Steps to building a positive attitude
During childhood, we form attitudes that last a lifetime. Undoubtedly, it would be a lot easier and better to have acquired a positive attitude during our formative years. Does that mean if we acquire a negative attitude, whether by design or by default, we are stuck with it? Of course not. Can we change? Yes. Is it easy? Absolutely not.
How do you build and maintain a positive attitude?
- Become aware of the principles that build a positive attitude
- Desire to be positive
- Cultivate the discipline and dedication to practice those principles
As adults, regardless of our environment, education and experience, who is responsible for our attitude?
We are. We have to accept responsibility some time in our lives. We blame everyone and everything but ourselves. It is up to us to choose our attitude every morning. As adults, we need to accept responsibility for our behavior and actions.
People with negative attitudes will blame the whole world, their parents, teachers, spouse, the economy and the government for their failures.
You have to get away from the past. Dust yourself off, get back into the mainstream. Put your dreams together and move forward. Thinking of the positive things that are true, honest and good, will put us in a positive state of mind.
If we want to build and maintain a positive attitude, we need to consciously practice the following steps:
Step 1: Change Focus, Look for the Positive
We need to become good finders. We need to focus on the positive in life. Let’s start looking for what is right in a person or situation instead of looking for what is wrong. Because of our conditioning, we are so attuned to finding fault and looking for what is wrong that we forget to see the positive picture.
Even in paradise, fault finders will find faults. Most people find what they are looking for. If they are looking for friendship, happiness and the positive, that is what they get. If they are looking for fights or indifference, then that is what they get. Caution looking for the positive does not mean overlooking faults.
Negative People will Always Criticize
Some people criticize no matter what. It does not matter which side you are on, they are always on the other side. They have made a career out of criticizing. They are “career critics.” They criticize as if they will win a prize at a contest. They will find fault with every person and every situation. You will find people like this in every home, family, office.
They go around finding fault and telling everybody how bad things are and blaming the whole world for their problems. We have a name for these people. They are called energy suckers. They will go to the cafeteria and drown themselves in 20 cups of tea and coffee and smoke to their hearts’ content with one excuse: they are trying to relax. All that they are doing is causing more tension for themselves and for others around them.
They spread negative messages like a plague and create an environment conducive to negative results.
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. On the banks of the Hudson River he was displaying his new invention. The pessimists and the skeptics were gathered around to observe. They commented that it would never start. Lo and behold, it did. As it made its way down the river, the pessimists who said it would never go, started shouting that it would never stop. What an attitude!
SOME PEOPLE ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE NEGATIVE
There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world. That could walk on water . He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this miracle. At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends.
He invited a friend to go duck hunting. After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day-long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about his amazing dog, but never got one. As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog. The friend replied, “Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can’t swim.”
Some people always look at the negative side. Who is pessimist? Pessimists
- are unhappy when they have no troubles to speak
- feel bad when they feel good, for fear they will feel worse when they feel better
- spend most of their life at complaint counters
- always turn out the lights to see how dark it is
- are always looking for cracks in the mirror of life
- stop sleeping in bed when they hear that more people die in bed than anywhere else
- cannot enjoy their health because they think they may be sick tomorrow
- not only expect the worst but make the worst of whatever happens
- don’t see the doughnut, only the hole
- believe that the sun shines only to cast shadows
- forget their blessings and count their troubles
- know that hard work never hurts anyone but believe “why take a chance?”
Step 2: Make a Habit of Doing It Now
We have all procrastinated at some time in our lives. I know I have, only to have regretted it later. Procrastination leads to a negative attitude. The habit of procrastination fatigues you more than the effort it takes to do it.
A completed task is fulfilling and energizing; an incomplete task drains energy like a leak from a tank.
If you want to build and maintain a positive attitude, get into the habit of living in the present and doing it now.
Step 3: Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Count your blessings, not your troubles. Take time to smell the roses. It is not uncommon to hear that someone, because of an accident or illness, became blind or paralyzed but won a million dollars in settlement. How many of us would like to trade places with that person? Not many. We are so focused on complaining about things we don’t have that we lose sight of the things we have. There is a lot to be thankful for.
When I say count your blessings, not your troubles, the message is not to become complacent. If complacence was the message you got, then I would be guilty of faulty communication and you of selective listening.
Step 4: Get into a Continuous Education Program
Let’s get some myths out of the way. It is a general belief that we get educated in schools and colleges. I run seminars in many different countries and ask my audiences all the time, “Do we really get educated in schools and colleges?” Generally, there is a consensus that some do but most don’t. We receive a lot of information in schools and colleges. Don’t get me wrong. We do need information to be educated. But we need to know the true meaning of education.
Intellectual education influences the head and values based education influences the heart. In fact, education that does not train the heart can be dangerous. If we want to build character in our offices, homes and society, we must achieve a minimum level of moral and ethical literacy. Education that builds fundamental traits of character–such as honesty, compassion, courage, persistence and responsibility–is absolutely essential.
We don’t need more academic education; we need more values education. I would stress that a person who is morally educated will be a lot better equipped to move up in life or succeed than a morally bankrupt person with excellent academic qualifications.
Character building and teaching values and ethics come in the formative years because a child is not born with this knowledge.
What is the moral of the story?
- Many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment.
- A person may have high intelligence but poor judgment.
- Choose your advisers carefully and use your judgment.
- A person can and will be successful with or without formal education if they have the 5
Cs: character , commitment, conviction , courtesy, courage
- The tragedy is that there are many walking encyclopedias who are living failures.
Step 5: Build a Positive Self-Esteem
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. When we feel good within, our performance goes up, our relationships improve both at home and at work. The world looks nicer. What is the reason? There is a direct correlation between feeling and behavior.
How Do We Build Positive Self-Esteem?
If you want to build positive self-esteem quickly, one of the fastest ways is to do something for others who cannot repay you in cash or kind.
Step 6: Stay Away from Negative Influences
Today’s teenagers learn from adult behavior and the media. They face peer pressure. Peer pressure is not just limited to teenagers, it is also prevalent in adults. It shows a lack of self-esteem when people do not have the courage to say “No, thank you,” and stay away from negative influences: What are the negative influences?