There aren’t too many things in life with as much potency as to singlehandedly determine anyone’s life experience and overall success as having a positive attitude.Talent is of course instrumental to success but without the right attitude, it would take you only so far. It’s so important to cultivate a positive attitude in life because in this turbulent world of cause and effect it ensures you give accurate interpretations to the events that happen to you. The right attitude further reinforces the popular belief that what actually happens to you in life is not as important as how you react to it. Thus, you may not have absolute control over events in the outer world, but by your thoughts and feelings, you only determine the effect they’ll have on you – which could be either positive or negative depending on your reaction. A positive attitudes produces a chain reaction of positive thoughts, feelings and events that give you a positive outlook to life. With a positive attitude, you can bounce back from almost anything life throws at you. It helps you stay motivated, resilient and hopeful in the face of difficulties. Additionally, a positive attitude would help you always look on the bright side no matter what. This is why it’s said that attitude is everything. It’s little wonder that this is the one trait shared by nearly all successful people today.
So if you really want to go very far in life, having a positive attitude is the way to go. Here’s is how to develop that super positive attitude. But before we begin, let’s have a quick look at this absorbing quote on the power of attitude by Charles R. Swindoll.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.
(1) Learn To Take Responsibility For Your Life.
At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure – Erin Cummings.
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. Carl Gustav Jung
In addressing the subject of accepting responsibility for your life, there are many parallels I can draw between how we react to events in life and what happens in the world of football. In football, when a team plays well against another team and deservedly wins the football match, the teams is happy, so everyone takes the credit for the win. But on a bad day when the team doesn’t turn up for a match, plays badly and then loses to a better opponent, the referee takes the blame for poor officiating – it’s never the team’s fault! In the same way, we all tend to be over the moon when we succeed at anything but just when have bad breaks or encounter failure, we tend to zone out the blame for our mistakes to others when it’s obvious we are culpable.
But the truth is that chance or anyone else only accounts for 10% of what happens to us while we are solely responsible for the 90%. You are the one in control, the one in the driving seat of your life, responsible for any direction your life goes and what becomes of it. So if you don’t like whatever is happening to you, then it’s time to take a long hard look at the mirror – look no further than that – that it’s taking responsibility for your life and the one good way to cultivate a positive attitude in life. When you scapegoat others for the choices you make that produce the results you loath, you turn a blind eye on the real causes of your troubles – which is you! Begin today to look more closely at your choices than to others when you fail. Accepting full responsibility for your life by taking the blame for the things that happen to you. This is a far more productive habit than passing the buck. And the more you do this, you’d understand yourself more, do more self-analysis and make better choices that produce happy outcomes in your life. It’s self-defeating to be involved in the blame game. Don’t!
(2) Develop A Thick Skin For Criticism.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. Elbert Hubbard.
Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people. Tena Desae.
Online I see people committing “social media suicide” all the time by one of two ways. Firstly by responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own, and by responding to things that don’t warrant a response. This lends more credibility by driving traffic – Timothy Ferriss.
You can’t take from anyone their right to have an opinion. Sometimes people’s opinion about you will contradict your true nature or what you know or believe about yourself. But never stress about it. Let people say what they will about you but don’t give them the joy of seeing you brooding over it. Toughen up! Everyone has their critics, even prominent figures are not spared here. If you look at the news headlines any day, there’s is always a public figure being bashed and some of it, vicious and untrue. Jane Austen the prolific writer was once criticized by Mark Twain for the way she wrote Pride and Prejudice but she didn’t say a word about it. In fact when people do criticize you, it’s a sign that you are doing something right. The key then to having a positive attitude in life is not letting criticism get to your heart. If it ever does, you’d fly into a rage, break momentum with your set goals and ultimately poison your mood and spirit. Whenever you’re getting bashed by anyone, ask yourself this question, “Do I really respect the opinion of this person criticizing me? If you don’t, then you’d be better off not answering back.
(3) Make Letting Go An Active Part Of Your Life
The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead. It is over. It is gone. It is done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!. Shannon L Alder
True Forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience”. – Oprah Winfrey.
