To change our outlook, to change our disposition, to change our life, to change anything really, we have to, well…actually change. We have to do something different then we’ve been doing in order to get a different result. To keep on doing what we’ve always done and expect a different outcome is one of the definitions of insanity.
There are a lot of negative people in the world. And there are a greater number of people who aren’t necessarily negative but certainly aren’t positive, instead residing in some sluggish, disconnected in-between area that leans more towards the negative then the positive. From my experience we are collectively lacking in positive, happy individuals. I am reminded of a dharma talk that Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) once gave where he said: The world needs more happy people.
Over the last 2-3 years, as I’ve been intently focusing on the practice of cultivating joy, my outlook on things has transformed a great deal. And reasonably so! It makes good sense that outlook and disposition are interconnected with quality of life. What I see as good news is that neither is mutually exclusive. And what I mean by that is that we don’t have to do one to develop the other – practicing one IS practicing the other one too at the same time, and vice versa. So, when we’re practicing to be more positive we’re also practicing to cultivate joy and live a happier life and when we’re practicing to develop joy we’re also strengthening our ability to be more positive. They are intertwined, not separate.