There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad, But Thinking Makes It So

There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad, But Thinking Makes It So

The human brain is one of the most remarkable organs. Our brain only weighs around 1.3 kg, yet controls all our bodily functions as well as memorization and decision making. Your brain health has a direct impact on the health of your body. If there is any problem with your brain, the body will not work that well either. Similarly, if your brain is healthy, the body will remain active and carry out the essential functions necessary to keep us alive and thrive.
Besides governing all the body parts and systems, our brain also has the power to influence the quality of our lives and our personality. If our brains are trained to evaluate every situation in a brighter light, it will make us happier, calmer, and more efficient at problem solving.
Contrary, if we develop the habit of noticing the shortcomings of everything, our brains will acquire a slew of negative habits. Instead of appreciating the good things about a person or some circumstance, our minds will only concentrate on that which is dark and depressing.
Constant pessimism causes us to overlook all the good things that happen in our life. This, in return, makes us upset and robs us of simple small joys that come with living life. Hence, you must always try to condition your brain to create constructive thoughts and never hoard the negative ones. The aforementioned quote by William Shakespeare also suggests that our thinking and perspective determines our circumstances; “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Where Does The Quote Come From?

The quote is spoken by the character Prince Hamlet in Act II, Scene 2 of the play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1601. This play is the longest play in Shakespeare`s collection, with 29,551 words. It is also regarded as one of the most influential and powerful in English language history.
The play depicts the story of a young Prince Hamlet, whose father, King Hamlet, is murdered by his uncle Claudius to ascend to the throne. King Hamlet’s ghost instructs Hamlet to seek revenge on Claudius and avenge his death. Hamlet pretends to be a crazy person and devises a plan to avenge his father’s death. When Claudius learns about Hamlet’s plans, he also schemes against Hamlet to murder him.

Who Was William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare was an English actor, poet, and playwright. He is one of the best writers and dramatists in English language history. Shakespeare had written more than 30 plays, 3 long narrative poems, and 154 sonnets.
Shakespeare began his career in 1585 in London by working as an actor, writer, and co-owner of the company, ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men.’ At the beginning of his career, he wrote comedy and historical plays. However, from 1589 to 1608, Shakespeare wrote tragedies that was well received by the audience. His famous tragedy plays include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. These plays are widely regarded as the finest plays of history.
Moreover, Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into many languages and performed worldwide.
Countless English literature students study and interpret his work because of its timeless themes and symbolism.

What is the meaning of the quote?

In the play Hamlet, king Claudius of Denmark brought Hamlet’s friends to Denmark, so they could spy on Hamlet. Hamlet learns that Claudius has killed his father, King Hamlet. King Claudius ascended to the throne, robbing Hamlet’s right to be the lawful successor of his late father.
Hamlet lived in Denmark under the leadership of King Claudius. He also knew that the king and his people spied on him. Thus, he considered Denmark being a constant prison and was seeking to break free.

Hamlet: What have you, my good friends, deserv’d at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
Guildenstern: Prison, my lord?
Hamlet: Denmark’s a prison.
Rosencrantz: Then is the world one.
Hamlet: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.
Rosencrantz: We think not so, my lord.
Hamlet: Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me, it is a prison.

This famous quote explains the power of our thinking and perceptions. Our thoughts about something make it good or evil in our eyes. For instance, Denmark was a prison for Hamlet because of his negative experiences and the knowledge about his father’s murderer. But, on the other hand, Hamlet’s friends disagree with him; for them, Denmark was just a place.

Understand, in our minds, perceptions and emotions can drastically influence our points of view and how we view our circumstances. For example, when some people are in an unfavorable situation, they panic and dislike everything around them. Or they blame their luck or lives for the hardships that befall them. However, some individuals cultivate positive thoughts even during tough times. Their mind focuses on the brighter side and they try to find some way or a solution on how they can solve their problems.

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.Marcus Aurelius

Our thoughts determine how we perceive people, things, and the environment around us. If we always focus on negative things, we fail to appreciate the good in our lives. Similarly, if we foster good thoughts, the world looks better to us, and we enjoy every moment instead of complaining or being miserable.

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.Elbert Hubbard

Detrimental Effects of Negative Thinking

Health Issues

Perpetual negative thoughts and believing the worst possible scenarios can create numerous health problems: migraines, stomach problems, panic attacks, and high blood pressure. Negative thoughts stress our brain and make it believe that we are in immediate danger. Consequently, the stress hormone cortisol is released to make our bodies more alert to prepare for fight the flight. Excessive stress and cortisol in the body weakens our immune system and many other functions, as a result, our health quickly deteriorates.

Low-self Esteem

Constant pessimism traps many in an endless cycle of self-doubt and insecurities. Looking at the dark side of everything especially ourselves trains our minds to focus on our flaws and weaknesses instead of our strengths. We start believing that we cannot succeed because we don’t have enough qualities for it. These self-degradation thoughts crush our confidence and shake our self-esteem.

low self esteem illustration

Therefore, we hesitate to get out of our comfort zone and experience new things. Sadly, our growth remains stagnant, and we further sulk about our life and the never changing circumstances.

Trust Issues

A pessimist hoards negative thoughts about themselves but also about other people in their life. For instance, when they meet a new person, they focus on their flaws instead of their good traits. Negative thinkers become paranoid and believe they will be hurt by individuals around them. As a result, they struggle with trusting or befriending others.

Mental Health Problems

As humans, we can’t avoid negative thoughts all the time. Sometimes negative thoughts pop up in our minds when things don’t go the way we planned. But, constantly thinking negatively about everything in life is detrimental to our mental and physical health. It aggravates our anxiety, leads to insomnia, and affects our concentration levels. Negative thinking contributes to depression and gradually sucks the peace and happiness out of our lives. Learn to take control of your mind and you will realize that you have partially taken control of your life.