Pain is just an aspect of life, and there is hardly anyone, rich or poor, young or old who hasn’t been through pain of some kind. It hurts. We know that. But what happened to you is not as important as how you react and feel about it. For most of us, we have a hard time letting go of our pain. It’s kind of worse if the pain had been caused by someone in the past, since that would make us feel almost as if we are the ones losing forgiving them. So we promise ourselves we’d make them pay for what they’d done to us by keeping our hurt in. Every day we wake up, we try to rehash and replay the details of that unfortunate incident – and it stirs all kinds of rotten emotions, anger, frustration, disappointment and what not. But unknown to us, we are getting ourselves even more traumatized attempting to recreate the pain of a bitter past experience. What’s more, it keeps us forever rooted to the past while yet perpetuating the cycle of pain and suffering in our live. Life is moving forwards but when you refuse to let go, to forgive and forget, you deny this amazing life. Why not get over the pain already? Letting go of your past hurts and emotional scars is a tremendous way to start cultivating a positive attitude to life in the now and future. You’ll never know peace and happiness until you learn to consciously forgive yourself and others for past wrongs. There’re varying ways you could give vent to your hurtful feelings. You can either share them with a trusted friend, confront the other person or get it out of your mind by writing it down on paper.
(4) Spend Time Alone
The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates.
It’s shocking the way we live life in most societies today. The way we live life has come to have a certain resemblance with driving on the German Autobahn (a word for the German highway, where cars drive so fast and there are no speed limits). Our daily lives are a race against time. How could we be blamed anyway? We were born into this after all. From kindergarten through high school and through college, our lives are ever on a fast-track, we never pause to think for even a minute what exactly our lives are really about. For each one of us, there’s always an invisible train to catch. We hurry out of the house to work, get back home late, microwave dinner, hurry off to bed and on goes the cycle. We rarely ever realize we are actually Alive until we reach the very end of our lives. What a way to live life! Maybe William Wordsworth was right after all, “the world is too much with us!” If we keep dashing through life the way we are doing today, we’d burn ourselves out and in the end, it’ll dawn on us we never really lived. Why is that? Because when are always having to hurry through life, we’ll never have time alone, never find time to look inward, dream a little bit more, find the answers to some of the big questions of life and maybe discover our purpose and live life to the fullest. One day, we’d wake up depressed from the feeling that we are going nowhere with our lives besides the humdrum repetitive daily existence we call a life and then we might want out. Finding happiness in life is by no means a Utopian ideal. It’s for real! And it’s what paves the way for that positive attitude we all desire in life. It’s just natural to feel buoyed and expectant when you know your life has meaning.
Now is the time to step off the speedy fast-lane of life in the 21st century, so you can have more time to yourself; to ruminate, to confront your fears and doubts, to evaluate your life, and to watch your whole life unravel before you. Learn to embrace the silence each morning you wake, find a quiet place outside the reach of friends and the modern-day distractions and for a few minutes, allow yourself think. It’s the moment to reach out to your soul, that inner voice, to reconnect with your inner navigational system and to know what it is you want in life. And in that very moment, you are at one with yourself and a positive attitude is born.
(5) Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude
Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. Wayne Dyer.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a home, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie.
Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice. – Joseph B. Wirthlin.
For all the magic of thinking big and dreaming big, neglecting to be thankful for the little things you already have can create a negative attitude in your life that’d ensure your lofty thoughts never have tangibility. There’s really no harm in wanting more of course, and in reaching out for more in life – Actually, I’m a big fan. But never let yourself fall into the habit of taking things for granted – even the tiniest. You won’t ever develop a positive attitude to life that way. In an earlier article on the ways to finding happiness in life, we explained how expressing gratitude rewires the brain to think positively by helping us focus more on the things that are going for us. According to Zig Ziglar, by expressing gratitude for the things that we already have, we’ll have even more to express more gratitude for. Begin today to appreciate every good thing that has come your way, it could be about having a job, a roof over your head, a family to go home to, including the people who have had a positive influence on your life. That’s one sure way to cultivate a positive attitude in life. Sometimes wake up in the morning and surprise someone who has offered you help or shown you kindness by writing them heartfelt thank-you notes. We are never short of things to be thankful for. Each morning you can take the five-minute exercise by writing a list of the 10 things you are most grateful for.
