“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between”
This catchy little song by Johnny Mercer back in 1944 makes a good point. Look for the positive things in life. Don’t dwell on the negative things. And stay out of the middle ground between the two extremes.
Does it have anything to give us besides a catchy tune and nifty lyrics?
Accentuate the positive. What does this mean? Look for the good in life. One way to do this is to show gratitude for those positive things life brings to us. Several studies into gratitude prove its worth. Practicing gratitude and keeping a gratitude journal can improve our emotional and physical well-being. In fact, many who are afflicted with neuromuscular disease and practice daily gratitude have more positive feelings about life when compared to a control group.
Think about it for a moment. It’s sort of like having one of those little annoying bites or bumps. As long as there is something else to occupy your thoughts, it doesn’t really bother you.
But as soon as you try to relax or go to sleep, there it is, itching away or just for begging you to pick at it. It’s about where you’ve focused.
The premise behind the Law of Attraction is that you attract into your life whatever you think about. You attract what you focus on. Maybe you attract bad luck because you believe you will have bad luck, as an example.
What does this have to do with gratitude and accentuating the positive?
When you show gratitude or thanks for the good things in your life, you are focusing on the positive rather than the negative. You’re grateful for the blessings you’ve received and looking for more good things to come your way.
You attract what you think about. So if you’re thinking about how blessed you are, how abundant your life is, you will attract more abundance.
But how can I show gratitude? I’ve got debt up to here, my car broke down, I’ve got kids in college. Where do I have abundance?
- Do you have a roof over your head to keep out the weather?
- Is there food on your table? Not filet mignon and truffles, but enough to eat?
- Are you reasonably healthy?
- Do you have good friends who’ll share a laugh with you?
- Did you see something beautiful today? A pretty flower, brilliant sunshine, anything lovely that caught your attention?
Start with the little things. Remember that old saying? “See a pin. Pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck.”
But only if you show gratitude for finding the pin! It might not be much, but you can be grateful for it. For instance, you didn’t step on it barefooted and jam it into your toe. That’s something to be thankful for. I have experience in this area. Trust me on this.
How about the quarter you found in the parking lot? Did you pick it up and say, “Look! I found a quarter! How can it get any better than this?” Or did you say, “It’s just a quarter. What can you do with a quarter?”
It’s all about your focus. Are you looking for the blessings in life, or for things that go wrong?
Are you thankful for the small things, or do you wait for something stupendous to happen before you’re grateful?
In Christian teaching, we are instructed to be careful of our thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
“Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.”
It’s just another way of saying the same thing. Where your thoughts go, so will your heart. You will find what you look for.
My father used to say that if you went looking for trouble, you’d most likely find it. The reverse is also true.
Make a positive choice in life. Accentuate those positives. Ditch those negatives by the side of the road somewhere. And don’t mess with the in-betweens. They’ll lead you off the path and into the briar patch.
Keep those thoughts positive. Let’s make life a better place to be.