The Power of Positive Memories to Propel Creative Advances into Novelty

It is difficult for me to think of a more powerful inner process than the ability to access and maintain positive memories in my attention. As easy as this might seem negative memories have an uncanny ability to override the positive. The mind more readily goes to the negative rather than positive. I am sure that this has survival element to it that goes back many millennia. It turns out that when I can hold a positive memory in my attention, I am able to not only repeat it, but also to have a creative advance into new experiences. The purpose of dwelling on negative memories is some sort of survival so usually it means that when I dwell on them, I tend to not go after new things, to not go beyond my current borders. Being able to take risks relies heavily on the ability to access positive memories from the past and at the same time letting go the negative ones. When we hold onto negative memories such as when we were punished or hurt in a relationship, then our lives are ruled by fear. After the third time I was fired for being a risk taker in my career as an educator, my mind somehow would only go to negative memories. It got me to stop taking major risks by playing the negative memories over and over. When I wanted to take new risks, the memories of having been fired just incessantly reappeared. I kept trying to solve the reasons behind the injustice in being fired. The revelation to me is that the goal is not to prevent the firing. If I would be foolish enough to work for another relatively conservative administrator, I would be fired again. I have no doubt about it. Taking risks frightens conservatives because they are fearful of losing their advantage or their position or whatever they have. The goal for me is to let go of the negative memories of having been fired so that I can access the positive memories of risk taking. The benefits of risk taking, of using my creativity to go after new things far exceeds the inconvenience of having been fired. What is important to realize, in this process, is that I can not have it both ways. I cannot try to hold the negative memory and the positive one at the same time. There is only space for one. I can either have the positive memory of risk taking and go forward or I can hold the negative memory so that I will stop. I cannot stop and go at the same time. While there important reasons to stop certain activities, it doesn’t apply to me at this time in my life.

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