The Instinct of Positivity
One of the most positive authors I know is Dr. Seuss. If you’ve never read one of his children’s books, now is the time to do so by diving into “Oh, the places you’ll go”. A traditional graduation gift in the United States, “Oh, the places you’ll go” is a life-changing book that I have been offering for years to people who matter to me. In it, you can find the keys to life - quite literally.
photographer: David Rodriguez model: Leticia Gonzalez
We often forget that as long as we’re alive, that we have functioning organs, and most importantly, a functioning soul, we can rise life around us. This book teaches you that since you have legs, a heart, a brain, and a vision, you can do anything you set your heart to in life. If I told you there was one thing you could do to turn your whole life upside down and go from the darkened experience of your past to a future full of light, would you follow my advice? I do not know you, but I am human. I understand how the mind works, how a good day can lead to a great week, month, and life. I understand that the more negatively you think, the more negative experiences you will attract. I used to be much more of a negative person, and around my 25th birthday, something had to change. More than a philosophical essay, I intend The Instinct of Positivity to be the positive guideline you need to kickstart 2022 on the right foot. If there’s only one self-development slash happiness article you need to read this year, let me make it this one. Let’s make it count. In a world painted with ultra-success - fake or real - on social media, we can sometimes feel lost, or behind. Being lucid is the first step to positivity. Yet, it feels to me like lucidity is something that many of us lack. If you are not clear about your place in the world and where you are set, you cannot understand the place of others and how they can interact in a satisfying way with you. Call it positivity, call it harmony, call it peace. In the end, all concepts are merely words, and they have the same goal. So many of us want to be successful without even knowing that the key to success is feeling like our presence is a gift to others. We’ve changed the world so much that we have made happiness a theory, ignoring the fact that it’s all contained within so we could sell more of everything to each other. Imagine a bottle that can irradiate the water contained inside, making all around you hydrated and satisfied. That is who we are. We are neutral beings placed on Earth to intertwine experiences with one another. It is the choice of Western civilizations to divide the population of the world into casts, ranks, and titles that do not mean a thing once you are deep in the layers of Earth. When you wake up in the morning, the first thoughts that come to mind are often “I haven’t slept enough”. Then comes a turning point, one fraction of a second, in which you make up your whole day. The moment between “I haven’t slept enough” and a good, or bad day, lies in what you think during this fraction of a second. Being positive was not always my first choice in life. As a person, as an ex-makeup artist, a writer, and an entrepreneur, thinking negatively can break your entire career before it has even begun. Or before it has bloomed enough that you feel comfortable and happy saying “I made it”. You can say “I made it” even if you’re not a millionaire. There are so many ways to “make it” - the mindset is always key, though. The thing that always works. Risks always pay off. Whether they pay you in relationships, money, or lessons, they do pay and they’re never late. We technically all know within, what is fitting for us and what is not. The only thing is that - as I’ve mentioned in previous works - some of us are happy to listen and grow from what the risks have to tell you. If you go straight into a wolf’s den, you can only expect to be eaten alive. I’m not here to talk about unnecessary risks that bring no bread home. The beauty of risk depends on the viability of the project - the company, the relationship, the investment. It doesn’t mean you need to throw yourself into each and every project that comes your way without thinking. It means that you’ve built yourself strongly enough that you know when to stop and assess the return on investment. Risks always pay you back in one way or another, and keeping a positive attitude largely determines the outcome.
The beauty of doing nothing. When I first looked into meditation, I thought the whole process was maybe a bit too cultsy for me. I’m very big on my spiritual ideas and I don’t intend for anyone to try and change my point of view - forcefully, at least. When I actually stopped and reflected, when I did nothing but breathe for just a moment, that’s when I understood that stopping is a need we’re depriving ourselves of. We have been eating in front of the TV for decades now. From the 50s until now, we’ve eaten in front of a small screen, a 4K screen, a tablet, a laptop that would broadcast from the funniest TV shows to the darkest Netflix movies. Never in my life have I felt so inspired when reading positive-thinking books. I used to be worse than negative - a true pessimistic person, certain that all was meant to go wrong. By dint of reading self-development books, I’d probably led myself astray in thinking that developing yourself did not take that much work. Or rather, when they tell you to “change your mindset” or to “change your way of thinking”, they don’t tell you that it will take more than that one magical moment to uplift your entire life. I used to think that positivity was meant for sect-like people. Long ago, I’ve been introduced to the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes. I kept seeing this book around, in libraries, in bookshops, on the bookshelves of friends. The entire goal of the book can be summed up like this: you attract what you think. And since I used to think that being positive was nothing but a frivolous endeavor to escape the realness of our world, I kept living in the shadow of my life. I am a writer, I am an artist, I am an all-encompassing human being curious of the world. I want to discover it since it’s up for grabs - why shouldn’t you grab it too? We’re taught from a very young age to put other people first and to take what’s left of whatever was to be shared. Most of the cultures in the world put the other one first, the neighbor, the friend, the family. Then, society tells us that we need to advance and that we need to grow. What an ironic