How does thinking negatively about a thing, become an art? It might be a weird concept at least for some of us. It’s one of the core concepts of stoic philosophy.

Our ancestors have invented timeless strategies for a better living and quality life. We belong to the modern generation, with everything at our disposal, yet forget to live life in a meaningful way. We, being blessed with modern science and technology, are rushing away from life for illusive advancement.

There is an old saying, ” Look for the bad, only then look for the good”. It means that whatever you choose to do, first analyze the negative side of it and then see the positive side. Though olden times had conservative people, conventional beliefs and closed cultures, they developed life concepts which are rational and practical.

Most of us feel that positive thinking is the antidote to all problems. It does not hold true in all cases. When you are handling a problem/situation, feel free to examine all the scenarios that can possibly go wrong. Brainstorm for a while. Allow yourself to be open-minded and explore all possibilities. Once you feel that you have covered all negative scenarios, switch your focus to the positive side. There is a night to each day. They do not exist without each other. The visions or dreams of success are easy to conceive but these are just ballooned thoughts. A small prick is enough to deflate it. Protect your dream.

It is fun to see the rosy side of a thing, but turning blind to its thorns is not. Anticipating a clean outcome always does not constitute for practical thinking because there is some sort of resistance in everything. While climbing stairs, apart from the physical effort, there is also a chance of falling down. Don’t underplay the chance. Be Prepared for all that may happen.

As we have no control over the external circumstances, we have to rehearse our mind to deal with negative outcomes beforehand. If it’s a positive outcome, that is not called success. Dealing with the negative side effectively and making it work is ‘The real success’.

This will rule out the unexpected results which may arise. It is hard to deal with last-minute surprises especially if it’s an important one because it is tough to fix them instantly or undo it altogether.

This is the generation where we buy insurance for almost every important thing in our life. How about ensuring the things we do? We can do that by preparing for the storms of life. Adopt the negative side also because an action is incomplete without it.

Confronting the worst-case scenario saps it of much of its anxiety-inducing power. Happiness reached via positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm.”

~Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote; Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking