The following is based both on personal experience, observation and theory and I hope that it will be received by some as something helpful rather than aggravating as this is valuable knowledge that I have gathered through my life. Knowing full well that being in possession of some knowledge and being able to make use of that knowledge correctly are two different things. Also accounting for the fact that no one situation is the same.
We perceive the same world, presumeably, but going through life we each have different experiences of different perceptions within that world which leads to different conclusions of what that one world is actually like. It's obvious and yet, worth remembering that we are all walking around in different worlds.
Because how could someone who grew up with abuse or amidst the terror of a country in constant conflict or in poverty for instance, be sharing the same impression of the world as say, a perfect little girl who grew up in designer dresses, dancing ballet and studying hard. Knowing since day one that she'd wind up at Harvard university, just like her parents? These are all just examples, so the details don't matter that much, but I hope you understand the point that I'm trying to make.
If your experience of life is that you're likely to get raped, that humans are likely to treat you with cruelty or that good things don't come your way, those are all powerful impressions from memories. Likewise, if you've always had everything delivered to you on a silver plate your outlook is likely to be more optimistic. For instance, if you're growing up with abuse or if you're treated in a racist way, if you're living in poverty and so on you're sometimes (not always) more likely to perform worse in school. The question is, could this have been avoided without changing the circumstance around the person in question? Because sometimes, we're literally screwed and there's nothing we can do to change our situation besides choosing how to deal with it.
If you know based on memory that good things have been coming your way in the past you'll know from experience that good things come your way. However, the assumtion that these experiences, both the good experiences and the bad ones, are a rule/ our perception of reality, is nothing more than a hypothesis. It's important to generalise certain impressions in order to survive, but we still don't know if our hypothesis of the world is based on the truth. If a certain experience always seems to happen in the same or a similar fashion we're likely to assume that this kind of experience will always continue to behave in a similar way in the future, but we might be wrong and in stead of just accepting negative experiences or impressions as a rule we can test our hypothesis by attacking it from different angles and through different experiments.
These are also just examples and in those cases where this holds true, the change will most often happen over time, though sometimes a great lurch of luck might also find place. On their own these examples might do nothing more than aggravate, but I hope you'll bear with me. It probably sounds like a clishé, but clishés are clishés for a reason.
So, maybe good things can come your way if you start believing in it or if you attempt to achieve this goal from a different approach? Maybe you can beat that bad habit after all? Maybe you can change? Eventhough everyone you know have witnessed your shameful behaviour? Maybe you can get up every time you fall down, learn something and in so, succeed? Maybe the more important question is about what we ourselves believe?
Some philosophers have angered me by stating something of the sort that you should tell someone who's being tortured to simply "think positively" and that's not fair, because that's simply not possible. If we could choose what to believe, then someone struggling with low self-esteem could simply decide that he or she is good enough.
Still. If you can, at the pitch black bottom of hell, contrive a good mindset and attitude, you might escape that evil demon world and enter into a brighter one. Maybe even paradise?
So be polite and do the right thing, it will benefit not only you, but the world as a whole. Work hard. Fight your demons and don't believe a word they say. Good things can come your way and no, it's not fair. Because how can someone who's just been raped several times over be expected to smile? Nor is it fair that some people grow up in versions of what seems like paradise, while others are burning in hell, but at the end of the day that's reality and if we can accept reality and figure out the best and most clever way to deal with it, reality might change for us.
If we can face all the truths in our worlds, we are much more likely to be able to deal with our obstacles. Because true knowledge isn't going to lead us astray. I believe that money also means power and (don't get me wrong as) I intend to earn some if I can. I want to be that independent woman. Someone who built her way up. Then hopefully, once I've helped myself, I'll be able to do something helpful for someone less fortunate as well and for the world. Until we're all a part of one world, a Utopian world which we built through such trials. Looking back through human history. What a journey! For me to be able to wake up to such magical things. A fridge, ice cubes, soap, coffee, a phone and the list goes on. The unfair division in this world between the rich and the poor is just one of the aspects of my world that have made me feel angry, but I failed to see the entirety of the big picture as development doesn't happen all at once. It happens gradually and in strange lurches and I still don't see the entirety of the big picture, I probably never will, but at the end of the day, we're still a type of animal. Animals that are able to reason and to act morally, it is true, but "survival of the fittest" still holds true as well and while I intend to contribute to a better world if I can. While the dream of Utopia will always reside within my heart, I'll also look after myself.
Balance is key and I've made this point before, but I still keep working myself around in a loop, always landing at balance and I know that for me, this is one of my solid truths. I'm sure many of you won't understand my meaning when I state that balance between the good and evil forces within ourselves is a good thing that leads to a better functioning human, but I have written about this before. (This is even a key point in psychology.) I believe that we should also incorporate balance in other aspects of our lives. I won't work myself too hard, like my scientist type friends, nor too little. I see this break-lacking work ethic of theirs as a mistaken trait. Furthermore I'll share, but I won't give away everything or else I'll loose my will to strive. Life is too short. Being alive constitutes a resposibility, one that torments me at times, but we musn't let that responsibility claim everything. Breaks are important, I can't emphasise this trivial fact enough. Without proper breaks you'll get tangled up in a knot. Proper breaks can do our work no harm. On the contrary. We, the Utopian warriors, we need every hand we can get. Even unable hands like mine, but these will be even less able if I neglect myself.
Anyway, it's difficult to explain just why changing our mindset, our approach and our behaviour towards life will make a difference, but humans tend to respond differently to someone who's polite, hardworking, who tends to always do the decent thing, someone generous, modest and calm for example. Even the way we dress can make an impact and that doesn't mean being able to afford designer labels, it simply means making the best of what we've got. Making sure that we're clean and tidy. Another aspect is how changing our mindset can change the way we behave without us even noticing it. Our posture might change, thereby inviting people to interact with us in a positive way, or we might ourselves suddenly feel more energetic and courageous, hence allowing us to interact with someone in a positive way. Maybe someone that we wouldn't have had the courage to speak to otherwise. The part about hard work probably speaks for itself. To hate the world is pointless as the world in itself has nothing to do with the horrible things that can happen within it. Walking around in a constant gloom will overshadow any opportunity and judging by observation, those opportunities are out there. Because though we're all walking around in different worlds from a perceptual point of view, it's still (letting this one statement slide) the same world, which means that good things can happen. Because good things happen.
The point isn't to be utterly optimistic and positive all the time, that's ridiculous, a good mindset is much more complex than that and there's no quick fix because you've got to mean it. You've got to truly believe in the way you perceive the world for it to be the way you actually perceive the world and altering this very core of our being can be complicated for a number of reasons. For example, if you're in hell and you need to keep walking in order to get out of there, you could be in need of a reason to keep walking. This reason will be different for everyone. It could be your family, or maybe a desire to accomplish something specific in life. If this reason, whatever it is, isn't strong enough you might not be able to keep moving. So try and find something that's strong enough, don't let it go and remind yourself of it every day.
If you liked this and you want to go on reading I want to recommend something else that I wrote quite a while ago called Love yourself first. the topic is somewhat different, but it could still be helpful to some.