mindset - we’re being asked to pour from a cup that wasn’t even entirely filled, to begin with. If you don’t take the time to pause, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. The weather might be a reason why people are not happy. Or maybe it’s because they need to start the work week on a Monday, and Mondays bear the infamous reputation of being a heavy burden. Or maybe people are unhappy because of their partner, of their children, of the fact their heater is broken, and they don’t have money to get it fixed. If all the surrounding circumstances can alter your mood in a matter of minutes - sometimes seconds, and if the circumstances are the only thing known to be temporary, why should we attach our happiness to the temporary? Decisive responsibilities. The answer is simple: you do not attach your happiness, or anything that valuable, to something temporary. If you’re one to fall deeply into relationships, mind yourself. A partner is temporary, whether they leave your path because of a breakup, death, or even a several-day trip. At some point, you’re bound to be on your own and you need to embrace it fully to keep your balance. If we all remembered that happiness and long-term peace can only come from within, how much more beautiful the world would be! Children do not make you happy. Your dog does not make you happy. Your job does not make you happy. You make yourself happy. It’s a tricky nuance, isn’t it, to understand why your children do not make you happy. If you let yourself be overwhelmed by the happiness coming from other people, you tend to forget yourself. If you remember that you, as a whole, are perfectly content the way you are, then nothing bad can truly happen to you. The circumstances always move around, whirling, and as hard as life can get, I truly believe you can be happy in the midst of the darkest of darkness. It always seems impossible until it’s done. In the same way your partner does not make you happy (or whole, however you want to put it), the sun and the rain should not impact your mindset. They’re both elements, providing stunning sights and colors. If you focus on all the external aspects of your life that you cannot control - the sun, the fact that your partner is moody because of work, the fact that your kids have brought back home a disappointing grade, you’re done. A fixed mindset is sure to fail, to coin an overused term we’re all apprehensive of.
Changing the world’s duality. There is a duality in all things of the world, whether it be couples or concepts. Darkness does not exist without the light, and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, if you ever felt sadness before, you can feel happiness. I could have titled this article “Letter to my 18-year old self”. Those are the things I wish someone had told me when I was at my lowest and my mind was clouded by despair. If you want to turn your life around, it will not be difficult. It might be a tad out of your comfort zone, but as Nike says in many of their advertisements: The only way is through. Human beings, with the rise of everything invented to gain time, are wasting more time than ever before. Instead of buying a weekly magazine as we used to when we were kids, we’ll go online to read. It’s faster, you understand. I am all for technology, and I am also for a balance - too much patience is not good, but too much impatience is indeed harmful, and we tend to forget it. For instance, we’re happy to be reading books on Kindle, but we’re slowly losing the pleasure of reading a paper book. Soon, digital fashion, on another level, might replace runways as we know them. When I started writing, I wanted to change the world. I wanted my words to have a long-lasting impact on as many people as I could possibly reach. Writing a book did not seem like the end goal, but as time passes by, I feel ever more attracted to sharing thoughts that can be passed down from generation to generation. Lately, I’ve been confronted with personal events that required the ultimate patience from me - and I am not the most patient person in the world. At least, I didn’t use to be. A breakup and moving between cities led me to finally start thinking about life as a whole, and about the trust I put out into the universe. Happiness is a choice. Far from me the idea of converting anyone to an everlasting state of Happiness. A lot of us want to be happy. Yet, somehow, we self-sabotage, often because of the barriers that have been set by our environment and that we’ve integrated as our own. As I grow older, I have noticed that one of the barriers I’m still to work on our is the fear of succeeding. I celebrated my 27th Birthday not long ago and I have found the key to making it in life. Strangely, for as long as I can remember, I took success as a challenge. Whenever I found the challenge of success too easy, I would switch careers. As I said, I used to be quite impatient and impatience can lead you to drop your project when you can’t reap the fruits as early or as often as you’d like. It can also cause you to do the job in haste as you can end up thinking arrogantly and wrongly that you are way too good for this. What we forget is that it’s all just a rite of passage. We are all way too good for whatever it is that what we’re doing if we are not doing it out of love. How can you successfully remain motivated and positive when you wake up only because the alarm tells you to wake up? How can you remain positive when you’re giving out your most important currency, time, without passion? I’ve learned more in a quarter of a century than I think most people have and that is no arrogance on my part. I have learned that you need love to guide your life and that hatred leads nowhere. When I used to read self-development books, I used to focus on the parts where people gave their best services to clients. Those would feel important enough that they would remain faithful to those salespersons or consultants. What I overlooked was that the best service should be given from you to yourself. It’s important to provide your best service and put on your best behavior every time you’re dealing with someone else. It is crucial, however, to make an amazing first impression on yourself in the morning first, while you’re on your way to fulfilling your dreams. It is only with hope and positivity that I have become a successful writer. I still have miles to go to become the best writer I can be. However, I cannot become the best writer I can be without first becoming the best version of me.
