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Eye of the Optimist-recalling mypledges April 2014

I went hiking along the Hoedang river and reservoir with the Iranian colleague and his daughter today. It was a beautiful warm day. The water level was high because of the recent rains. Though it was Children's Day, a national holiday, it was not very crowded. We took our time photographing and soaking in the sunny scenery. We finished up our outing at a cafe after a satisfying meal of grilled fish and side dishes, traditional style.

Later, I was reading my blog and came across the entry where I recorded my last hike to Hoedang reservoir two years ago, in April 2014. I enjoyed reviewing my photos from that excursion.

I continued reading to finish my review of Volume One of A Year of Living Positively, which I posted around the end of April that year (2014). Here I re-post my conclusions and pledges written on Day 120 of that opus. 

Looking back, I can see how much I have grown and accomplished since the start of the Year of Living Positively project. My outlook has grown with me, so that I think I could add some thoughts. It is too late for it tonight, so I'll write about it later-kind of extended reflections of reflections of reflections.


Now, I will review what this blog has achieved. First, I reached the goal of posting blogs every day for 120 days. I have 245 more days of blogging to go.
Second, I had something positive to say every day. Even though, I went through periods of illness, conflict, and frustrations of daily life such as the frustrations of technical problems with electronic communications and scheduling, I was able to speak constructively and maintain a positive outlook all the way.
Third, I developed my own concept of positive thinking. My concept encompasses problem-solving. I say we should accept problems and look for solutions rather than festering, complaining and procrastinating. Education is a key. In fact, my notion advises to adopt an active consciousness by critical positive reflection. We have to take account of the negative in order to see what is positive. Without knowing what is negative and investigating why it is negative, it may be harder to see the positive and act more positively. This includes studying and analyzing personal and organizational behavior, relationships, psychology, and other things. I extend this notion to counsel others to extend their community involvement not only by seeking interaction with others around them, and not restricting generosity to sharing, volunteering social service and performing charitable deeds. Rather, I recommend becoming involved in collective studies and activities to address societal issues, taking any of the full range of issues and participating in any of the full range of actions to address them and make change. There is no shortage of issues or types of activities by which to tackle them, from employing artistic or technical skills, to reading and discussion, to research and reporting, from petitioning and protesting, to advocacy and policy lobbying.
Fourth, I have come up with a list of tips for living positively. Here they are again. By sorting and categorizing them, I have articulated eight steps for positive thinking and identified 40 techniques of living positively.
1.Think positively
-Adopt an outlook of positive thinking and see upside of situations as much as possible.
-Take notice of and remember successes.
-Collect photographs and keepsakes so as to have and hold onto good memories and take stock of your accomplishments
-Appreciate and take pleasure in the simple things such as food, nature, art, music, friends and co-workers, etc.
-Write down your thoughts, plans, visions, and positive memories. Writing a journal, stories, letters to friends and families, and poetry are good ways to do it.
-Keep learning through formal or informal education including reading, travel, alternative and educational media, and discussion
-Think of the kindness, happy moments and achievements that you experience from day to day
2.Build relationships
-Pay more attention to the people that help you, build you up or generally set good examples more than those that under-value others, cause friction or disappoint you, and set bad examples
-Listen to others, ask questions and only make constructive criticism or offer suggestions or acknowledgement when you don't like what you are hearing.
-Have empathy and act on your compassion and social concerns in whatever ways suit you and are available
-Reach out to people; don't let yourself get socially isolated
3.Tackle problems
-Take an approach of stepping forward to confront and solve problems rather than sitting on them, dwelling on them and letting them hold your life up, as much as you can
-Work on trying to improve on techniques of problem solving
-Accept change and try to create change for the better.
-Focus on the present and what can or might be done.
-Study (get the facts), analyze and take action
-Study the little things in life, for they can contain big things
-Make long and short term life plans.
-Identify yourself, and envision a future you.
-Identify your life priorities.
-Set goals and priorities for each day, week, month and year, and include a plan for how to spend your -free time.
-Manage your time wisely.
-Have a daily routine, but be flexible for yourself and others.
-Save money and budget yourself wisely. Stay committed to the budget.
-Reuse, recycle and reduce excess whenever possible.
-Measure and apportion your consumption according to what you really want and need
-Invest in what is most useful, necessary and socially and environmentally positive
6.Get involved in the community
-Be an activist: get involved in collectives to work towards raising common issues of community and society, and working towards solutions. Make positive change happen.
-Do volunteer service
-Monitor and stay involved in the community
7.Stay healthy
-Take care of your health maintenance (rest, sleep, recreation, check-ups, nutrition...).
-Exercise regularly to stay fit and slim
-Take vacations when you can afford to
8.Be creative
-Make art
-Use humour
-Add color to your life
-Try some hobbies and pastimes that give you some pleasure
-Follow your (healthy and morally grounded) passions and try
-Try to do things that lift peoples' spirits from day to day, like having little celebrations, joyful or mirthful moments, incidents of sharing and so on
In the course of the blogging on the theme of positive thinking over the past four months, I have encountered and studied these tips. I have even applied many of them. As a result, I have been experiencing more growth. I set some short term and life goals. I thereby enhanced my own personal identity. I became more focused. In turn, I became more productive and creative. I created three poems and started another writing project in this period. I also became more aware of my relationships, and clearer on which and which sort of relationships I want. I have also been able to handle problems better, including problems in my relationships. I think I have grown considerable through this process. I will continue on this path of discovery and see how much more I grow over the course of a year.

Finally, this work has stirred an intellectual process. I can see that a book on the need for cultural renewal to counter the global imperialist culture may result from it in the following year.

1 Comment to Eye of the Optimist-recalling mypledges April 2014:

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Online essay on May 6, 2016 2:52 PM
Your blog is very useful and provides tremendous facts. Keep up the good work.
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