(6) Be Enthusiastic About Life
Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill.
It disgusts me the way success is rated and celebrated nowadays. Most success stories we hear today tend to explain away the place of both grit and unvarnished enthusiasm as the recipes for success. Successful people are presented as amazingly gifted individuals with no shortage of luck for whom breakthroughs come effortlessly and with an equally admirable penchant for making it big on their first try. Most of the success stories we hear have been edited to obviate the strike outs nearly all successful people record in their attempts to succeed. If they weren’t, these stories would have sure lost their appeal and gloss to the unsuspecting public. We know Edison invented the light bulb one way or the other, but are we still told how many times he failed at inventing it? That’s like 1000 fails. Roger Federer may hold the record for the most grand slams by any man in history – 18. But do we hear he has also lost 10 major finals? Just think of any celebrated person you know now and try to dig in deeper into their personal stories and you’d discover that they’ve tasted many failures at different times. Stories like these tell us that It takes only enthusiasm to keep anyone going even in the face of dreadful failures. While successful people may partly put down their successes to their giftedness and hard work, however, their enthusiasm about life plays a far bigger role. Success is a real test of endurance, it’s about failing many times and to yet still keep hanging in there. Failing is just as much a part of life as success is. But enthusiasm makes all the difference in whether you quit after your first failure or stay put to eventually taste victory. Whatever it is you desire to succeed at in life, whether it’s making your first million buck, landing your dream job, going to college, you need enthusiasm to energize you to keep going until you breast the tape of accomplishment.
To develop a super positive attitude, you need to be enthusiastic about life. How do you do this?
Find something your most passionate about in life and by doing it, your enthusiasm and drive will come alive. Make every effort to stay positive through thick and thin. Avoid dwelling on your mistakes. When you do make mistakes, find out why and fix it.
(7) Surround Yourself With Positive People.
I believe you know what the sky is really like on a cloudy day. It’s black, gloomy, leaden and cheerless. You might have this very same experience being around joyless and negative people. They suck up sunlight from your life and give back nothing but gloom. It’s all they have to offer and who could blame them for it?
To cultivate a positive attitude in life, instead find and surround yourself with only the right type of friends who are positive, whom you admire, truly inspire you and challenge you to succeed and be a better person. Being surrounded by equally positive and cheerful people, could prove amazingly infectious, by helping you share their positive attitudes and outlook to life.
(8) Stop Criticizing
Whether you are a parent, an employer, or a teacher or anyone else in charge of other people, you’d know by now that criticism when not constructive but hateful, malicious or lavish serves no other purpose other than breed’s resentment in the hearer – it’s demoralizing. But in actual fact, it seems the habit of criticizing others does far more harm to the one criticizing than the one to whom it’s directed. Yes, it actually does! When you get into the habit of always lashing out at everyone around you, you are bound to always find fault with everything, speak ill of everyone and be no less critical of yourself. A habit like this, could well lead to poor self-esteem, or worse, turn you into a spiteful and judgmental person. But isn’t that the other side of being positive? Certainly! If you are really serious about cultivating a positive attitude to life then this is a habit to stay clear of. It’ll make you negative. Avoid criticizing others but if you must admonish them when they misbehave, be tactful about it.
(9) Take Up A Hobby.
Life is full of many things that fail to go according to plan. Oops! Expect disappointments and more mood spoilers. You think I am being negative for saying this? Not at all. Nothing however planned is failproof. Since we live in a world that’s beyond our control, it’s more than likely there are going to be unforeseeable events in life that could happen and completely snag your future plans. And the key to staying positive in such trying moments is being able to handle discouraging events without letting them ruin your buoyant mood. To do that, take time to find something that really turns you on even in difficult times. It maybe a passion or hobby outside work that you can get so lost in doing that you don’t notice time pass by. In addition, it could also be a genuine means of escapism by helping you get your mind off the reality of difficult experiences. A hobby could help you cope and get through just about anything life throws your way. Over the years there’ve been stories of billionaires who had lost half their fortunes in some of the worst stock market crashes in history and the following day went golfing as if it was nothing. For most billionaires today, golfing is an irresistible passion that comforts them through tough times. And who says golfing is the only hobby you can have? Any other hobby would be just as effective. A hobby can be your sanctuary in difficult times. Take up one today.
