It is said that life is not a bed of roses. Each person has to face difficult situation in his life. If one becomes fearful and apprehensive about the results, feelings of frustration, depression and disappointment will enter his mind and hinder his normal faculties of working. He may even end up poorer than he actually is. In the present age of tough competition nothing is given by the world on a platter.
Those who do not put in the required amount of efforts are left behind to suffer and repent. ‘Hope sustains life’ is an old, time-tested adage. It accentuates the importance of positive thinking. If you do not think positively you may lose the initiative to do well to achieve your objectives. Positive thinking builds will power. People have reached dizzy heights by sheer will power supported by hard work. When there is will there is a way is not an idle statement. It contains a lot of substance.
History is full of examples that show that people have achieved amazing results by perseverance and positive attitude. King Bruce of Scotland could not free his land despite many efforts. He had to run away and hide in a cave. He saw a spider who was trying to reach the roof. It made nine attempts but each time it fell just before making it. It tried again and succeeded to reach the roof. King Bruce learnt a great lesson of keeping the hope alive. He made a concerted attempt and was able to free his land. Columbus had no money or fleet of ships to make a voyage across the globe. But he was sure that one day he will be able to realise his dream.
He approached many people for help. Ultimately, the king of Italy helped him. He made his historic voyage and discovered America. Louis Pasteur saw people dying of dog bite-with rabies. He was sure that he would prepare a vaccine to fight this malady. He worked hard and prepared anti-rabies vaccine. Humanity owes him a lot to save the lives of millions who have been treated of rabies all over the world. When India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the West Indies team was the strongest in the world. India defeated it even after scoring only 183 runs batting first. India’s captain Kapil Dev told his teammates that anything is possible in cricket. If we fight hard, keep self-belief, we may win the match. And it actually happened. India became the champions.
The feat was repeated by the young Indian side under M.S. Dhoni’s captaincy to win the Twenty-20 World Cup. Abraham Lincoln fought many elections in a row. He could not win even a single election. But hope sprang eternal in him. He contested the presidential election and won. He became the President of America. Such examples are endless. All of them go on to show the major role positive thinking plays in our success. It is pertinent to mention here that mere positive thinking without putting in the required amount of effort will not lead to success.
We need to make a proper assessment of the task in hand, prepare a plan of action finding, the right method to perform it, and then make an integrated endeavour. Applying wrong methods even with positive thinking will result into the failure. Depending entirely on hope or unexpected help or a stroke of luck is foolishness not positive thinking. Hope is secondary to efforts. Positive thinking therefore essentially means to be hopeful of a good result after making the required effort. It is an attitude to go for the performance of a task with a hope that it can be done. It also means to be confident of success in a difficult situation hoping that even such a situation can be controlled if we do what it takes. Efforts are the base on which hope is built; without the required amount of efforts, endeavour or hard work-whatever you call it, no one can be sure of success.
An important question that arises in this regard is: Is positive thinking an inherent characteristic of a person or can it be developed in one’s psyche? The opinions differ in answering this vital question. Some people believe that it can be inherited from parents, and cannot be developed. Others believe that like other qualities it can be developed with proper practice and guidance. Still some others hold the opinion that it is hereditary to some extent but can be acquired to some degree. There is also a section of people who believe that all depends on circumstances or luck. Some people are born lucky. They get success with minimum effort; others don’t get it even after greatest of endeavour. There are, thus, various theories and opinions based on one’s experience and knowledge.
We need to adopt a scientific approach to find an answer to the above question. No one can get success every time even after making efforts, nor can one fail constantly. Moreover, success has different meanings for different people. For some students getting 60 per cent marks is success, for others it may not be sufficient. In a competitive examination success means getting selected, whatever the percentage of marks. As for inheritance theory, since positive attitude is not a physical feature but a mental faculty it cannot be purely hereditary. It can be developed. Moreover, parents play a major role in a child developing this quality. A child who watches his parents work hard, showing hope of success through their words, behaviour and body language is likely to develop a similar attitude.
The children of short tempered, over cautious and nervous parents may assume these characteristics when they grow up. Psychologists therefore prescribe a code of conduct for parents’ behaviours in front of their offspring. They must exude confidence, self-belief and hope, especially in difficult situation, so that the children emulate these qualities. They must be taught the importance of being positive before, during and after the performance of a task. There is no better education for a child than watching his/her parents come out of a tough situation by means of earnest endeavours. Such success not only gives more joy, increases self-confidence and acts as an object lesson for children and younger members in the family.
The role of teachers in building the confidence of students and telling them about the importance of positive thinking is also vital; the teachers encourage hard work by appreciating and rewarding those who make it. They rebuke and warn those who are not serious in their studies. They tell students about the various ways in which they can improve their scoreline. Prizes, certificates, awards, etc. are aimed at appreciating hard work that precedes good performance. In the modern age of science there are many other ways like yoga, meditation, exercises, reading of inspiring books which can relieve us of tension, worry and make us relaxed and hopeful.