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Be Positive!

One of the most powerful tools I possess is my positive attitude. When I talk to people about the importance of being positive, many of them try to wriggle their way out of it by saying that we can’t always be happy, and we can’t always be upbeat and optimistic. They try to excuse their negativity, pessimism, and moodiness by saying it’s impossible to always be smiling. Having a positive attitude to things doesn’t mean you are automatically happy all the time. I’m not (despite what others may think). The fact that I choose to see the positive whenever possible, to look at tomorrow with optimism, and to smile a lot doesn’t mean that I’m constantly in a state of bliss and that everything always goes as I want it to, and that I’ve had the easiest of lives so far. I’m not, it doesn’t, and I haven’t.  But I choose not to complain, not to lament what I don’t have, and not to blame my past for what isn’t working out now in my life –  I choose to see life differently. I know this will help me achieve more from everything I do. I have found that the only way to thrive, to develop, and to succeed is by focusing not on what goes wrong – the obstacles, the problems and the bad luck – but rather on how I face these situations. Facing adversity with negativity will only produce more adversity or simply delay any solution or positive outcome. Instead, I’ve found that  facing adversity with a positive attitude speeds up a positive outcome, and in many situations augments that very outcome.

When I talk about being positive, I’m not referring to always being the life and soul of the party or always being joyful – this is impossible. Being positive does not have to mean that everything is going smoothly – it’s an attitude, a state of mind.
Many people also explain their negative attitude by saying that they need to be able to have a critical outlook on work issues. Having a positive attitude doesn’t affect your critical thinking, on the contrary in fact – it starts you off from a positive vantage point and enables you to see every possible scenario. Remember: a negative attitude tends to cloud other options, whereas a positive one simply clears your vision.
And for any of you, who are thinking that it’s not your fault that you have a negative outlook on life, think again. Don’t think it’s that easy. As with anything else, we ourselves decide what our habits are. Just as we get in the habit of smoking, nail biting, or any other bad habit, we can also get in the habit of adopting a negative attitude. This is just as easy as it is to take up beneficial habits – regular exercise, healthy eating, and yes, a positive attitude.  As with anything, habit forming is something we do consciously at first, until it becomes a habit.
 
I have, over my 42 years, adopted a host of bad habits, and have later on learned to exchange them for better choices; it’s all a matter of becoming aware of it and making the change. It’s never too late to change your attitude, and it can only bring you positive outcomes, professionally, personally, physically, and mentally. This is not to say that I never revert to my old ways – it’s normal to occasionally react negatively – I do from time to time, particularly when I’ve just been dealt a good dose of misfortune. But after I let off steam – rant a little, shed a tear or two perhaps – I consciously bring myself to think about how I’m reacting, and ask myself if this attitude will help me or not. I ask myself what would I say to someone attending one of my programmes…this never fails to shake some sense into me, and re-direct me towards a more beneficial outlook. Remember, its not what you do every single second that counts, its what you do, how you act, and how you think the majority of the time that makes a difference in your life. 

Be Positive – Be Excellent!

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