I am continuing to read Cam Taylor’s
book, Detour. Chapter 15 is called “Attitude”
and focusses on the importance of a positive attitude. What I like is that
Taylor is not talking about a “Don’t Worry; Be Happy” kind of positivity thinking.
He reminds us that
A lot of “positive
talk” fails to acknowledge the presence of legitimate loss and the emotional
roller coaster that inevitably comes with adversity. If your positivity is a
fluffy sentimentalism that says, “Let’s just be happy all the time,” it’s not
the positivity I’m talking about. My positivity had room for melancholy and
sadness as an unavoidable part of human experience. The positivity I’m talking
about is not the absence of adversity but a belief that you’ll get through what
you’re going through, that people will show up to help at just the right time,
and that there are resources you haven’t yet tapped into (including divine
aid). Real positivity believes in growth amidst hardship and fights against the
downward pull of the feeling that life will never get better and nobody cares.
Instead, Taylor says that he began to
look for ways to help others in difficult circumstances. Even as he still
worked at his recovery from a catastrophic motorcycle accident, he states that “Every day, when I woke up, my goal
was to do something positive with the time I had and to find a way to add value
to others.” He began to invite others to join him (but pressed on even when
others did not join him) in a persevering attitude. He chose to “live with true
hope that said, ‘Things can and will get better!’” These are good words to live
by whether we find ourselves in a difficult detour or on the normal rolling
hills of life. Each of us can look for positive ways in which we can help others regardless of where we are at in our journey.

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