Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Detours

I am continuing to read Cam Taylor’s book, Detour. Chapter 15 is called “Attitude” and focusses on the importance of a positive attitude. What I like is that Taylor is not talking about a “Don’t Worry; Be Happy” kind of positivity thinking. He reminds us that

A lot of “positive talk” fails to acknowledge the presence of legitimate loss and the emotional roller coaster that inevitably comes with adversity. If your positivity is a fluffy sentimentalism that says, “Let’s just be happy all the time,” it’s not the positivity I’m talking about. My positivity had room for melancholy and sadness as an unavoidable part of human experience. The positivity I’m talking about is not the absence of adversity but a belief that you’ll get through what you’re going through, that people will show up to help at just the right time, and that there are resources you haven’t yet tapped into (including divine aid). Real positivity believes in growth amidst hardship and fights against the downward pull of the feeling that life will never get better and nobody cares.

Instead, Taylor says that he began to look for ways to help others in difficult circumstances. Even as he still worked at his recovery from a catastrophic motorcycle accident, he states that “Every day, when I woke up, my goal was to do something positive with the time I had and to find a way to add value to others.” He began to invite others to join him (but pressed on even when others did not join him) in a persevering attitude. He chose to “live with true hope that said, ‘Things can and will get better!’” These are good words to live by whether we find ourselves in a difficult detour or on the normal rolling hills of life. Each of us can look for positive ways in which we can help others regardless of where we are at in our journey.

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