Personal Development


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CHAPTER XVII – The Power of Positivity

I am Jude. There is unlimited power in a positive mindset. When you start consistently thinking positive thoughts, you begin to view yourself and the world through a lens of promise and possibilities. 

I have been making an effort to practice gratitude, be more positive and extract the lessons in my innumerable setbacks and failures. So far, the early results have exceeded my expectations. When I am able to demonstrate a positive attitude, life looks different. 

Here are five meaningful benefits of a positive mindset. These are blessings that everyone can obtain from simply making an effort to be happier. 

  1. Physiological 

There is no debate. The physiological benefits of positivity are real. There is research that proves it leads to a longer life and a greater sense of wellbeing. 

Scientific evidence suggests that even fake smiling reduces your heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations. Imagine that! Positivity is so powerful that even faking it improves your mental and physical wellness.

It also results in better cardiovascular health and increased resistance to illnesses like the common cold.

When you have a pleasant thought or experience, your brain releases serotonin. Serotonin is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and has the unique ability to improve your mood and sense of well-being. 

The chemical is also responsible for regulating your sleep, appetite and digestion. It is critical in stabilizing our moods and insulates you against anxiety, irritability and depression.

So smile and do good things for yourself and others, it does the body good. 

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  1. Positivity Gets Noticed

Positive energy and optimism are conspicuous. Sadly, they have become easily recognizable because of their scarcity. Choosing to adopt positivity as a way of living and looking at the world has immediate and unexpected consequences. 

A smile, small acts of kindness and optimism inspire others to Be Better. They touch people, make them feel good and give them license to do the same. And with that, your actions, live on through others. 

Positivity is virulent and infectious, it encourages others to Break Free from the cynicism and resignation that limit our lives. 

A positive mindset demonstrates that it’s possible to confront all of the challenges and negativity in our lives and remain committed to seeking joy and fulfillment. It encourages others to be their best. And we need more of that in the world. 

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  1.  You Avoid Negativity

When you adopt a positive mindset, you begin to recognize and avoid negativity.  You become much more attuned to its hurtful and destructive consequences and eschew certain people, places and activities.

You may start reducing the time you spend watching the news and lose your appetite for  violence and depravity. Instead, you may be drawn to uplifting and motivational subject matter and opportunities to learn new things. 

It may be less appealing to engage in harmless gossip or share someone else’s misfortune when you stop and consider the damage it causes to both you and the people you care about. 

The author of The Four Agreements describes these hurtful words as Black Magic. He reveals the insidious nature of gossip and likens it to a virus. We spread this pathogen through our words and infect others with our negativity. 

This metaphor changed things for me. I never seriously considered the toxic consequences of gossip and I don’t like the idea of communicating poison to people I care about. 

Consequently, I now find myself weighing what I should share and that’s a good thing. 

  1. Positivity Displaces Negativity

Positivity does not allow for doom and gloom. You won’t find darkness and despair within a positive mindset. There is no space for it. They can’t co-exist. Instead, they get replaced with more useful attributes. 

When people possess a negative and reactive mindset, they compromise and settle. Rather than focusing on ways to improve their lives, they downgrade their expectations and blame and complain. 

A positive attitude upgrades your aspirations. It encourages optimism and promotes growth and development. 

Start your day with gratitude. Identify your blessings and all the good things in your life. 

be positive scrabble pieces
Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash
  1. You Look at the World Differently

As soon as you adopt a more positive perspective your world is transformed. You become aware of your unique ability to create and control your own mindset. It’s a reminder that each of us has greatness within us and that anything is possible.

How we CHOOSE to view the world becomes our reality. The measure of our lives is dependent on the quality of our perspective. What we see determines what we can be. 

Positive thoughts will lead to a happy and abundant life, and negative thoughts will result in an unhappy and unfulfilled life. 

You will begin to seek out the good in people while others only notice their shortcomings and  faults. You will create opportunities where others only see obstacles. You will see the lesson while others focus solely on the setback. 

Positivity demands that you acknowledge and celebrate all of the amazing blessings in your life. As opposed to the pursuit and possession of things, you become more grateful and appreciative of relationships, values, beauty and peace. And that ultimately leads to joy and fulfillment.

The Wrap-up

We are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dangers of COVID Imagine what would happen if we undertook the same measures to protect our minds and morality?

We need to create a normative culture of positivity. 

