Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the power of positivity, especially when the world seems intent on making us overlook the good.

The alarm should have been my first warning; or rather, my lack of an alarm. As if Monday isn’t already hard in many ways, forgetting to set an alarm and waking up in a scramble is never good. But being a morning person, I tackled the challenge of getting ready and out of my apartment in half the time.

Then I got to work. The copier decided to be temperamental – I mean, all I wanted was 50 copies double sided. Was that really too much to ask? Strike 2. Then when I finally got to teaching my first period, the projector light bulb burned out and I had a multi-tiered lesson planned – gone to waste for that day while I planned a new lesson on the spot. Strike 3. All before noon.

We have all had those days where it feels like the alarm, the copier, the projector, and the world are conspiring against us. It makes being positive a challenge. I remember that Monday distinctly as one of many flawed Mondays during the first year in my career.

Oftentimes, it’s not just the alarm or the copier. There are many bigger things at stake in our world, and maintaining an attitude of positivity can be difficult. I left work that day feeling absolutely disgruntled, believe me.

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I’m sure you’ve had a similar Monday at some point in your life. But this isn’t an article about me, or about mundane Mondays that are sure to come our way. It’s about making sure we adjust our mindset during the difficult days, months, or even years.

Obstacles come up. Life happens, and what it chooses to give us is not always something we would choose for ourselves. But our attitude is something we can choose, and that is a choice not to be taken lightly.

In a world filled with chaos, sorrow, and disappointment, it is so easy to become negative. Do not fall into that trap of a mindset.

You make your choices – choose to be positive. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to be positive, especially when the world seems intent on making us overlook the good. I certainly wasn’t feeling positive that Monday, but I forced myself to look back on my day that evening and recall the good in it. Even now, four years later, I can still remember the positive aspects of that day.

One of my students had aced a test – a first for him. The sun had been out, breaking a continual streak in rainy, October weather. The coffeepot wasn’t broken like the copier (a blessing in my world for someone who is obsessed with coffee!). My friends called to confirm our mini-vacation for the following month. And this is to just name a few.

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The power of positivity is underrated. Choosing to be positive is no easy feat to be sure, but it is one that can change your life for the better. Choosing to see the good in the world and the upside of difficult days and difficult situations is something that can only benefit you.

Obviously there are times when we feel pain. Acknowledge that, learn from it, and move forward with your life in a way that you can. As John Green writes in The Fault in Our Stars, “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” I do not want to minimize anyone’s suffering. I know what it is like to have a hard time when positivity does not seem within one’s grasp. When the time is right, you will have the courage to move on.

Four years later, I’m not worried about the alarms, the copiers, the bad Mondays. In fact, in the spirit of positivity, I say, why not TGIM? Thank God It’s Monday? Perhaps in changing our mentality to accept that the littlest things like Mondays can be good, we can choose to let positivity run our lives instead of negativity.

The next time life sends a difficult obstacle your way, try to find the upside in it. You may not find it right away, or it might not even present itself until years down the road. We often learn from our experiences later than we’d like.

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So the next time a Monday comes around, give it a friendly TGIM and hope the copier works better on Tuesday!