I had this conversation with a friend of mine today who knows my story as good as, or better than, anyone on the interwebs. He, too, faces dozens of obstacles. So he knows, perhaps better than anyone here, that every day there are any number of reasons when I could easily, logically, understandably, give up. I could be dejected, discouraged, negative, or bitter - and no one would really blame me.
As anyone who reads my other blog knows, I've been there recently enough to know how it feels, why it feels that way, and how difficult it is to overcome.
But that's also how I know that it is a CHOICE. And it's also how I know this: no matter what you do, no matter what you are, no matter what you are up against, choosing to be positive about it will ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, make you feel better. You could have no job, home, money, or friends - but, if you find something that makes you smile in life (something to reach for, the tiniest thing to believe in) - your quality of life will improve. And the better you feel, even marginally, the better you WILL feel going forward. Positivity and negativity feed on each other exponentially.
I'm not talking about being a Pollyanna. You won't help yourself by blindly believing that millions will fall from the sky into your bank account while you sit on your ass watching soap operas. And no, being positive won't instantly make everything in your life perfect. But what it will do is increase your resiliency - your ability to bounce BACK from the bad/disappointing/frustrating/sad. This is not just me talking out my arse, here - scholarly sources suggest a significant correlation between positive affect and resiliency.
It was easy to be positive when I had it all. It is NOT easy to be positive now.
But that's what makes it all the more satisfying when I succeed.