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How to Use the Art of Positive Realism for Maximum Success

How to Use the Art of Positive Realism for Maximum Success

Positive Realism

    Do you want to dream big AND actually achieve your goals?

    The mindset of positive realism may be the answer.

    Being positive and being realistic are two ends of the mindset spectrum. I’m sure you’ve experienced that when optimists and realists discuss a project, there is often a clash of perspective. The optimist is a visionary and focuses on the end goal. The realist is skeptical – and sometimes downright negative – because his or her focus is on the steps along theway, not on the end goal.

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    Which are you – an optimist or a realist?

    Often we flip-flop from one mode to the other. When we’re feeling happy we tend to think about the future in a positive way. When things go wrong, we tend to forget about positive thinking and focus on the problems of the present moment.

    It’s sometimes difficult to decide which response is optimistic, realistic, or downright negative. For example,  I recently read an interesting article by Clay Collins, called Why The Job-ification of Your Passion Can be the Ticket to Hating Your Life. Clay says:

    There is this insane myth in our culture that if you do what you love, the money will naturally follow. It’s one of those deceptive half truths that often leads to humiliation.

    ‘If you do what you love, the money will naturally follow’ is an optimistic statement. Whereas ‘This half truth often leads to humiliation’ is a pessimistic view of life. However, neither view is necessarily realistic.

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    Let’s take a look at how to add the ingredient of realism to a positive outlook, in order to boost your chance of success.

    • To be positive means using the power of hope to effect change.
    • Being a realist means living life as it really is, facing the difficulties as well as fully enjoying life.

    Joined together they make up the art of positive realism.

    If we adopt the power of positive realism, we use the power of hope. Some call this power the ‘law of attraction’. John Assaraf says in the book ‘The Secret’:

    Our job as humans is to hold on to the thoughts of what we want, make it absolutely clear in our minds what we want, and from that we start to invoke one of the greatest laws in the Universe, and that’s the law of attraction. You become what you think about most, but you also attract what you think about most.

    This means that our dreams and hopes can manifest as reality if only we focus on them strongly enough.

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    However, blind faith also has its limitations. For example, if you say to yourself over and over, “I can fly! I can fly!” and then jump off the roof to test the law of attraction, you might be disappointed in the result!

    Faith combined with realism is the winning ticket for success.

    Let’s take a look at what realism is and what it has to offer. Realism means living in the present moment, and not in dreams of the future, or in stories of the past. It means facing difficulties without denial, as well as fully enjoying the beauty of each moment.

    The attitude of positive realism combines both the visionary view,  as well as a realistic mode of thinking.

    The key aspect of positive realism is that we dream big – but then set realistic goals.

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    Let’s get back to our example. The saying ‘If you do what you love, the money will naturally follow’ is a big dream. But this dream may not materialize. Why?

    A dream lacks traction if it’s not paired with realistic goals.

    Think of the saying in terms of the law of attraction. ‘If you do what you love, the money will naturally follow’ implies that money will appear naturally from our actions – so we don’t need to focus on it.

    According to the law of attraction, the key is to focus on what we want, in order to manifest it. It follows that you’ll only earn a living doing what you love if you actually focus on making money and don’t just expect it to happen ‘naturally’.

    Now let’s use positive realism as our mode of thinking. The positive realist would say, ‘Do what you like, and the money will follow -providing you take the following steps.’

    The positive realist comes up with a set of goals to ensure that they will hit the grand goal.

    If we dream big and then set realistic goals, there is nothing we can’t achieve.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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