Understanding the Positive and Negative in Life

We often look destruction as negative, we blind ourselves to the opportunities that a fresh start present us. we are so focused on what has been lost, we blind ourselves to the opportunities that a fresh start presents us. To start with let’s look at a bush fire; it is hard to comprehend, but one of the greatest things that can occur for a forest is a fire. Bush fires act to decompose dead organic matter, clear space for new growth and in some plant life it is essential for the seeds of the organism to spread. Of course viable plant life is destroyed, but without the bush fire and the new growth that ensues, the forest would eventually perish. The real meaning of negative and positive goes beyond its literal meaning.


On the second of September 1666 a fire occurred in London, this was no bushfire, this was a fire that devastated the city displacing 88% of the cities inhabitants, destroying 85% of the cities buildings and ultimately changed the course of England’s history. Was this a good thing? No. Did good things happen as a result? Yes.

The Great Fire of London, whilst being a completely negative event had positive outcomes. London at the time had just suffered the Great Plague of London (not a fantastic time for the city) killing 69, 000 people. Many historians believe that if it wasn’t for the fire wiping out the majority of rats and fleas that were carrying the virus the plague would not have ended at this time. Also had the fire not wiped out many of the slums, London would not have been rebuilt in an orderly fashion able to sustain the vast metropolis it has become today.

So now to tie this all together, destruction is bad, but we cannot blind ourselves to the good that can come out of it. We have all experienced a metaphorical fire in our life. This could come in the form of a loss of job, end of relationship or any devastating event where you lose a part of your identity. These events are horrible, there is no other way to describe them, but they are also instruments of great change.

As humans we are inclined to remain where things are comfortable, we hate veering from the norm. Sometimes it takes a drastic event for you to make necessary changes in your life. Life cannot improve without change, without risking elements of your current life to try something new. When a fire burns down a forest beautiful trees are lost, but a new forest grows. This new forest may not have so many beautiful trees, or it may have more beautiful trees, or it may have no beautiful trees and a thousand stunning flowers! The point is no matter what, there will be things in the forest to love, things you did not even realise existed until they are forced before you.

In life losing a job is hard, but there will be things in your new job you love, or you may hate your new job and try a hundred different jobs until you find something you love. Whether it takes months or years after a ‘fire’ burns through your life, a new life will grow. Mourn what you have lost, but look forward to the opportunities that are now open to you, and look with optimism on the new course of your life.

Taking something that is Negative and making it into a Positive will transform the way you live your life. Embrace happiness by being optimistic and full of hope – the first day of the rest of your life starts – NOW.