I'm going to start with the disclaimer that I'm not the most even-tempered person you'll ever meet. Let's just say that it's a good thing the other drivers can't hear me during my morning commute. However, my outlook on life in general is quite positive.
I didn't always feel this way. A guy I dated once told me that the thing that bothered him the most about me was my sarcasm. And I was very cynical and sarcastic then. At the time, I thought my sarcasm was a vital part of my personality, but I've grown to see it for the reflexive negativity it was.
A lot of the negative commentary I see online is very self-centered. For example, I've been noticing lots of posts on Twitter from people who don't watch "Lost," expressing how glad they'll be when they don't have to hear about it anymore. What, you can't just scroll past posts that aren't relevant to you? Why take a negative stance about something that you know nothing about except that other people enjoy it a great deal and like to discuss it?
The other day, a friend shared a post from Zen Habits called "Letting Go of Attachment, from A to Zen." It was a really thought-provoking article that I highly recommend, and one part that particularly struck me was:
"We attach to feelings as if they define us, and ironically, not just positive ones. If you’ve wallowed in regret or disappointment for years, it can seem safe and even comforting to suffer."
We all know people who can't seem to let go of grievances and negativity. I think of them as "mood vampires," who poison the feelings of those around them. I don't know about you, but once I've realized that someone I know is like that, I tend to keep my distance from then on.
I don't take things personally. I am not concerned with what other people think of me. I recognize that if I don't like something that's happening in my life, it's up to me to do something about it. I am fully aware that nothing lasts forever - good or bad. I generally assume that the worst case scenario is not going to come to pass.
When it comes right down to it, I choose to think positively, be happy, and try to make life better for others. It seems like a better approach than bogging myself down with bitterness, don't you think?