I know that many self-help people will tell you to focus on the positive and pretend that there is no negative going on around you. But that’s a one-way ticket to distorted reality, and a lot of fear.
When I was younger, I used to pretend like nothing bad was going on in the world. That only multiplied my fear of something actually going wrong because I was trying resist reality, and I KNEW that bad things were happening.
When 9/11 happened, it was the first time that I could not ignore the outside world because every TV channel, every radio show, and everybody was talking about it. I couldn’t plug my ears to it all (even though I tried for a while), and the fear that overcame me actually made me sick.
I decided at some point during that time that I needed to start facing reality and leave ignorance behind, because the fear I was feeling came mostly from ignorance, not reality.
Don’t Shut Out The World
If you try to shut out the world, you end up living in a very small bubble that will not allow you to reach out, expand, and work towards your true happiness. The reality around you has a big influence on your happiness!
When you ignore reality, you become too scared to do anything because that means you would have to acknowledge the fact of what is going on in the world. This doesn’t just apply to big things, but to small things too.
For instance, being a writer means I have to acknowledge that other people are going to reject my work, criticize me, and have a different opinion. If I wasn’t willing to acknowledge that I will be met with some negative situations, I wouldn’t write. Period.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in having a positive and optimistic attitude. I definitely do. I just think it is really important to acknowledge that there are going to be bumps along the road of happiness.
Shut Out The Crap, Deal With The Reality
I don’t watch the news because I think it is focused on negative issues, and to be honest, I don’t think it is a real view of the world. In fact, I’ve heard many journalists talk about how the news is supposed to be scary. They create it to be scary. It is meant to promote fear and dread and a distorted view of what is going on in the world.
I also think that we want to hear bad news on some level. One study found that despite the fact that participants said they desire to hear good news, they actually chose to hear bad news. I think it is human nature to be drawn to these issues, and I really believe the people creating the news know that, so they play on that.
I personally may be drawn to a negative headline, but I usually choose to not read or watch something that is just pure crap.
But if I need to, I will listen to reality that needs my attention.
That doesn’t mean that I let it drag me down. I take conscious steps to interact with the real world, and I choose not to be afraid of reality. I find that facing reality helps me to destroy my fears.
What I learned from my younger years is that living in ignorance can be fun for a while, but eventually it gets scary. Ignorance is not bliss.
3 Steps To Deal With The World’s Reality
Here is how to deal with reality to promote happiness and well-being in life.
1. Choose To Observe Reality
Don’t shut your eyes to what is going on around you.
For example, don’t shut your eyes to homeless people sick on the street. It’s easy to shut them out of your reality, but they are a part of it. They are right there, and you can do something to help them be happier right now.
Also, don’t shut your eyes to:
- Health issues you or loved ones have
- Financial issues
- Relationship problems
- Corrupt people
- Issues that go against your morals and ethics
- Issues that are going to hurt other people in this world
2. Choose To Interpret It In A Realistically Optimistic Way
Choose to be realistic about things that you need to confront. When you are realistic, you can avoid the imaginary story that often comes from fear, anger, or denial.
This means do your research, know your facts, and discover just how bad it really is. Don’t embellish the reality or distort it, just accept it for what it is. Often times we make things out to be much worse than they are in our heads, especially when we don’t have all the facts.
As far as optimism goes, it is always better to be hopeful about the situation and future than not. When you are hopeful, and can see a way to approach, view, or interact with the situation, then you don’t get stuck in a negative attitude and a very negative place.
How To Be More Optimistic
3. Take Action On Your Reality
If you watched the above video, you know that optimism can come from behavior. This means that you do your part to make the situation more hopeful and, therefore, affect your ability to feel more hopeful.
For instance, if you are dealing with an illness, you need to acknowledge it as real. Do your homework on the truth behind the illness, and then start taking action on your life. As you tweak your diet, lose weight, exercise, reduce stress, or do other things to deal with your illness, you will start to feel better about the situation and have hope for what is to come.
Taking concrete action puts the reality in your hands. It helps to remove fear and replaces it with hope.
Stop Ignoring Reality
When you ignore reality, you can’t be happy. You can’t acknowledge what is happening and take action on what you need to do to make your reality happier. Don’t ignore what is going on around you and don’t make it more than what it is. When you have both feet on the ground you will feel much better about what is going on around you and to you.
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