The Positive Side of Negativity

By Vikash Kumar

There never seems to be an end to the amount of advice we receive about the advantages of “always being positive.” There are endless articles and discussions on this subject matter, and most believe that if we adopt a positive attitude and live from this perspective, perennially it will “be so.” People also look at negativity and positivity as flip sides of the same coin, and for a better outcome in life the positive side should always be facing up and hiding negativity.

I ask you now to consider that it also is possible to expand yourself through what you perceive as “the negative.” Don’t shy away from it! Instead, become a third-party observer, move back a distance, and look at these situations as learning experiences and growth opportunities. Negativity is an integral, peripheral part of positivity; imagine that life is circle where the positive is at the center and the negative is the limiting circumference line. Expansion of the circle will not come unless the circumference changes. Judging vices accurately and groping in the negative makes you more aware of the circumstances that must be addressed before leaping ahead to a goal. For example, it would difficult walking on tight rope while laughing and dancing.

Hegelianism* addresses the negativity involved when the objects of our thoughts turn into their determining opposites. Determination comes from the positive, which can be reached by evaluating the negative. This type of contradiction can be viewed From Aristotle’s ontological standpoint in dealing with the “contradictions” involved in our thinking; for example, people are negatively instilled through a sense of duty and peer pressure to defend the positive side of talks and individuality. In other words, the negative situation created a positive outcome.

Summing up with the words of the great mystical poet Rumi, where he emphasizes balance in life:

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small way contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

The circle of life is always revolving between the aspects of positive and negative, so without understanding negativity, one can never be truly positive! So always accept and honor the negative because it provides the contemplative platform to make your life more positive going forward.

*Hegelianism is the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel which can be summed up by the dictum that “the rational alone is real,” which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. His goal was to reduce reality to a more synthetic unity within the system of absolute idealism. (Source: Wikipedia)


Vikash Kumar is a Strategist Counselor based in India and the founder of Mantra with Zorba. Share your thoughts with him via e-mail:


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