Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”- Theodore Roosevelt

          Success is arguably the most coveted thing in the world. Who doesn’t want to succeed? The road to success is more often than not dotted with numerous obstacles. Obstacles test a man’s character. Success demands of people to surmount these obstacles failing which it is likely to remain elusive. Success is never served on a platter; it is earned. How do ordinary mortals metamorphose into immortal legends in the face of hostile conditions?  It is their realization that the edifice of success has an attribute known as ‘positive thinking’ as its foundation. Positive thinking works wonders for the mind. Positivity is invariably linked to productivity and gain.

The first and most crucial step towards success is to hope for success. Without hope, life means nothing. From hope springs the desire for life itself.  The winners in life, irrespective of their hues, are imbued with this eternal quality: optimism. If this wasn’t so, why would a farmer standing on his parched field eagerly look towards the sky in his perennial wait for the monsoon? It is his optimism that makes him believe that he would tide over the dry weather and reap a bountiful harvest once the rains arrive. Why doesn’t a sailor shy away from negotiating the stormy sea with icy winds lashing at his ship’s anchor? It is his belief that the storm would wither away over the course of time and the voyage would once again be as smooth as ever. Why do two nations at loggerheads with each other keep advocating for confidence-building measures among their respective population? It is the unending hope for a situation where the shadow of an ugly past would be replaced by a bright future and where the three-lettered word ‘war’ shall be replaced by the five-lettered word ‘peace’. Where does the beauty of sport lie? It is in the fact that every new game is a new opportunity for the sportsperson to start afresh and put his past losses behind.

The underlying thread is same for all of the above: future will be better than the present, which in turn is better than the past. Positive thinking is a chain, not a lone bead in itself. Positive thinking drives the world.

Most battles are won and lost in the mind. A task seems more daunting than it actually is. Only when a mountaineer starts climbing up a mountain, does it actually seem to him that the mountain, after all, is not as lofty as it appeared at the base. All it required of him to take the first step of his ascent believing that it could be climbed. Positive attitude, as in folklore, has been known to move even mountains.

Positive thinking is what most international coaches recommend cultivating in their trainees. Olympic medals are never won without a positive mindset.  Positive thinking is what enables a batsman going through a dry patch return to form in cricket. A cover drive or a hook that hasn’t worked for a couple of matches may start firing again- such is the magic staying positive at the crease can do. It is what inspires the so-deemed minnows in the sports world to pull off gigantic upsets over traditional favourites. United States President Barack Obama exuded optimism of the highest levels with his call of ‘Yes, we can’ that had an exhilarating effect on the masses and rallied them on his side during his campaign for his first Presidential run.

Positive thought has a spillover effect on a patient and his kin during recovery from an illness. It takes the form of great desire to survive and recuperate at a faster rate. A film-maker continues his pursuit of creativity in the hope that his next film would click with the people and set the box office on fire. He never lets the disappointment of his previous films that tanked at the box office affect him or his work. Winners and positivity go hand in hand. They keep proving the quote, ‘winners never quit, quitters never win’, true each moment.  They always have an unflinching resolve and a radiant smile on their faces. Examinations are always aced by students who stay positive before the exam as it keeps anxiety at bay.

Positivity is contagious. A positive approach to mitigation of a natural calamity is the key to rebuilding and ushering in a new beginning in such areas. On all occasions, aid workers are required to keep a polite and jovial attitude towards the victims so they lose their sense of bereavement as early as possible. Positive thinking heals past wounds.  It is the genesis of faith and loyalty. They are vital to replenish relationships which become stale over time. Thus with positive thinking alone, a person once deceived regains the reason to trust others again- an inkling that what previously went wrong for him may not do so again.

Employees with positive thinking are an asset to any workplace. The incessant stress at work frequently takes a toll on physical and mental health. Certain circumstances are beyond one’s control and superintendence. Under such circumstances, even a lone voice from behind that softly whispers, “all will be well very soon”, acts as an elixir for a moribund organization and infuses new lease of life into it. A glance at such people is so reassuring. What does a prayer seek to achieve? Regardless of whether it actually yields the desired outcome or not, a person emerges stronger after a prayer and gets the strength to carry on. Positive thinking is therapeutic.

Negative thought is antithesis of success. It is easy to be pessimistic about everything- ranging from uncontrolled inflation to enormous corruption to the ever rising bogey of communalism to gender violence. One can go on cribbing about the wrongs for an indefinite period.  To correct these maladies, one needs huge reserves of energy which only optimism can yield. Critics can at best criticize and they often have nothing constructive to offer. Men of positive thought and actions are needed the most in these times.

The well of positive energy never dries up in such people.  In an interview an employer shall in most likelihood opt for the candidate who displays an optimistic and energetic demeanour.  Morose candidates are neither preferred nor selected. Optimism helps one move forward, pessimism only sets us back. What do voters search for most in their leader? One who speaks more of remedies rather than the lacunae is readily accepted by the voters. Such a candidate displays a positive body language during the public interaction.

He refrains from adopting a negative line of campaigning and throwing personal barbs at his opponents. His speeches are promising. Instead of attacking the manifesto of his opponent, he focuses on what he and his party shall do if elected to office. It is then that the issues of development, transparency and good governance become the main planks of an election. The direction of the country or the organization depends a lot on the direction of thought of the people at the helm.  Leadership should always belong to the people who are intrinsically optimists. Investors look for positive statements from the government of the day.

A positive outlook towards life is not merely a way of life; it is the need of the hour.  Negativity is associated with darkness. Darkness can never be the symbol of progress. Positive thinking is indispensable for good health. Negative thinking slows down body metabolism and suppresses the secretion of hormones which induce happiness. The body becomes lethargic and prone to lifestyle diseases. Positive thinking on the other hand leads to secretion of feel-good hormones and human mind becomes more capable of adjusting to unpleasant changes. On feeling good, one can almost sense a spring in his step.

Light and positive attitude can be thought of as being synonyms for each other. Positive thinking creates an aura of invincibility and in the cut throat competitive world it is a much needed weapon. Mathematically too, the plus sign, being the symbol of addition, adds value to something while the minus sign, being the symbol of deduction, always takes away something. We should remember that negative of negative is positive. Our stance towards life, its events and the tragedies should be such that we are able to deduce positives even from the negatives. If we cannot do away with the unpleasant state of affairs, the least we can do is to negate the negativity, that is, by never letting such a situation get the better of us.

The biggest damage being pessimistic does is to induce a feeling of victimhood in us which is the final nail in our coffin of aspirations in any case. Being an optimist helps us cancel it out and that too in its budding stage. Let us stop complaining and playing the victim. Let us be positive and start playing the hero of the blockbuster film named success!