“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever noticed how attractive and likeable someone is when they have a positive attitude? They have a natural tendency to look at the cup as half full, not half empty. Every situation they experience, even negative ones, turn into something they are grateful for. Positive people tend to be some of our biggest influencers in society and some of the world’s most successful people. Their special charisma comes from how they react to difficulty and challenges and how they use every experience as a stepping-stone towards a better future.
Personally, when I meet a motivational speaker or listen to someone who has achieved success, love and fulfillment; I want to get to know them better. I am drawn to them and their conversations like a magnet. I feel enlightened by their stories of hope, wisdom and passion. Recently I met a mother in the hospital, Karen, who is the primary caretaker for her 23-year-old daughter who suffers from a chronic illness. I am blown away by her outlook on life and her ability to consistently reframe every negative scenario with a positive response.
Karen covers her daughter’s walls at their home with positive messages and decorated the door to her hospital room with gigantic thankful messages to the “outstanding, unbelievable medical staff” that cares for her daughter. She spends a lot of her time in waiting rooms as her daughter has undergone over 50 surgeries in her life. Karen spends a good portion of that time researching positive messages to put on Facebook, bringing in a variety of spiritual and alternative healers to compliment her daughter’s conventional care, conferring with medical specialists and offering her support to a charitable cause tied to her daughter’s disease. Karen’s focus is what I refer to as perpetually proactive, forward thinking and that of the consummate “uplifter” never assuming the role of victim.
I observed that Karen is not in the least bit needy herself; She doesn’t martyr herself for her child but manages ways to take breaks from her intense schedule allowing friends and a volunteer to assist her so she can sustain her positive outlook and withstand the rigors of being a primary caretaker. It’s not surprising that she has so many supportive, loving friends in her life as she gives more than she receives in terms of offering strength, optimism and genuine interest in other people’s lives. Karen exemplifies the optimist; she is driven by positive goals, positive images, positive thoughts and positive, proactive behavior.
This incredible mother represents the ultimate role model for positivity; she manages the most challenging, heart wrenching circumstances and that is watching ones own child suffer day after day and year after year and remains committed to only seeing possibilities for an improved life. I can only be sure that her daughter’s unbelievable courage fighting her daily battle with her disease is partially attributed to having an optimistic mother who focuses strictly on what’s possible to change.
Many positive famous people also embody this character trait. I have interviewed a few high-profile figures who exude positivity and they admitted that they invested in coaching to train themselves on behaving positively and thereby developing a reputation and an aura of someone who is always “UP.”
How to be Positive
1. Find a topic you love to talk about
2. Always speak highly of everyone you know
3. Promise to embrace change
4. Become the one who finds the blessings in every situation
5. Wish only goodwill to your competitors
6. Encourage someone with your support
7. Offer endorsements of people you would recommend
8. Make a difference in someone’s life
9. Become a mentor
10. Live by the Optimist’s Creed
Each day make a conscious effort to be more positive. Watch, listen and learn from other people who have a positive attitude. Observe how they handle their own business or life situations. Help others see what is worthwhile in them and do the same for yourself. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Wear a smile at all times and give a smile to everyone you meet. Give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Look for opportunities to see the good in the world and become a part of the solution to problems.
Consider some of the people who have changed the way we live today from science, philosophy, religion, medicine, art, music, media and entertainment, technology and you will find people who are overwhelmingly positive. Here are some of my favorite positive thinking quotes from famous people who exemplify positivity in life: I would imagine that a great deal of their success could be attributed to their attitude towards life.
- The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill
- You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. Albert Einstein
- Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey
- A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes. Mahatma Gandhi
- I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else. Winston Churchill
- Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching? Author Unknown
- I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
- There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse
- Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. Willie Nelson
- The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. Benjamin Franklin
- Be aware of the great value of being alive. When you realize the great treasure that lies in every second of life, you will experience the great joy that is in inherent in each moment. This awareness will motivate you to utilize each moment to its fullest. Rabbi Chayim Zaitchyk
- Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence. Helen Keller
- I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. Arthur Rubinstein
- Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Anthony J. D’Angelo
The next time you meet someone who has high energy and appears to be optimistic, observe his or her personality. Are you interested in what they say? Do you feel hopeful and encouraged when you leave them? Did they inspire you to take action in something worthwhile?
The person who thinks positively usually sees endless possibilities and empowers others to feel the same. Their friends, family and others whenever someone needs to have their spirits lifted, usually call them. When someone is down or expressing negativity it’s the positive person who can step in and help motivate them to change. If you are radiating vibrant energy, other people who need a charge and who want to feel better will gravitate to you. Just by being around someone who is positive, you will start to look at your world differently and become more positive yourself. When a person refuses to allow himself to fall into despair but instead gives himself new life by finding and gathering his positive points, he becomes empowered to live more fully.
Psychologists say that positivity is a matter of habit. So all of us can benefit from practicing some of these “habits” in order to become more positive and ultimately more effective and successful in life.
Norman Vincent Peale (motivational speaker) wrote the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking” and it has been a priceless classic. He talks about the traits that positive thinkers possess and how you can adopt the same mindset.
Try this experiment, remove all negative words that end in “n’t” such as can’t, won’t, haven’t, shouldn’t, etc. Do this for at least one week and see how often you are actually saying them.
Turn off the negative thoughts and replace them with something positive. Rephrase your comments and conversations to reflect a more positive outcome. Anytime you hear yourself saying something that lowers your mood, think of a way to say it again that lifts your spirits.
1. Positive thinkers always see the big picture and they tend to be the most grateful people.
2. They do not focus on the deficits in their life and on what they’re lacking.
3. They focus on the opportunities to enjoy life in its fullest, taking note of new sites, smells, feeling and experiences.
4. Positive people are energized more by what they can do than what they can’t do. 5. They approach problems in a proactive manner; confidant that there are many solutions and possibilities.
6. They do not steer away from attempting new solutions to old problems, rather than remaining stuck in doing things the same way that isn’t effective.
7. Positive people don’t have a good day—they make it a good day!
8. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives. They are unafraid to try new things. They realize that set backs and failures are a normal part of a successful life.
9. They are resilient, bounce back following and defeat, learn from their own mistakes and never dwell on theirs or others limitations.
10. They are empowered people–they refuse to blame others and when things don’t go well they don’t perceive themselves as victims
It makes perfect sense that the more positive you become, the more likely you’ll persist in life to actualize your goals. Having a positive outlook spurs on more activity that leads to positive outcomes; ultimately no matter what the outcome of your efforts, you will find something to learn and grow from. Life’s stresses can be exacerbated by negative thinking. Positive thinking helps you replace self-doubt, stress and worry with self-confidence, happiness and peace. Practicing these positive thinking tips can help you achieve your goals and lead a happy life.
Beth Kuhel, M.B.A., C.E.I.P (Certified Employment Interview Professional)
Beth is Founder and President of Get Hired, LLC. She advises students on how to bridge the gap from school to career. Beth is the co-author of From Diploma to Dream Job: Five Overlooked Steps to a Successful Career (available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1461087082) Her coaching assists students to successfully match their needs, interests, passions, skills, and personal goals with the needs of a sustainable industry in a sustainable location. Beth is also a resource for print and online media and offers workshops for University Career Service Departments, High School Guidance Counselors and College Alumni Associations. See website for more details about Beth’s services www.fromdiploma2dreamjob.com