Positive and Negative

For the past week, I’ve been reading, The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant. There is a chapter titled, Character and History. It’s broken up into three sections: Instincts, Habits, and Feelings. Each section is then broken up into positive and negative characteristics.

I don’t agree with everything on the list but I think they are meant to be looked at as something you do the majority of your day. For example:

Instincts (Positive – Negative)

Action – Sleep

Fight – Flight

Acquisition – Avoidance


Play – Rest

Work – Sloth

Curiosity – Indifference


Buoyancy – Fatigue

Energy – Inertia

Eagerness – Boredom

I didn’t list everything in the table.  I think it’s interesting to think about characteristics you have and what you tend to do on a daily basis. Do you spend most of your time in Action or do you sleep the day away? Are you outside playing with your kids or friends or are you resting in the house all day long?

Rest and sleep are important but they should not consume the majority of your day. Look at your characteristics.  They’ll determine the way your life turns out. Don’t be surprised when you spend too much time indulging in negative character elements that your life isn’t turning out the way you imagined.

Get out of your comfort zone. Take risks. Fall down. Get back up. Go meet people. Get into an argument. Make decisions. Except a challenge. Take a trip. Try something new.

It shouldn’t be surprising but when you put yourself out there you might be surprised by the outcome. The only way you’ll grow is to challenge yourself. Ignoring the world around you won’t solve your problems.

You need to start balancing the positive with the negative.