“The Positive Relationship” – Pablo Ferrera
Juan Carlos Tame writes here, back again with a weekly reflection for you, but today I feel like I have to change my routine a bit. Although I would love to share another week of my thoughts and ideals, there are times when the best way to communicate a message is to shut up and listen to what others have to say.
The following writing, entitled “The Positive Relationship”, was written by Pablo Ferrera, which has a story from which many of us can learn. Pablo is a Mexican triathlonist who suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, but as he mentions it in the live presentations, his condition does not define him. Pablo is a clear example of exceeding the limits that society places on you, and that is why he has overcome constant obstacles which make him a clear example of success to follow. Personally, he was fortunate to attend one of his talks right here in Monterrey, and it is without a doubt a story that I will never forget. The following writing was sent to me by a friend of mine, who felt that those words might please me, and without a doubt it was a writing which he felt that he needed to share with you:
“The Positive Relationship”. – by Paul Ferrera
Based on concepts developed by Barbara Fredrickson in her 2006 book “Positivity.”
“Positivity is a renewable internal energy that helps us improve our experience of life and our environment.” Unfortunately, it has been shown that people are more prone to negative thoughts, and that negative emotions are stronger than positive ones. So, if the ultimate goal of life is happy, achieving it will mean effort. This uphill race has its origin in our history as a species. We know it as survival instinct, and it is the processes of recognition and reaction to danger that act much faster than consciousness (so that the lion does not eat us). As proof that our brain decides on an answer before we can reason, it is easy to scare anyone with something as harmless as a mask or a stuffed mouse.
The propensity to negative mood states then comes from the reactive mechanism that considers stimuli first as threats before even identifying them, and disposes us to
the fight or flight speeding up our heart, sending more blood to the extremities, secreting hormones that reduce sensitivity to pain and closure. In the opposite way,
Positive moods are related to calm, openness, and reasoning. Positivism and an open mind feed off each other, supporting creativity, interpersonal relationships, clearer vision, and trust and confidence. mental openness that eliminates barriers, differences, limitations and unites us in a better way with the world and people.
Sensations, thoughts and active emotions act as a virtuous spiral that projects us to happiness. It is now convenient to make a distinction between them:
• positive sensations, which are transient due to their external origin, such as those generated by food, music, exercise, laughter, meetings, the sun.
• positive thoughts, which internalize a sensation turning it into an emotion or externalize an emotion making us relive a sensation, and
• positive emotions, which are the result of intellectual processing, which makes them conscious, more lasting, and independent of the circumstances.
Dr. Fredrickson identifies ten positive emotions: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, joy, inspiration, amazement, and love, and affirms that they are what sustain the flourishing of people. Blossoming is what many proponents of positive psychology call it, considering it a quality of spirit associated with the development of
virtues, good relationships, connection, commitment and a life with purpose and meaning. Since considering the word, happiness, ambiguous and associated with a state of mind
Something that struck me a lot about this doctor’s work is that she quantifies the effect of positive emotions on our growth as people. She found that the vast majority
of people experience the average of two positive emotions for each negative one (2/1), and that this is only a neutral state, since your happiness is neither increasing nor decreasing. a
1/1 ratio (one positive emotion for each negative) is already a bad sign, as it indicates that the person is leaving, and people in depression show a lower ratio, that is,
that in a day they experience more than one negative emotion for each positive one. On the opposite side, people who experience three or more positive emotions for each negative (> or = 3/1) are
bloom. To know and monitor your relationship of positivism you can take the three-minute test
designed by Fredrickson at: www/positivityratio.com Knowing the process in which positive feelings, thoughts, and emotions feed off one another, and that the conscious cultivation of the latter is the foundation of lasting happiness and greater well-being for our lives, what remains for us is to seek a ratio of positive emotions of 3/1 or greater over negative ones.
The first fundamental factor in the task of increasing our relation of positive emotions is to slow down the frenetic speed at which current life pulls us. It is necessary to do it to realize what our heart feels and recognize the positive. Taking the time to reason is essential, and not letting impulsiveness drag us into the negative spiral. Next, they are
These proven results strategies for this purpose:
• Pay attention to identify the small acts of generosity of others.
• Give more importance to the positive, just as sometimes we give it more weight than it has
to something negative, maximizing in thoughts and words the good that happens to us.
• Find meaning in what you do. If you visualize what you want to be in the future, all
small acts acquire meaning by serving the greater end.
• Savor, to enjoy more what is already good, which is the opposite of ruminating on what
negative. Sometimes you have to change the circumstances to achieve it, such as stopping
do other things to enjoy a call or conversation.
• Share with someone by verbalizing positive experiences. Nobody blooms alone.
• Write a gratitude journal weekly or more frequently, where you record
the things you should be thankful for.
• Do acts of kindness, preferably several on one day of the week, such as participating in
an association or altruistic event.
• Do what you are passionate about.
• Identify and put your strengths to use.
• Visualize a goal, and take advantage of the fact that it has as good a chemical effect as achieving it.
• Connect with others, even force it if it’s not your nature to be outgoing.
• Feel compassion and mercy as genuine concern for others and the
• Get in touch with nature, spend time outside in good weather.
• Open your mind and heart with prayer and meditation in the morning, because they give you
a platform of peace to build during the day.
Your flourishing as a person involves consciously working to maintain the winning relationship of positivity, but once involved in the upward spiral, you will tend to find
the good side in everything that happens to you, and your path will be better and easier.
Paul Ferrara F.
April 24, 2020
All the credit of the writing goes to Pablo and his family for sharing these words with us, and I hope you have enjoyed them in the same way that I enjoy them. I send you a strong greeting, and I hope you have an excellent week