“Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”
Robert H. Schuller
One of the things that disturbed me the most on my recent trip was how many people I met who seemed to go out of their way to be unhappy. They spent far too much time trying to find out what was wrong with everything and everybody. I’ll never understand why so many people, have a negative attitude which guarantees that they will miss most of what life has to offer. I honestly think it is mostly a matter of attitude. Here is edited piece that Dani at Positively Pleasant offers on the subject.
5 Steps to a Happy Life with Positive Attitude
Step 1: Believe Happiness is a Choice
For me, this was a hard one at first. I thought that people were either unhappy or happy (and I was one of the unhappy ones). I used to blame this on all kinds of outside forces –- fate, experiences, parents, relationships –- but never really stopped to think that I could choose to be happy. Sure, this isn’t always easy, but it is always, always an option. Teaching myself to see that happiness is a choice has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.
Now when I find myself in a bad situation, I know that it’s up to me to find the good, to be happy regardless of what’s happening around me.
Step 2: Rid Your Life of Negativity
If you want to live a positive, joyful and happy life, you cannot –- absolutely CANNOT -– be surrounded by negative people who are not encouraging your happiness. When I was a pretty negative person, I tended to attract other negative people. When I decided to make the change to live a more positive life, I had to rid my life of all of the negative people in it. This, as you can imagine, wasn’t easy. Getting rid of people hurts -– even when you know they aren’t good for you or your current lifestyle.
I learned to focus on the positive things I was doing and let go of the negative ones. This process was not easy and to be honest, is still ongoing, but I know this: having negativity in your life prevents you from living a truly positive existence.
Step 3: Look For the Positive in Life
There is the positive aspect in everything. In every person, in every situation, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not all that obvious. We have to look. And sometimes we have to look hard.
The old me just sat back and allowed things to happen by default. If I saw negative, I went with that feeling. I didn’t want to look harder or think too much about the good. I found it much, much easier to sit back and just accept what I saw (which was usually the bad).
Everything –- good and bad -– is a learning experience. So, at the very least, you can learn from bad experiences. However, there’s usually even more to it than that. If you really take the time to look, you will usually find something good, something really positive, about every person or situation.
Step 4: Reinforce Positivity in Yourself
Once I started thinking more positively and adapted to a more positive attitude, I realized I had to reinforce these thoughts and behaviors in myself so they would stick. As with any sort of training, practice makes perfect, and, yes, you can practice being positive. The best and easiest way to do this is to be positive when it comes to who you are. Tell yourself you’re awesome. Tell yourself you look good. Tell yourself that you love and accept yourself completely. Tell yourself you did an awesome job at work or raising your kids or whatever it is you do.
It’s okay to not like everything about yourself (yet), but don’t spend energy dwelling on the negative. Remind yourself of the good in you. We all have positive attributes and it’s up to you to remind yourself of them every day.
Step 5: Share Happiness with Others
Not only do you need to be positive with yourself for this new positive attitude to really take effect, you also need to be positive with others. You have to share your wealth of positivity with the world. The best way I’ve found to do this is quite simple and basic: be nice. Be nice to other people, no matter what. Tell someone he or she looks nice today. Tell someone they did a great job on that presentation. Tell your parents or children (or both!) how much you love them and how great they are.
People appreciate positivity and the more you are sharing it with others, the more you are practicing it and reinforcing it in your own life.
“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”
The little church in the suburbs suddenly stopped buying from its regular office supply dealer. So, the dealer telephoned Deacon Brown to ask why. “I’ll tell you why,” said Deacon Brown. “Our church ordered some pencils from you to be used in the pews for visitors to register.”
“Well,” interrupted the dealer, “didn’t you receive them yet?”
“Oh, we received them all right,” replied Deacon Brown. “However, you sent us some golf pencils…each stamped with the words, ‘Play Golf Next Sunday’.”
A rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy: “So your mother says your prayers for you each night? Very commendable. What does she say?”
The little boy replied, “Thank God he’s in bed!”
Daddy, where did I come from?” the seven-year-old asked.
It was a moment for which her parents had carefully prepared. They took her into the living room, got out the encyclopedia and several other books, and explained all they thought she should know about sexual attraction, affection, love, and reproductions. Then they both sat back and smiled contentedly.
“Does that answer your question?” her father asked.
“Not really,” the little girl said. “Marcia said she came from Detroit. I want to know where I came from.”
Time may be a great healer but it’s also a lousy beautician.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I feel miserable because I have to keep writing for money. I feel ashamed and unhappy. I have to ask for another hundred, but every cell in my body rebels. I beg on bended knee that you forgive me.
Your son, Marvin.
P.S. I felt so terrible, I ran after the mailman who picked this up in the box at the corner. I wanted to take this letter and burn it. I prayed that I could get it back. But it was too late.”
A few days later he received a letter from his father. It said,
“Your prayers were answered.
Your letter never came!”
“Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”
– Groucho Marx
The first morning after the honeymoon, the husband got up early, went down to the kitchen, and brought his wife her breakfast in bed. Naturally, she was delighted.
Then he spoke: “Have you noticed just what I have done?”
“Of course, dear. Every single detail!”
“Good. That’s how I want my breakfast served every morning.”
“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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