I’m a big fan of China’s first boy band, Nine Percent, which emerged from the reality show Idol Producer.
When the members were interviewed about their aspirations, I heard one of them declare – so many times that the phrase stuck in my head – that he wants to be a 正能量的人.
As my Mandarin is not as fluent as my English, I had to look up the phrase 正能量 online.
The easiest translation I could find – “positive energy”.
But there’s more.
Here’s a fuller definition from one article:
- It’s an attitude of optimism, recognizing that the journey of life is not smooth, and being able to look on setbacks without losing hope or depairing.
- It’s having faith that one can improve one’s circumstances.
- It’s having a problem-solving attitude instead of complaining that things are not going one’s way.
- It’s having grit – to fall down, get back up, fall down, get back up, for as many times as it takes.
- It’s gratitude for everything that life offers, rather than constantly calculating and grumbling about what we do not have.
- It’s bringing joy to others, and thereby becoming joyful ourselves.