Tim O'Rahilly Life Coaching

Mindful May: Why I am a positive thinker.

My friends and social media followers are all well aware of my belief in the power of positive thinking. The positive greetings that I post on Facebook every morning now have a regular following. Those messages have become important to me and I know from feedback that many people now look forward to reading them every day.


Some people have asked me how I always manage to be so positive, especially at six o’clock in the morning. How can I always be happy? The honest answer is that I’m not. Yes, my natural state is a positive and happy one, but I would be lying if I said that I was able to maintain that 24/7. There have been mornings when that positive message has been as important to me as it has been to my followers. Sometimes I need a prompt to get my mind in the right place and my day started on the right track.

Recently I’ve become aware of too many people around me being in a negative state even to the point of despair or depression. The reasons for this are many and I do not intend to go into any great analysis here. Suffice it to say that the fast paced world that we now live in lends itself to stress, frustration, sometimes a feeling of disconnect from the real world. The increase in mental disorders and the high rates of suicides are evidence of this.

Positive thinking is not a cure for these ailments but it can be a tonic that soothes the symptoms. More importantly I believe that positivity can delay or control the onset of real trouble such as clinical depression or some forms of dementia. I repeat however that it is not a cure and telling a clinically depressed person that they just need to be positive shows a complete misunderstanding of their condition.

Positive thinking takes time and effort. Being in a positive state is easy enough to achieve. Getting to the point where that state of mind becomes so natural that it is an ingrained trait takes a little more effort.

So what am I trying to do here? Well, I have devoted over forty years of my life to human development of one sort or another. If you Google ‘human development’ looking for a definition you will be faced with ideas about economic well-being and political maturity. There is even a Human Development Index. My personal definition of human development is something far broader than that. Both as a teacher and as a Life Coach I always believed that it was not my place to provide all the answers or to hand over information or solutions on a plate.

For me, human development is about creating an environment which allows people to reach their full potential and to lead productive, creative lives which are congruent with their needs and their interests. By definition then, human development is about expanding the options available and giving us the ability to make choices which allow us to lead the lives that we value.

All my training, qualifications and experience as a school teacher, counselor, trainer, life coach and NLP Practitioner have brought me to an important understanding. We need to have knowledge of the past but we should not dwell in it or be held back by it. We should look to the future and we must do that with optimistic, positive thoughts. We need to hope for a better future whilst accepting that hope is not a plan. The future we seek must have goals and we must understand the actions needed to move us towards those goals and away from the past. With past and future taken care of, what of the present – the here and now?

Ah, we’ve reached the Mindfulness bit. If we are to start making those wise choices we must be grounded firmly and confidently in the present. Mindfulness can give us the means to manage our emotions, thoughts and sensations as they occur in the present moment.

62e82c4ecdaa7adb73e8c1d4669aea19When I first heard about Mindfulness, I was almost put off it by the way that the New Age leanings of some of its practitioners seemed to be hijacking its real use. More recently, Mindfulness has gained world wide acceptance and popularity. It is used by psychologists in the treatment of a variety of disorders. I do believe that as a practice, Mindfulness has a place in everyday life as part of a battery of resources which can help us to truly know ourselves. Over the coming month I shall take a close look at these resources and see how we might employ them to help us to make some of the important life choices that present themselves to us. We need to be grounded in the here and now, in control, self-confident, positive about the future and mindful of who we really are.

Next time I shall be looking at the practice of mindfulness, its origins and its practical use today.

1 Comment

  1. As a reader of your positive morning posts, they make a difference. As a person who fights to stay positive on a daily basis,it really starts my day on a positive note. what you have written makes perfect sense to me, keep up the good work 🙂

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