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A New Challenge

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So, the thing about negative thinking is that it can spiral out of control. It feeds on itself. Unlike a perpetual motion machine or anything physical in this world that actually has to confirm to the laws of physics, negative thinking grows bigger and more encompassing the more it is done. When you have a group of people that aren't fact checking, aren't reality confirming, aren't thinking around the problem but just emotionally hanging out in the morass of negative thinking, it is so so so terribly easy to stay in that line of thinking, and fuck-you hate the world.

Which is not to say happy-go-lucky-let's-ignore-reality-in-favor-of-thinking-everything-is-okay positive thinking is great. Indeed not as such thinking is actually detrimental to developing resiliency because it hides checking reality and planning ahead.

There's a balance in there somewhere, a mid-point between the two where one isn't positive-thinking delusional, and also not negative-thinking spiraling into the dark. And no, I'm not talking the depression dark, that's an entirely different kind of negative thinking from what I'm talking about here. That type of negative thinking needs help. The kind I'm talking about here is the assumption the world is a bad place, the lack of seeing the good things, and the tendency to dismiss the good and see only the bad (which is, quite frankly, how we've been trained for hundreds of thousands of years: to see the bad and dismiss the good).

Since I find the negative so easy (I've trained myself to assume the worst for many, many years), and since I'm going through a rough time right now, and since I have the burpee challenge, Jonathan suggested a new challenge:

Write a blog post a day for a year. How about writing a positive one. One that you can keep up.

So, there we go.

Gauntlet thrown down.

Here's reality (critical thinking is not negative thinking, nor is objectively stating the facts): even in my strongest blogging years, I didn't write every day. I tried to write every day, but didn't succeed. Considering I have never done n burpees on the nth day of the year either, I don't find that I didn't succeed before to be a reason not to accept a challenge now, I have a new goal: to write every day, trying to find something positive about each day.

This is going to be a tough one. With luck, it'll rewire my brain towards reality, and away from the default negative.