Positive Thinking – No Matter the Circumstances
Where I live in northwest Argentina, it's pretty easy to have a positive outlook on life. We have 320+ days of sunny weather each year! I have the good fortune to live among some of the most agreeable people I’ve found.
Truth be told though, you can have a positive outlook on life regardless of your environmental circumstances. It might take a little more effort if your surroundings are less pleasant. Nonetheless, your thoughts drive your attitude.
Allow your thoughts to drift into negative territory, and your attitude will drift with them. If you're conscious about thinking positive thoughts, your attitude becomes positive.
This can be difficult to do. It's worth it!
Here we'll examine some ways to improve your outlook, regardless of your physical circumstances. We'll look in on some advice by Dr. Carmen Harra, a relationship expert. And we’ll discuss other ideas about building a positive attitude.
What's the Biggest Factor in Your Outlook on Life?
In this article, Dr. Harra offers a long list of positive affirmations which can help you change your attitude. When something in your life has you feeling negative, try them. You can practice them in front of a mirror. A great time to do this is soon after you get up in the morning.
Think it Doesn't Make a Difference? Try This!
Stand in front of a mirror and recite any of the statements she suggests. While you’re repeating the script, try to frown. It's almost impossible!
Try the opposite. Say something negative, like "Life's a bitch - especially today". Then try to smile while you say the negative thing. Also very difficult!
Everything You Say Affects How You Feel
The affirmations suggested by Dr. Harra are very obviously designed to be uber-rosy. They have the desired effect of uplifting one's attitude.
Many ways of speaking in the normal course of conversation can be very important in your attitude. Especially important is your self-talk.
Negative words such as "can't", "won't", "not", "but", "bad" all have the effect of turning the speaker's attitude negative. It broadcasts a negative message, affecting all within earshot, including yourself.
Little, seemingly unimportant, things like saying "please remember to..." instead of "please don't forget to..." make a difference. Instead of saying, "I don't have time to do X", try saying, "Y is more important now".
The positive reminder is good for everyone's tranquility, and it's more effective. A verb forms an action idea in the mind. The "not" concept is difficult for the subconscious mind to interpret. The mind hears only the verb. So when you say "don't forget", the mind hears the verb "forget", but ignores the "not".
Correcting these Negative Tendencies is Difficult - And So Worth it!
Any time you set out to change a habit, you have to work at it. It takes practice and careful discipline to learn to replace negatives with positives. You must pay close attention to your words. It's easy at first to slip back into old habits of making negative comments. When you catch yourself saying something negative, be aware of it - and correct it. The effort is worth it!
How about dealing with negative people in your life? My advice is - avoid them as much as possible. Absolutely refuse to argue with them - just ignore their negative comments. If the situation demands a response, stay calm and strive to turn the tone of the conversation positive.
Trying not to Make Mistakes? There's a Better Way!
For several years I worked as Chief Pilot for a small air-freight company. When I took the position, we'd had a spate of "ground strikes".
Freight ramps have many obstacles - loading equipment, aircraft tugs, etc. We had numerous instances of propellers or wingtips striking obstacles. The result: damage, delays - all major hindrances to good business. Management’s reaction had been increasingly harsh reprimands and disciplinary action. This treatment caused the pilots to adopt an attitude of "trying not to make mistakes". See the negativity in that?
We started talking about visualizing the successful outcome of each mission. As the pilots prepared for their missions each night, I encouraged them to focus on the desired result. See the airplane parked safely at its destination - aircraft, cargo, and personnel all safe and intact.
A dramatic turnabout!
In just a few months the record improved dramatically. At the beginning we had an incident or two per month. With the change in focus we went quickly to having several months between incidents. A year later, ground strikes were so infrequent as to drop off management's "high priority" list.
So, think about how you think, and how you talk, especially to yourself - it can make all the difference!