When you open your eyes in the morning, do you think, “This is going to be a great day.”? Or do you ask yourself, “I wonder what’s going to go wrong today?”
In my opinion, the way you approach each day – from your personal interactions to your attitude at work – has a direct effect how you live your life. If you have a positive attitude, the good things that happen to you are magnified, and the bad things and challenges don’t seem as overwhelming.
Is this “Pollyanna” approach to life naive? Perhaps, but it’s been my experience that, with a positive attitude, life can be much richer and more fulfilling.
When my father passed away a few years ago, I was grief stricken. Being an only child, I didn’t have other family members for support (other than my wife, children and in-laws). At first, I was feeling sorry for myself, focusing on the fact that I would no longer have any more time with my dad. But what sustained me through this trying time was positive thinking: I started to focus on all of the good times I spent with my father and what a caring/sharing person he was. I was blessed to have this man in my life and started looking at things from a positive point of view. I thought about all the time I had with him while he was alive, rather than the time I would miss now that he was gone.
The point I am trying to make is this: Even though many people feel powerless in today’s world – that they don’t have control over their own destiny or the things that directly affect their happiness – we do have control over how we approach life. I find happiness in the simple things, and it’s amazing how empowering it can be. In America, we have so much, but we are always talking about what we don’t have: a new car, a new job, or the latest gadget. I think true happiness can be found by appreciating the people and things you already have in your life.
We all have problems and disappointments. However, our jobs, our relationships, our day-to-day choices can be manipulated by positivity. With a negative outlook, a problem is just one in a string of many more to come – with no end in sight. What’s the point in resolving it if something else is just going to come along? But if you’re a positive person, you will be optimistic that you will solve the problem and resolve the disappointment by taking action to do so.
Try it for yourself: When you wake up tomorrow, take a moment to be thankful for another day and imagine that it’s the first day of the rest of your life. I’m going to do something that matters and make a difference (even if it’s a small one).
And the next time you start thinking negatively, try to focus on someone or something that makes you happy. This isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort. You may be surprised at how things work out.