Building a positive attitude
When people think of having a positive attitude, they probably think it’s little more than putting a smile on their face and trying to think happy thoughts. Its deeper and more important than that.
A positive attitude is something that goes deeper and has an effect beyond surface cheer. Negative attitudes promote fear, and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes do the opposite. No one should live in a constant state of “fight or flight”, but negative attitudes create exactly that scenario.
Studies have shown that having a true positive attitude makes your view of life seem broad, full of possibilities. That view leads to actually living your life in a way that makes it natural to be exposed to and acquire new skills. (Rob Wormley)
Here are 6 ways to build a positive attitude. Where possible, I have shared some examples of how I am implementing the principle.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
Your friendships and engagements with people can help or hinder, depending on the attitude that is generally embraced. I am grateful for the team at the CFE who regularly make the choice of embracing a positive attitude. This can have a huge impact on delivery, impact and growth. Much of our achievements in the past happened in spite of challenges and over a period of time. Having a positive attitude has been key.
- Fill your mind with positive input.
There is an old adage that says “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
The quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, shows a flow from thought to destiny. Having a positive attitude starts with filtering the thoughts you allow.
- Control your language.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, (Wikipedia) suggests that the structure of language affects a person’s view of the world, and the way they think. Taken to the furthest extent, your language actually limits or delineates how you are able to perceive the world. Whilst it’s a hypothesis, on a smaller level, the language you use every day, both in thought and spoken word, has a cumulative effect on how you think about yourself, your work, and those around you.
- Create a routine for the day.
The Covid crisis entered our world in March 2020. One of the actions where I found stability, was in the creation of routine. (Writing this blog is an example). The routines we build can help forge a more positive attitude. (Another personal example is walking 3km’s a day. I find a lot of solutions and opportunities surface during this daily walk)
- Be kind to other people.
Someone suggested doing a RAK a day. The acronym RAK stands for a random act of kindness. It may be helpful to think of a RAK where there is little likelihood of it being repaid. A study in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that the memory of doing something kind for someone causes us to want to do it again. Appreciating and recognizing co-workers can also go a long way in making your day better.
- Attitude is an “inside job”. Throw the switch.
Stephen Covey talks of the 90:10 principle in his business classic, “The 7 habits of effective people”. The thing is, we can’t control only 10% of events in our lives. We can’t prevent a device from breaking or a flight from being delayed; or the petrol price from increasing. However, we can control our own reaction to such things. The other 90% of events are the result of our reactions – to put it simply, what we do when we’re stressed out.
Learning to respond and not to react takes time, character and perseverance. Yet the results can be life- changing.
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome. William James
Here’s to choosing a growth and positive attitude.