Make a conscious effort to think positive thoughts throughout the day and before you go to bed at night. Confront negative thoughts and explore where they come from and avoid spreading Black Magic. It takes work but consider the payoff. 

In the end, we have a choice to see a world full of violence, suffering and despair or find the beauty and grace that is everywhere around us. I chose the latter. I am a work in progress but I like the view from here.

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Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

As part of your life coaching training, you are required to practice with classmates, instructors and your friends and family. Although I don’t begin my program for another two weeks, I have already begun coaching a couple of brave volunteers. 

So far, the sessions have felt both familiar and completely foreign. 

As a parole officer, I have been interviewing parolees and their collateral contacts for over twenty years. The position involves a certain amount of coaching and requires active listening, motivational interviewing and accountability. 

However, with professional life coaching, the client identifies the issue, directs the discussion and determines the measures of success. That’s going to take some getting used to.

Next Best Read –  12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson

I was apprehensive about starting this book. I was impressed with some video clips I saw from an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast and his writing has received a lot of positive reviews. However, I was also aware that some of his ideas were controversial and generated a lot of debate. 

I am glad I read it. It provided a mix of motivation, storytelling, and psychological analysis and I found myself smiling on more than one occasion. His ideas about finding purpose and meaning in your life hit the mark for me. 

He also presented some interesting metaphorical interpretations of Christianity and creationism which challenged my personal conception of the Bible. He deconstructed some of the symbolism, personalities and parables that characterized the greatest story ever told. 

It introduced some concepts that shifted my understanding – and that alone was worth the read. 

“the Bible itself is not a book. It’s a library. It’s a collection of books.”

Jordan Peterson

In completing some research after I started the book I learned that the author possesses some ideas that I don’t agree with, climate change, gender roles and Covid 19 among them. And that’s cool.  

I am trying to avoid binary thinking. In the past, I viewed the world through the extremes of black and white. Now I’m striving to see grey in everything.

In this context, I’ve realized that you can learn some valuable lessons from someone even if you disagree with their politics.

Public Announcement

For the most part, I have been boycotting TV, except for the occasional spirit-breaking Los Angeles Lakers game. However, as part of date night, my wife and I recently began watching the series Colin In Black and White on Netflix together . 

Do yourself a favor and check out the first episode!!!

It recounts the story of Colin Kaepenick, who was effectively banned or ‘blackballed’  from the NFL after kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games. He was protesting injustice and police brutality against African Americans.

I thought it was amazing. I was impressed with the style and technical elements of the production. But it was so much more than that. 

It was provocative and political. It provided a unique critical commentary on the intersectionality of race, sports, power and culture. 

I learned about this brother’s background and some of the painful race-based experiences that shaped his development and informed his sacrifice. It was emotional and a poignant reminder of the personal costs of ignorance and racism. 

This is a must see TV. 

TwitterAfrican Nova Scotian Affairs (@OfficeofANSA) / Twitter

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?


Are you aware that every province except Nova Scotia refers to this annual commemoration as Black History Month?

It’s indicative of our unique history and experience in Canada and its the result of our distinct, collective cultural identity. 

I am an Afrikan, a Person of African Descent, an African-Canadian and sometimes Black. However, I am African Nova Scotian first. It’s the term that best describes how I define myself.

We have a unique history in this province that dates back 400 years. We came seeking freedom, opportunity, economic prosperity and a better life for our children. 

We arrived with the first European explorers and settled with the French at Louisbourg when it was known as Acadia. We were among the English Planters when they arrived after the British took control of Nova Scotia in the mid-1700’s

We emigrated with the Loyalists after the American Revolution and arrived as Maroons when they were forcibly removed from Jamaica. Another wave of slaves and American Black freedman from the War of 1812 were lured to Nova Scotia with unfulfilled promises. 

We were actively recruited from the Caribbean to work in Cape Breton in the early 1900’s.

There is a rich African Nova Scotan culture that is reflective of our struggles, resistance and hard-fought  accomplishments. In the face of implacable odds, Afrikan people created a life and legacy in this province. We developed a unique identity that can only be described as Scotian

And that’s something to be proud of.  I am Jude.

iStock2,228 Black History Month Flag Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images – iStock

2 replies on “BOOK OF JUDE – CHAPTER XVII”

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this
onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this.
And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him…
lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending
the time to talk about this topic here on your website.

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