Being stubborn is my positivity hack

Gallant Gabe. Energetic Eileen. Devious Devin. “Devious” is THE D-word that I picked to describe myself while playing a ‘get to know you’ game In high school. I also subscribe to the Irish sense of humor — the darker, the better. And strange men have been known to tell me to smile.

I’m not what you’d describe as a person overflowing with positive vibes. But, semi-secretly, I am.

It’s not that I believe everything will go my way magically. It’s not that I have an innate ability not to get discouraged.

It’s that I refuse to believe bullshit reasons for why I shouldn’t do something. I refuse to let other people or my own weak and easily scared mind bully me into inaction. If I stop, it’s because every option has been explored. When I quit knocking, it’s because the door has been slammed shut in my face.

I am determined not to let people or institutions convince me that the world is a giant dumpster fire and my life is meaningless. I may not smile incessantly, but I do wake up each morning in awe that I get to be alive today. And by God, I want to make each day inch me closer to my goals.

My own mother has described me as “prickly” (and I take no offense), but I know that thinking of positivity purely as a personality trait is an easy way out.

Aiden, my closest in age brother, has always been the light to my dark, the angel food cake to my devil’s food cake. We were talking recently, and he said that even though his personality leans positive, it’s still an active choice — not an easy state of being — to remain hopeful and determined.

So among all the valid approaches to achieving goals and living life happily, I suggest just having a really stubborn attitude about the things most important to you. It works for me.


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Also published on Medium.