned other valuable lessons that are equally true. I’ve learned that we live in a world of duality: abundance and scarcity, kindness and cruelty, hope and despair, positive and negative. I’ve learned that our lives are very similar to the peel and the segments of an orange; they are both bitter and sweet, and we can’t experience one without having the other.
Having experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, I’ve learned that the ability to find the happiness among the grief can make each difficult moment a bit easier to bear. I’ve also learned that this perspective is a choice and that choosing positivity over negativity requires both clarity and courage. These lessons have come to me as I’ve immersed myself in yoga, mindfulness practice, and most notably, meditation.
Meditation has helped me cultivate a mindset of positivity, gratitude, and compassion, allowing me to make them key parts of my everyday routine. It has also reinforced the qualities of grit, resilience, and post-traumatic growth that I have acquired over the last years. With this mindset as my foundation, I was able to make a major career change in my mid-20s and to lead a purpose-driven life I had always dreamed of.
I know it is hard to view the world through rose-colored glasses at all times, and focusing on the positive can be a challenge because of our brain’s negativity bias; our brains are neurologically wired to look for what is wrong instead of what is going well.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD, a well-famed scholar of positive psychology and author of the book Positivity, says that it takes approximately three positive thoughts to outweigh just one negative thought. We need a lot of positive thoughts to counteract the negative thoughts that are affecting our brain.
Good news is that you can physically change your brain by consciously changing your thoughts. And you have the capacity to change your thoughts regardless of your race, gender, socioeconomic background, or religious beliefs. By exercising repetitive mental activities like positive thinking, we can retrain our brains to become more inclined toward positive feelings.
“Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
As you can see, your thoughts lay a foundation for your destiny. When you change how you think, you change how you act and who you are in the world.
Being optimistic takes time. Yet, the more you practice thinking positively, the more optimism becomes second nature.
This book is a collection of 365 thought-provoking quotes, mantras, and prompts. By reading just one entry in this book each day, you can steadily shift your mindset from one that clings to every negative experience, to one that embraces hope, bravery, resilience, and possibility.
My hope for you is that, as you turn each page, you become more empowered to show up in your life with positivity, grace, and courage. And for the days you can’t, my wish is that this book will comfort you until you are once again ready to experience the world through the lens of kindness, compassion, and love.
I hope that you find in this book all the words you need to heal and to be whoever you are meant to be in this wild, unpredictable world.