Focus on the Positive


Anyone in need of a reminder today to focus on the positive? It’s not a new message by any means, but it’s one I need to hear from time to time. Maybe you do, too. And there may be some who especially need this kind of encouragement during dreary winter days.

It’s so easy to notice the negatives in our lives—the things we’re dissatisfied with or wish were different. In fact, it’s only natural since these things have a way of popping up frequently.

Dissatisfaction or unhappiness can start with something as subtle as a look in the mirror. We don’t like a certain feature of our faces or bodies so that’s all we focus on when we look at ourselves. Or it might be something deeper. We may hate our tendency to lose our tempers or become prideful or . . . you fill in the blank. And even though, yes, we need to work on conquering certain weaknesses or sins, it’s not good for us to see only our deficiencies.

Other areas where we may fall into the trap of focusing on the negative might include difficult or challenging relationships, the places where we live or work, our children’s schools or teachers, or even our churches. In fact, we can fall prey to this unhealthy thinking in just about any area of our lives.

Since dwelling on the unpleasant aspects of a person or situation reinforces our negative feelings and makes the problems seem even bigger, the healthier way to deal with such situations is to instead take note of the positives and then focus on those. Even with the hardest cases, we can usually find some good points to keep uppermost in mind.

As we focus on the positive, we’ll feel happier and more content. Gratitude will grow. Some difficult people or situations might even change as they respond to our more positive approaches. But even if they don’t, we’ll experience more peace within ourselves.

Let’s determine to take a fresh look at our homes, our marriages, our communities, and the winter season if we’re struggling on that front, or any of the things or people in our lives that seem to be full of negatives. Let’s focus on the positives. Let’s allow an old message to breath new life into us today.

“. . . whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b

*When has focusing on the positive made a difference for you?

*Flickr photo by seyed mostafa zamini

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right!


  1. Debra L. Butterfield says

    Cheryl, you are so right. We all have a choice in how we choose to react to the situations in our lives. Finding positives isn’t always easy, especially when one is mired in a bad situation or fighting depression. I continually ask God to guide me and give me his strength, and focus on the fact that He is with me. In my weakness, He is strong. God is the epitome of Phil 4:8.

  2. nancy douglas says

    How true! A positive outlook can be difficult during this season. Thanks for the reminder that we all face this challenge and we don’t have to remain in this state.

    • Some people really struggle during winter, don’t they, Nancy? Something as simple as lighting a candle and enjoying the beauty of candlelight might even help. Thank goodness there are simple ways we can focus on the positive.

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