Posted in Life & Happiness

The Secret To Positivity

There are mixed responses to the concept of positivity. Many people (often realists) feel that it is “unnecessary” and “fluffy” – something that does not help you survive in this dog-eat-dog world. Others lie at the other end of the spectrum and spit out generic, pseudo-inspirational quotes, saying that they are so happy that nothing can touch them. But as with anything, balance is crucial. Being overly pessimistic can make you a miserable, anhedonic person who is incapable of getting any enjoyment out of life. Being overly optimistic can make you have false hope, setting you up for a catastrophic crash when a bad situation arises to knock you off your feet.

So what is a good balance? According to the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, having an overall positive balance of emotions leads to a happier life with not only more contentment, but more awareness, mindfulness, creativity and success. Through positivity, a person can break out of the prison made by everyday stress and explore hobbies and interests, learning new skills, meeting people and building relatinoships. It also builds resilience, allowing you to withstand more stress and endure on until a better time. A rough rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio of positive and negative emotions.

The reason it is important to allow for some negativity is that human emotions are not black and white. Sadness, pain and stress can be crippling if left unchecked, but they also catalyse growth and change. Human beings grow by learning from experience. If you ignore and push down the negative emotions, you will never react to them and you will not learn how to become better at preventing and managing such harsh times. Much like how something as foul and repulsive as manure can be an excellent fertiliser, negativity in controlled amounts acts to help you develop positivity. Do not let negativity control your life and do not bottle it up, pretending not to be affected by it. Instead, let yourself be overwhelmed once in a while, cry if you need to and learn from the experience.

The secret to positivity is not just boosting your happiness level, but being mindful of all of your emotions and learning to find the balance.

Posted in Psychology & Medicine


There is a German word called weltschmerz, which translates into “world pain” or “weariness against the world”. This word describes sad emotions felt after realising that the material world cannot satisfy the mind and that the ideal, hypothetic utopia in your mind cannot exist. It also describes the sadness felt after realising that your weaknesses arose from physical and social conditions of the world. Weltschmerz was widely used by poets such as Lord Byron, mainly as a way of viewing the world. It is a very pessimistic view of the world that often leads to or associated with depression, resignation and escapism. In severe cases it may lead to mental disorders such as hikikomori (a social disorder where the person does not and cannot leave their room due to fear and disgust of the world, also known as agoraphobia).

Posted in Philosophy


In the film Matrix, a scene shows the protagonist, Neo, talking to a bald child in the Matrix who can bend spoons. The child can bend and straighten the spoon at will just by looking at it. He then passes the spoon to Neo and asks him to try. Neo stares and stares but nothing changes. The child then says:

Child: “Do not try to bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead only try to realise the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
Child: “There is no spoon.”
Neo: “There is no spoon?”
Child: “Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

This philosophy, while sounding rather simple and nonsensical, can be applied to modern day life in so many ways.

For example, as people mature, they have a tendency to lose the creativity and innocence of their inner child. They find that reality is too harsh and cruel and one must follow the strict rules of society to survive. They feel as if they are trapped in a box, unable to escape forever. This pessimistic view of life and the world restricts their ability to be happy. These people have not yet realised the truth.

There is no box

Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Posted in Philosophy

Glass Of Water

A pessimist sees a glass as half empty.

An optimist sees a glass as half full.

A wise, happy person drinks the refreshing liquid and then pours another glass.

(also see Points of View)