How to turn negativity into motivation?

It is okay if we have negative emotions [1], they tell us that things are not right. We could use the negative emotions to our advantages.

Instead of sharing or advertising our negative feelings (not all people are empathetic), we could learn some strategies to make positive uses of them.

Use our grief to nurture gratitude.

Sprinkled with sadness, I felt blessed for the moments I had and the unexpected gifts that [my relationships] gave.” Lynne Hughes. She lost her mother and father when she was 9 and 12 years old, respectively. Later, she became Founder of Comfort Zone Camp for Grieving Children.

On 20170708, I partially watched the saddest movie this year, that resulted in me weeping a lot in the early hours of 20170709 and even when I was writing a part of this post. In Missing (미씽: 사라진 여자), a 2016 Korean movie, two mothers lost their baby daughter.

The Korean mother was workaholic, divorced, and fighting for a custody for her baby daughter against her physician ex-husband working at Gangnam Catholic Hospital. After her baby daughter was hit and injured by a former nanny, hence she hired a Chinese mother as a nanny.

The Chinese mother was married to a Korean man, whose mother and he emotionally and physically abused the Chinese mother. When the Chinese mother’s baby daughter fell sick, her husband and mother in law refused to pay for seeing a clinic. The Chinese mother ran away with her baby daughter to Seoul. Since she could not afford to pay for the bill, the Chinese mother sold her organ, yet her baby daughter was still chased out of the hospital (and died later) because the money came late and the Korean mother’s ex-husband pulled string to get the bed for the Korean mother’s baby daughter. It was the same bed previously occupied by the Chinese mother’s baby daughter, suffering from biliary atresia and requiring a liver transplant. In her last moment of life while drowning, the Chinese mother thought of her deceased baby daughter and the shattered dream to make her little one happy; she had lost everything, including her will to live [2].

I kept on running to check on the sleeping Little Princess to assure myself that she was okay. Soon, in countable days, I would be separated from her to earn a living for the family. Dear Universe, please convert my separation anxiety from Little Princess to gratitude, at least she is growing healthily into a strong and active girl.

Use our anger as energy to drive creativity.

According to a study by Ghent University, people who started the day with negative emotions but ended it with positive ones had high creative output.

Use our envy as energy to better ourselves.

Often what we are envious are others, are signs that we need a sense of belonging, a sense of accomplishment, or a sense of adventure.

Convert pessimism and worry into productivity.

According to Adam Grant of Wharton, defensive pessimists (those who tend to visualize what could go wrong) perform as well as strategic optimists in diverse tasks.


[1] In summer 2017, I often felt sad and angry. Perhaps, I read too many news, which are negative, and had to see people who hurt me daily. Additionally, my sporty father was hospitalized and I could not visit her without bringing Little Princess, but bringing her means that we may cause more work for my parents, as I do not know how to drive; one needs to drive in my parents’ town for safety reasons.

[2] Living is tough. Once, I listened to a lyric describing the cruel fate, later religious authority demanded the singer to change the lyric.



  1. […] had been fascinated with, visited or lived, and the hospitalization of my father, made me feel some negative emotions, that I decided to convert into […]


  2. […] I missed my parents and children. It seemed that I still have much to learn and practice on how to convert negative energy into a positive one, to create and produce meaningful things, at least for me, my loved ones, and people whom I come […]


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