Where life acts on its own accord. When I was a make-up artist, I thought that colors could change the perception we have of the world. More precisely, I wanted to change the world with every stroke of color I applied to people’s faces. Two reasons have led me to break away from the world of makeup, and the most important one was feeling underappreciated. I now know that the instinct of positivity would have helped me go through the hard times with a bit more sunshine throughout the day. At the time, I knew that my way of making art with eyeshadow and lipstick was something different. Nothing says that I won’t go back to make-up artistry someday in a different form. French chemist Antoine Lavoisier said: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. The father of modern chemistry is famous for giving the name oxygen to the element and for setting a rule we can apply to our everyday lives. When you give money to a store, it is transformed into an item or service. When you lose weight, you’re transforming fat into energy. The only thing that multiplies in a never-ending circle is love. You can never lose when you put out love into the world. It comes back as more love and with it, with more lessons that need to be learned and applied as we grow. Everything changes, everything is always the same. Have you ever thought of this? Experiences keep coming back in daredevil for as long as you need to apply the lesson to your life. It’s all a matter of patience, once again. Lately, I’ve discovered that social media I believed to be agonizing like Tumblr and MySpace are still very much in function. MySpace has changed quite a bit, transforming into a place made to share music, videos, and pictures. Very much different from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so it has this old-school vibe of sharing without pressure.The pressure comes from the fear of judgment, one that most know in their adult life. The only reason why you’re fearing judgment is that you have not taken the time to judge yourself. I talk to too many people around me. As a writer, it’s important to observe to be able to depict life. I am like a painter of life with new answers hidden in between every letter. When I talk to people around me, I always try to elevate both of us so the love I give out can be passed from heart to heart, from soul to soul. And what I’ve discovered is that while some of us have dreams, most don’t have a passion. We hired ourselves to chase dreams that have been imprinted on us from our parents, our best friends, the cousins that want to impress us, and of course, social media.
What are we building? I was born in 1994, a long bygone era it seems. Back then, we had the first Pokémon games on Gameboy Color, we still had cards and marbles to build strategy and competition skills. From one century to the next, it’s taken only two or three decades for our screens to rule our lives. It’s not easy to remain positive if you follow social media accounts that underappreciate you, that make you feel jealous, envious, and leave you feeling down. There is a responsibility you need to take. When we had marbles to play with, the only thing we were judged on was our ability to put the marble into the hole. Slowly, we have built a parallel strategy, a veil, a screen of smoke, if you will. We’re still charged with rising up to challenges, but we have somewhat shifted the world to a more visual place. We live in an interface where images really are worth a thousand words. And when those images send back a feeling of not being enough, that’s when you need to withdraw. Take the marbles out of the game, observe what’s going on around you, and you will know if the game is worth it or not. With a bucket of positivity comes a well of patience. It all finds its roots in the thought that the universe is a place where you can thrive. No matter where you are now, the Instinct of positivity is actually the only thing keeping you alive. We do not live in societies where a lion or a crocodile can eat us if we’re not properly protected - our jungle is made of concrete. The lions and crocodiles are now humans, and it is our actions that can set apart the friend from the foe. Of course, we feel fear, hunger, and thirst. Fear is powerful, yet hope can help you reap greater rewards from life. Even when the situation is not at its brightest, changing your mindset and visualizing that things will get better actually does help to make things better.
The chase to positivity. It’s a courageous endeavor to pursue your dreams. It’s not given to everyone. Most of us have vague dreams of what we would like to do or be in our lives, whether it is moving to another country, getting a promotion, or finding the love of our lives. Yet, we will wait around for months and sometimes years for the opportunity to knock. The truth is, opportunity doesn’t knock that often if you don’t know no how to invite it in. Provoking luck is the only way that you can have the slightest bit of control over your life. I know how inconvenient it is is to dive deep down into your fears, your past wounds, and then arrive at the conclusion that life can be different. If it was not good before, how could it be good later? The answer is in the now. That’s the only thing you can change, and if you don’t want your now to become like your past, you need to act. I strongly believe that positivity is an instinct. Call it hope, call it harmony. Our parents and grandparents teach us to take care of those around us, directly or indirectly. You need to go against the crowd. Stop and stare, as Coldplay says in a famous song of theirs. As you stop, you’re actually going so much further than you’ve been all the time you were running around looking for happiness in a place it was not. Before you take any kind of action, think. Reflect. In a positive way. When you were a child, before your head was filled with the nonsense that you only have a few predetermined paths and options in front of you, you had dreams. Now’s the time to pick up on that again, and see where you are now. See if those dreams collide with who you are now, and put the viable ones into action. You’ll see: when you see things under the bright light of positivity, it shines back on you.


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