How we choose to start a new day can be our single most effective way to impact having a good day. Waking up with a positive outlook, hopeful about what is in store for us, excited about the myriad of possibilities will lead us down one path. Worrying about what we have to get done, anxious about having enough time to do it, confused about the best way to get it all done is an entirely different situation. And more often than not, once we start down one path, we tend to stick to it. The direction is up to each of us and the first steps we take each day will dictate which path we ultimately follow.
Once we are up and running, life tends to hit us head on and despite our best made plans and preparations, we better learn to expect the unexpected. Everything from one of the kids sick on Monday morning to excessive commute traffic on the way to work to power outages and the computers are down, count on each day being full of surprises. How we choose to deal with these surprises will again greatly influence what kind of a day we have. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity and lose the positive perspective that we started with. How can we stay positive and fend off negativity when it comes our way? It’s all about attitude.
Having a positive attitude is not some trick that can be learned by reading a book or listening to a video. The ability to stay positive in spite of all that is going on around us cannot be bought in a store. It is a lifestyle choice that requires ever-vigilant attention and consistent effort. We all know people who seem to be perpetually positive, optimistic, and energetic. Their smile is contagious and we want to bask a bit in their glow. And generally we wish to be like them – at least a little – if we somehow could. Is there a map somewhere to direct us toward that path walked by the positive people? There may not be a map but there are some hints that might help us to start the journey.
How To Have a Positive Attitude:
• When you wake up, before you get out of bed, take a moment to settle your thoughts and get into the right frame of mind. Don’t let the worry clock stock start ticking but instead take slow, even breaths and control the pace of your day. You are in charge. Do not start to fret about the past which you cannot change. And do not become overly concerned with the future which will show itself in due time. Focus on right now, this moment, and get off to a good start.
• Realize that this day is yours to live only one time. Whatever happens good or bad, at the end of 24 hours, it is done. You cannot change what happened during that time and you cannot have it back. So live each moment and appreciate the world and people around you. Be a positive influence on those you meet. It may be through your charity that they are able to overcome personal challenges they are dealing with. Sometimes it can be as simple as a smile and a friendly “hello, how is your day?”
• Make the assumption that others you come in contact with during the day are good people. Try to stay away from being judgmental and remember that everyone wants to be liked. Sometimes our lives throw us a curve ball that causes us to temporarily become someone other than who we really are. But inside, we are all good people. And an amazing side effect of treating others as good people is they tend to act as if they ARE good.
• Smile because you are happy, because you are alive, because it is a beautiful day, or for no reason at all. With a smile on your face, things just do not seem to be that bad. It is easy to do so smile whenever you have the opportunity. And just like that jolly laugh you cannot resist joining in, a smile can be contagious and you as the spreader become instrumental in not only your own happiness but that of others as well.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff. Distractions and annoyances are plentiful but don’t let the minor things get under your skin. Ask yourself if it will matter in 100 years. Turn the other cheek. If it just doesn’t matter, don’t let it undermine your resolve or distract you from staying positive.
• Be thankful for what you have, the person you are and the people that are part of your life. Nothing is forever so take time to be thankful today.
Looking out the window, I see the sunshine beginning to warm a new day. The red hibiscus plant under the window is blooming and hummingbirds are starting to make their presence known as they dart by. I have a smile on my face and I am looking forward to the day. I am thankful for what I have and appreciate those who share my life. It is going to be a wonderful day – I am positive of it!
David Bernard is a guest blogger for PickTheBrain. He is the founder of the blog Love Being Retired.
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