Imagine you were given two tickets to a yacht party from a friend.
You were ecstatic, this was your first time on a yacht. At the party you dined on the finest food, and enjoyed your favorite drinks. You danced with your crush, who you gave the other ticket to. You were having so much fun you didn’t care that you spilt some of your drink on the clothes you ironed the night before.
You and your crush leaned against the railing on the upper floor, looking at the stars beginning to shine in the sky. You bonded in the deepest conversation you two ever had. This day for you was as positive as it gets. It was one of the best days of your life.
Just before you and your crush are about to kiss, you hear a commotion in the captain’s room. You look through the open door to see the friend who invited you arguing with the owner of the yacht. The owner calmly stated that they may have drifted down the wrong stream that leads to a waterfall.
“We need to tell everyone to evacuate right now!” your friend shouted.
“There’s no point,” the owner said sipping a drink, “the engine’s down and the current is too strong. We won’t make it.”
“What about everyone else,” your friend asked, “are you not even going to try?”
“Ignorance is bliss,” the owner said, “We probably went down the right stream with no waterfall anyways. Why scare everyone? I’m going to enjoy the rest of this party. I suggest you do the same. Don’t let this ruin the positivity of the night.”
So what would you do? Would you focus on the “positivity” of the party, or would you focus on the “negativity” of the waterfall?” Positivity or Truth, what do you say?
How do we respond when we are faced with an unexpected harsh reality? Do we ignore it and focus on a pleasurable non-priority, or do we get uncomfortable and face the situation?
I know this example may seem extreme, for most people would try and evacuate because it’s a clear matter of survival. The point is what do we do in our everyday lives when we are faced with a similar choice on a smaller scale? Do we act like the owner when an unexpected problem arises and shy away from our purpose, or are we like the friend who is willing to face the terrifying situation and give our best?
The decision to face an unpleasant but true reality, or feast on a positive lie. Choosing the lie that sounds best is what I call False Positivity. It may not kill you in the moment, but it can ruin you in time.
Is ignorance really bliss? Maybe temporarily, but in this example its only a first class trip to one’s demise.
We are in a world bombarded by False Positivity.
The preaching of positivity is very popular. Many long to be charged with nice words and good vibes, and that’s great – based on one condition, the positive message is truthful.
Most people hear what they want to hear. Seldom do they hear what they need to hear. Why? Because the truth can hurt depending on how far we are from it. But after the pain comes healing.
In my view, positivity without truth, what I call False Positivity, is actually negativity. It’s a long term liability because its misinformation. What society may perceive as negative, if it’s truthful, in some respect it’s positive because it provides accurate knowledge and certainty.
As humans we’re finite and cannot grasp all truth. But shouldn’t we submit to the truth that comes before us and act according to that knowledge? In the academic world, isn’t it only the points backed with valid evidence that have merit? False Positivity is the same as an unsupported opinion, it has no substance.
Find the Truth and you will find Real Positivity.
Imagine an adolescent teenage boy looking in the mirror and seeing a peach-fuzzed mustache and tens of bright red pimples. And not just any pimples, these puss-filled sores on this teen’s face are on the verge of popping. What should he do? Should he look in the mirror and pretend he has no pimples for the sake of positivity because the reality is negative?
No. Shouldn’t the teen decide to face his reflection and act accordingly. Perhaps taking practical action of going to a doctor, washing his face more regularly, or even changing his diet. Once we identify the truth there is clarity on the next steps towards the solution.
The negativity of the pimpled-face teenager has a silver-lining, if the teen is willing to retrieve it. There is the possibility of Real Positivity because it gives him the opportunity to enhance his character by not drawing his confidence, identity, and value solely in the surface with how he looks. The boy now has an opportunity to cultivate it internally.
The moment of truth found in a negative situation will add more value to you than hours of positives phrases distracting you from the next step needed for your development. Trade the temporary sugar rush of False Positivity for the organic nutrition of Real Positivity grown in truth.
The Teacher that Taught me this Equation
Life taught me this lesson the hard way. An experience I am forever grateful for. In Elementary school around grade 3 my teeth became a huge insecurity of mine. They were a crooked catastrophe. I hated my teeth and looking at the picture of them below I’m sure you can understand why. As a kid I reserved myself to smiling with my mouth closed. I hid in my comfort zone becoming shy.
The dentist I went to said I had 3 extra teeth and the chances of that were around 1 in a million.
In the first year of Middle school I got my 3 extra teeth removed. I had a large gap between my two front teeth from grade 6 to 9. I finally got braces and in second semester of my first year of high-school. 2 years later, at the end of grade 11 my braces were unshackled from my teeth. If you want to see what my teeth look like today check out my About page.
As a kid having these teeth that everyone would see when I talked to them was devastating. I initially withdrew into my insecurity. I wished I didn’t have them. Now as a man I see what I couldn’t perceive as a child. Now I can’t be more appreciative that this is apart of my story. It was a marvelous opportunity to develop abilities that would serve me for the rest of my life.
Having such hideous teeth pushed me past superficial sources of confidence. I couldn’t draw strength from how I look because I felt my teeth ruined my attractiveness, which in turn, diminished my self-worth. The bad teeth was the material that generated a fountain of confidence inside.
The confidence to fuel my social interactions was not based on appearance. There were times when people laughed at my teeth and I felt embarrassed , but each time it empowered me in the long-term to climb back even higher. The harsh truth of my teeth felt negative in the moment, but has been proven to be positive.
Positivity void of Truth, is void of Value.
In life we may be enjoying a yacht party and suddenly be faced with a waterfall. My waterfall moment came in the form of 3 extra teeth. I thought this circumstance was negative, and I longed for the “positivity” of normal teeth.
At first I stayed on the yacht pity party. After the restlessness of being at an internal place where I no longer had any business being, I jumped in the waters of uncertainty and swam against the current of my comfort zone for social survival.
Like the teenager with the pimples I endured the harsh reality and grew from it. I salvaged the Real Positivity of the situation, the truth that I would be forced to build new social muscles that I never would have otherwise. The truth I learned was that perceived negatives can be the most positive and that perceived positives can be the most negative.
To understand Truth>Positivity we must comprehend that the evidence of the equation spans time and doesn’t have a direct deadline.
What’s your view? Is Truth>Positivity? How do you evaluate the importance of positivity and truth? Comment below with your perspective. I say as best we can we should strive to build our skyscrapers of life firmly in all the truth we have, having the confidence that we can sit atop it in peace.
Acquire Real Positivity. Align with Truth.
Even if you fall, Activate Your All.