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Creating a Positive Future

by Heather Martin, VPG Copy Editor

Neon sign saying good vibes only

This past year has been a year of change for me, almost all of it good. One of the things that changed was leaving a job that was not a good fit for one that is. My current job affords me other opportunities I would not have had if I had stayed at my previous one. Recently, a friend and former coworker told me she too had left my previous place of employment. She is now looking forward to a new job with new chances for growth and hopefully a better work-life balance. But, as we talked, she also expressed great resentment and anger towards our former employers. I listened and commiserated, and I remembered the advice given to me this year: let go of bitterness and anger and look forward with hope and gratitude.

When we are in a bad situation, it is natural to give in to negative feelings and wallow in the bleakness. However, it also seems normal to keep those feelings with us even after we leave. So, this year, I think we should all try to put negative feelings behind us. Staying in that state will not only stop progression but could propel us backwards.

In her article Seven Ways to Leave Negative Experiences Behind and Create a Better Future, Beverly Landais shows a path towards a happier future. First, we need to recognize these feelings and acknowledge them. Doing so will “empower[s] you to decide if you want to spend time contemplating an issue or choose to direct your focus elsewhere.” And then, if you find yourself unable to pull yourself out of the negativity, do something that you enjoy taking your mind off it. Physically take yourself to a new place so you can go to a new place in your mind.

One of her ideas really spoke to me, “cultivate the positive.” (Landais) As I forged a new path for myself this year, I did find that my mind would go back to the time when I was unhappy. I would start to wonder if I was good enough for the new life I was trying to make. However, I worked hard to focus on the positive atmosphere I was in at the time. I remembered to be grateful for the opportunities I was getting and to be grateful for what my previous job taught me. I found that as I focused on the good, I could reframe the past to a positive too.

As my friend moves forward in her life, I hope she too will focus on the positives. I hope we can all remember that our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are and contribute to our growth. As Roy T. Bennett said, “What's done is done. What's gone is gone. One of life's lessons is always moving on. It’s okay to look back to see how far you’ve come but keep moving forward.”


  • Seven Ways to Leave Negative Experiences Behind and Create a Better Future | Beverly, 9 Jan. 2022

  • Bennett, Roy T. The Light in the Heart. Roy Bennett, 15 Nov. 2021

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