The too-positive quote

Someone posted recently this quote from Hussein Nishah on their social network and the thought that something is off came to mind.

The quote is divided into three obvious parts; “I am too positive to be doubtful”, “too optimistic to be fearful, “and too determined to be defeated”. However, if we look at it from a different perspective, we can see that the “positive” attributes are located on the left while the “negative” ones are located on the right.

If we dissect and analyze the quote from the horizontal perspective we get frustration and inner struggle if we take it at face value and apply the principles presented. It also creates tension and fatigue within the self due to the pressure of being positive, optimistic and determined at all times.

I am too positive - Hussein Nishah

If we check each sentence while reflecting upon life we get false beliefs.

For example, the fallacy in being too positive is threefold: being too positive all the time is exhausting, it creates tension when we are actually feeling negative  and the extremes of a certain aspect which is denoted by “too” is unhealthy according to psychologists.

On the other hand, being doubtful, which is represented as a bad thing, is actually needed in life. It’s wise to question things before accepting facts. Even in religion, we ought to be doubtful in order to strengthen our faith. Moreover, doubt can sometimes keep us in check and in reality, it can hold us from committing a terrible mistake as it can incite us to go back and check our doing which is beneficial if we already did the mistake.

The word optimistic is just a synonym for positive. Being too optimistic rules out being pessimistic and thus ruling out the Yin or the Yang from the Yin and Yang equation… absurd.

We come to the most feared word of all. The monster of monsters. The mother/father of all the so called “negative emotions”…. fearful. Fear is the most basic primary emotion; all of our being evolved around this concept even from the day we were conceived. Fear is a survival emotion and it’s designed to keep us alive. By this principle, if we rule out fear, we rule out our survival instinct and therefore humanity will become extinct!

On a lighter plane, fear is actually the catalyst of courage, i.e., courage without fear is plain silliness and there won’t be self growth (which usually arises from conflict). Can you imagine watching a movie without the components of fear and courage? Without conflict?

Too determined is almost equivalent to too stubborn. Being defeated sometimes stops us from undergoing a path that wasn’t meant for us in the first place and that path, if underwent, would only lead us to misery. Plus, according to almost all successful people, defeat (or failure) makes a shift in our way of seeing things and enhances our creativity… think Bill Gates. The benefits of being defeated are plenty but let’s skip to the ultimate ones – being defeated leads to wisdom and to accept our humanity…

Let’s look now at the vertical perspective of the quote; the words positive, optimistic and determined are on the left side while their nemeses are on the right. I am not really sure whether the author made them so by design or by mistake for this partition coincides with that of the brain’s hemispheres.

According to scientists, the right part of the brain helps us take a step back in order to see the big picture hence doubting (which is actually fear). An individual with a damaged right hemisphere is unable to gain insights; The importance of the right hemisphere (yes, the one responsible for doubts and fear) lies in its functionality to get us into the right track and urging us to perform reality checks.  According to Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, a leading neuroscientist, the right hemisphere plays the role of the devil’s advocate by questioning the status quo and looking for global inconsistencies.

By contrast, and according to the psychologist Michael S. Gazzaniga, the left hemisphere interprets the world and will try to keep tenaciously those interpretations unchanged.

What if there exist a third option? Other than the OR-pickled situation the author put us in?

Equalier - I am too positive

How about we visualize those six words as a stereo equalizer and each one depending on the given situation? It can be like cooking; the right amount of each ingredient (the feeling) in a certain dish (the situation) will come to perfection after trial and error until that perfection is not good enough anymore… and the world goes round in a forward motion.

Bon appétit!

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