(10) Give Up Worrying
What use is worrying when it changes nothing? It’s been scientifically proven that being a worrywart in life poses far more problems for both your mental and physical health than it solves. When in “worrying mode” your body responds by releasing stress hormones which act as triggers to all kinds of negative reactions you certainly don’t want. It speeds up your heart rate, unsettles your peace of mind, and causes anxiety, or worse, leads to insomnia and depression. Worrying is toxic for your mood and health. Worrying constantly puts you in a negative or disturbing state of mind where you’re always expecting the worse to happen. It’ll also rob you of your peace of mind and keep you from enjoying the moment. Stop worrying about the past, present or future. Instead expect things to all come out in the wash. Stay positively expectant, no matter what. Expect only good things to happen. If something bothers you, focus more on how to fix it but if you can’t, worrying about it won’t do you any good. You’ll become more optimistic in attitude only when you can give up worrying.
(11) Don’t Watch Any More News Than You Actually Need.
Did you notice how I phrased this point? It didn’t say give up watching the news entirely. That would be a pretty outrageous thing to suggest since we still need to stay a little updated on events happening where we live. Sometimes in watching the news, you may be notified of a likely event that could threaten your safety or of those around you and to take steps well in advance in avoiding it. But only watch such news that satisfies your need for awareness and no more. The news headlines are filled with way too many glooms and tragedies that could make you really dumpish if you watch them too often. Whenever you tune in on the morning or late news, there’s always a potential downer hitting the headlines. It may be an earthquake rendering many homeless, a terrorist attack killing hundreds or a ghastly automobile accident. By watching too much news, you’re being constantly updated with negativity which could unavoidably permeate your whole life. You don’t want that, right? Then deliberately give the headlines a miss sometimes.
(12) Say Only What Helps
You will never rise to a level higher than what comes out of your mouth. Author unknown.
My words will be a balm not a deadly arrow. Author unknown
Who you see in the mirror each morning you stand before it says a lot more about the person you really are than what others make out of your selfies. What you think and say about yourself is far more important than what anyone else thinks about you. Your success or failure in life is not so much a function of who is with or against you as your own stance in it. You are the real decider of what becomes of your life. It’s your own stance that matters. You are the one whose stand everyone has been waiting for. Are you for or against yourself?
Sometimes we worry too much about what damage the things others say might actually do to us. Whereas, our lives are way more susceptible to the things we say to ourselves in our own closets. “Why do I keep misplacing my car keys?” “I’m such a Klutz!” “Why do I always say the wrong things to people?” “I’m such a moron!”, “I flunked the test again?” “Maybe I’m just not good enough”. Most of us entertain these self-defeating thoughts without realizing for a fleeting second, the psychological harm they’re doing to us. For each time you harbor negative thoughts in your life, you let yourself down. Why not support yourself instead and see your whole life light up. “I failed, but with more practice under my belt, I know I’d do better next time”, “I know said the wrong thing there”, “Maybe if I’d just work on myself, I could improve” From here on out, say only what helps. Only what makes you better. Stop rubbishing yourself. Stop running yourself down. Become an Eleanor Roosevelt instead who chose to light candles than curse the darkness. Think positive. Talk positive. Stay positive. And be positive. Always.
You’ll only develop a super positive attitude in life if you’re willing to have a major paradigm shift confession-wise. Every morning you wake, look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself just how unique you are. Lovely face, fantastic attitude, phenomenal man or woman and a stunning example of an exceptional human being. Forget the others, you are The Real Deal. Tell yourself the slogan “I’m not perfect but I’m limited edition”. Be Larger Than Life.
Positive affirmations work, OK.
To conclude, ensure you find the time to integrate these tips on developing a positive attitude into your daily routine. Each day, think thoughts and take such actions that only allow for a positive attitude. Have nothing to do some of the bad habits we’ve listed above as they only pave the way for negative attitudes that could wreck your life, work and relationships.