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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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