• drcatherineyang

Switch from negativity to positivity

Mathematics is always a compulsory subject at school. In fact, good mathematical skill can be very useful in many aspects and I think it is one of the most essential fundamental knowledge to require for a positivity-driven life.

In general and basic maths, negative number is a real number that is less than zero and represents the opposite to a positive number. When we first learned about counting at a young age, we started to count in positive numbers, for example, "counting 1, 2, 3". Modelling counting techniques for young children have been very effective when the interaction is fun and natural. Children learn best when they are having fun and in the case of modelling counting, they can relate the positive numbers by the use of their fingers to the real objects being counted.

Adding positive numbers make the sum bigger, for example, "1+2=3". Counting blessings in life brings joy and gratitude. With a positive attitude, we see things on the positive side and we feel hopeful and happy. A concept of an abundance cycle with positivity can be seen as a Giving Cyle with Joy where a giving (to help the others) started from one's having (by talent, trades, possession) then leads to receiving more (in benefits, profits, gratitude) that amplies larger capability to give more within a positive cycle.

On the other hand, adding negative numbers make it smaller, for example, "(-1)+(-2)=(-3)" where "-3" is actually a much smaller number than "-1". When we encountered negative things in life with a negative attitude, our thoughts become more negative, followed by negative consequences. This negativity can often disempower us by feeling defeated, unworthy and trapped in fear which can then lead to an unhealthy cycle of repeating mistakes, struggling to survive and stepping into psychological regression.

In mathetics, you can turn a negative number into positive by a number of ways:

1. Substracting a negative by adding a positive: A negative number can become less negative if you add a positive number to it. The more negative the number is, the more positive the number is required to turn a negative into a positive. For example, (-1)+2=+1 and (-99)+100=+1. Similarly, when we feel despondent, we need some positive energy to motivate us to get out of the misery. And when we feel really down, we need a lot more support to lift us up. Do not feed negativity with more negatives because it will only become depressingly negative.

2. Cancelling the negative of a number by multiplying it with a minus sign: I like maths but I was not born with a mathematician's brain. Hence I could never understand why a negative times a negative gives a positive until my Year 8 maths teacher cleared up my confusion with an excellent explanation. She taught me to see the first negative sign as a "minus" with an action to "take away" or to "remove" the (negative) nature of the second (negative) number in the multiplication. An easy way to understand this concept is by the use an example of removing a debt. For example, -1x-100=+100 can be thought as the original debt owed by a girl borrowing $100 (="-100") to purchase a new dress is then removed (paid off or written off) by her father (x"-1") so that she no longer owes $100 and she gets to keep the beautiful dress. Obviously, if the first integer is bigger than 1, the product value will be more than $100. For example, if the girl also received another $100 from her mother for buying her new dress, now she not only owns a new dress without debt but also has credit available (-2x-100=+200).

The greater the power of removing negativity in life, the more positivity and abundnace we can enjoy. Negativity can be removed by grace or by taking positive actions: (a) We can remove negative sources by stopping complaining, stepping away from toxic influences, let it be food, habits, people and walking out of the darkness. (b) We can cancel out negative effects by adding positive impacts from good reading of books for positive thinking and listening to motivational Ted Talks. (c) We can also reduce stress and worries by taking up healthy diet, regular exercise and embracing relaxing habits such as music, prayer, singing, arts and crafts.

Life is beautiful and we need to turn negativity into positivity by adding values and bringing in the plus. Next time when someone asks you a question, try not to give a negative answer but to be attentive and creative by turn it into a positive response. For example: (1) When someone asks you for a direction or advice, instead of replying "I don't know", you can say, "I don't know/I'm not sure, but would you like me to get someone who might be able to help you (or would you like to try at/with...)?"

(2) When someone asks you "How was your day/what did you do today?", instead of repyling "I can't remember", you can say, "I can't remember right now, let me think about it but would you like to tell me about your day first? I'll love to know if you also like to share with me."

When we start a positive action by inviting like-minded people with positive thinking to come together, we form a community of positivity because proximity is power.

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