A positive attitude is difficult to maintain when life isn’t easy but it is integral in remaining healthy and well. I believe that positivity boils down to hope. I work with many clients whose lives are very difficult, day in and day out, resources are low, energy is low, money is tight and yet some of them remain hopeful. With hope, we can remember that things will eventually get better. With hope we can continue to try to make our lives better.
A positive attitude starts with knowing things change. We must remember that EVERYTHING changes, and nothing stays the same. The trick is to make it through a phase or a moment that is difficult to the best of our abilities and wait for the change. We can do all we can to assist in creating change but sometimes, we just have to wait for time to change our experience. Time, and specifically change, can give us a new perspective, a new situation, and new way of being.
A positive attitude also must include trust. A trust in life being what it must be, a trust in the cardinal rule, if we are a good people, we will end up with gifts. A trust in life being downright difficult sometimes, a trust that suffering sometimes is part of living, that without challenges we do not know what success is. We must trust that what is supposed to be will be, we must trust that when we do our best, that is all that we can do.
A positive attitude is shaped by those we choose to be around. We must surround ourselves with others who remain positive. We must find those people that continue to try, continue to push forward, continue to search for solutions, and continue with all their might to avoid negativity. In order to remain positive we must be around thinkers, doers, believers, and supporters. If we are forced to be around someone who is negative, a boss at work, a retail store attendant, a taxi cab driver, we must do everything in our power to acknowledge their negativity, avoid absorbing it or taking it personally and most importantly remind them of our boundaries and limits. We must remind the negative individuals in our life that we, internally, regardless of their attempts to hand us their negativity, will not accept it.
A positive attitude must include focusing on small gifts when nothing else is going right. When things get hard, we must focus on having a new day every day, on the sunshine, on laughter of others, on the little things we can do to reframe our thoughts. When it rains, instead of thinking how bad the rain is because we wanted to go to the park, we must focus on what we would want to do if we wanted it to rain. When we don’t get a promotion at work, we must focus on where else in our lives we can give ourselves a personal promotion. When we are sad and angry, we must problem solve to find small ways we can improve our mood.
A positive attitude must include goals and direction. Sometimes they will seem unachievable and unrealistic but thinking about our goals and dreams will make us feel better even if we can’t achieve them now. Focusing on the future, when things will change and be better, will take our minds off the moment of disappointment. We must know where we are heading even if we don’t know how we can possibly get there. We must know where we wish we could end up even if at this moment it seems we will never get there. Sometimes we just need to force ourselves to dream of a better day in order to make it through this day.
Positivity doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen easily. Keeping a positive attitude takes effort and commitment. It requires vigilance and consistent energy. Positivity dictates our every moment and the way we interpret our life events. Although it is hard sometimes to remain positive, it is worth the effort. When we work towards remaining positive, we will be repaid over and over again with experiencing even the most difficult life experiences more easily. Keeping a positive attitude will sometimes be the hardest thing you will have to do. I promise in the end though, when your challenges have subsided, you will be thankful you remained positive as you will be stronger, smarter, and more compassionate for having experienced all of life’s gifts including its most difficult challenges with positivity.