When I was in the third or fourth grade, my elementary school music teacher Mr. Boyd taught my class a catchy little jingle.*
I still remember after all these years:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between!
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene!
It’s funny how a song I learned over twenty years ago has stuck me. A few months ago I asked one of my longtime friends if she remembered it too. Not surprisingly, she did.
Positive Outlook on Life
Some people seem to have it all. A beautiful family, a successful career, good looks, a nice home—you name it, they have it. Even so, their glass remains half empty and they can always find something to complain about. Others have more than their fair share of problems—people who have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, people who have been laid off from their job and lost their home—yet somehow they continue to have a positive outlook on life.
It’s not a huge deal to get into a bad mood every once in awhile. After all, we’re only human. However, constantly obsessing over a lack of perfectionism and other things we want but can’t have isn’t exactly healthy. Worrying about things that are out of our control can get out of hand.
When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I went into, “Why me?” mode. I was just told that something’s wrong with my brain, after all! Before things got under control with the proper levels of medication, I could have a seizure at any moment. None of my friends had to deal with that, nor did they have to depend completely on other people for transportation.
Now that I’ve been living with epilepsy for nearly five years, I’ve realized that I’m actually one of the lucky ones. Some people with epilepsy have dozens of seizures every single day despite taking multiple prescriptions. Others have even had brain surgery. Knock on wood, I haven’t had a seizure in over two years and I’m slowly starting to drive again.
It might sound corny, but start accentuating the positive. Start loving life.
*Accentuate the Positive lyrics by Johnny Mercer, 1944
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.