Living with a positive mental attitude usually starts off with a choice to have a positive mental attitude. Remember that when we were children, we had a built-in positive mental attitude, but sadly, with all of the negative influences around us including the media and those in our everyday surroundings, we very soon can get stuck in the negative mindset mentality, along with around 95% of the population.
Most people stay there for their entire lives, which is something that may be difficult for a positive person to contemplate. For many, living like this would be almost a fate worse than death. So by choosing to live with a positive mental attitude, we decide that we want to begin living in such a way that we don’t ever have to consciously try to be positive. Instead, it becomes our natural, default state of mind.
There are several techniques or strategies you can follow in order to live with a positive mental attitude, and when you begin to apply some or all of these strategies, you will begin to see positive changes in your life. Some are subtle, and others might just blow you away!
Try one or all of these strategies over the next week or even the next month, and make a note of the difference it makes to your life over that period of time:
1. Miracle Day
Pick a day over the next week in which you are going to live your own “Miracle Day”. Your miracle day will be a day where you will pretend from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep that night, that your life is exactly how you want it to be.
You will pretend that all of your goals have been achieved, you are living your dream, and life is perfect. Life is absolutely the way you always wanted it to be. Throughout this day, while you are pretending your life is exactly the way you want it to be, you will begin to notice subtle changes around you that you may never have noticed before, such as:
• The people around you such as your family or friends and co-workers may act differently around you. Some may comment about your new attitude to life.
• You will notice some of the good things around you that have always been there but you had just never taken the time to notice.
• You will walk taller with a spring in your step, and feel more energetic.
• You will feel more confident.
• You will smile more.
• You will have a wonderful sense of wellbeing.
At the end of this day before you go to bed, be sure to write down all of the positive things that you noticed about your day. Write down how people reacted to your change in attitude, and also write down how you felt throughout the day.
Think about how you felt. Were problems that were there before less of a problem? Did some issues seem to disappear? Write it all down, in as much detail as you possibly can.
You will very quickly realize as you write these things down how changing your inner attitude changed the world outside of yourself. This is an amazing realization and one that will live with you for the rest of your life, if you choose to let it.
2. Gratitude Journal
To attract more positive things in your life, you first must be grateful for all that you have.
Showing gratitude for all that you have is another way to see all of the positives in your life, so whilst something negative may have happened recently, you probably still have your health, a roof over your head, food on the table, and friends and family around you that love you. As you know, there are people who don’t have any of this.
In fact, there are probably millions upon millions of people who would give everything they had, to live just one day of your life.
So, to start your day off on a positive footing, dig out a notebook that you will call your Gratitude Journal, and write down at least five things that you are grateful for in your life. This could be anything from the beautiful sunny weather, to the family you have close to you, to the house that you live in. Anything is possible here.
This automatically changes your attitude for the rest of the day because you have started off thinking about all of the good things in your life and how grateful you are for them.
3. Step into the Other Person’s Shoes
Everybody does what they do with a positive intention. What I mean by this is that when people do things, they do them for the benefit of themselves or somebody else. They believe that from their perspective, what they are doing is right – even if what they are doing is actually wrong.
For example, in the case of a marriage breakup there will always be one party blaming the other. But put yourself in each of their shoes, and you may see things from a completely different perspective. He might be blaming her for being cold and unloving, and she might be angry that he was never home.
The truth could be that he never came home because she was cold and unloving, but she was this way because he never came home! So neither party to the couple is “right” but are they also both “wrong”? As you can see, there is always another point of view, which many of us fail to see.
4. Accept Things You Cannot Change & Choose Your Reaction
We all know that as people living on planet Earth we have to live with gravity. Gravity just is. We cannot control it, and must learn to live with it, whether we like it or not. If we try to fight it, we are fighting a losing battle. We simply cannot win unless we go up into space. So we have gravity and we deal with it because there is nothing we can do about it.
Sometimes in life you are going to have to face situations for which you have absolutely no control. Just as with gravity, it is how you choose to react to the situation that determines how your life is going to be. For example, if a partner dumps you for somebody else and has absolutely no intention whatsoever of going back to you, you have two choices:
1. Beg, plead, cry, curl yourself up in the fetal position on the floor and even condemn yourself to a pit of mental misery, where you might stay for the rest of your life.
2. Choose a positive reaction. Of course when a relationship ends there is a grieving process that you need to go through and of course you may feel angry. However, having a full understanding that you cannot control the situation will help you to move forward much quicker. You can choose to just accept it for what it is, learn from the experience and move forward and be grateful that you were able to love and be loved for a period of time, taking on board the lessons learned for when you meet someone new.
Obviously option 2 is the most empowering of the options. By learning from experiences in your life and moving forward from them, you will very quickly realise that life isn’t as bad as you thought it was. In fact, by harbouring this attitude, you will very likely find out that the entire situation was a mixed blessing and find yourself with a much better partner.
5. Set Goals
A great way to maintain a positive mental attitude is to regularly set compelling goals to challenge yourself and give yourself something to look forward to. Many people wish or dream they had something, but very few actually write down a compelling goal and work out a plan to achieve it.
Having a goal gives you something to focus on, even in the face of adversity. Success is not a straight road upwards, but rather a winding or a zigzag road where challenges or setbacks must be faced. These challenges or setbacks help us to grow in so many ways, but are a key to achieving success.
How many successful millionaires have you seen who have never faced a challenge or a setback? Every successful person has a compelling goal of some sort. Otherwise, how would they know where they were going? The key to setting a compelling goal is to ensure it meets specific criteria, such as a SMART goal.
A SMART goal is defined as follows:
Specific – your goal needs to be specific so that you know exactly when you have achieved it. For example, if you want to lose weight, how much you want to lose? What is your target?
Measurable – how will you track how you are going? In the weight loss example above, because you know how much weight you want to lose, it is simple to track your progress. In another situation, if you maybe want to get a new job, it might be that you have several smaller goals to achieve first. Your first goal could be to write to your job application and update your resume. Your next goal could be to apply for X number of positions over the next week, and so on.
Achievable – when you identify a goal that is really important to you, you will begin to find ways to achieve that goal. You can attain almost any goal you set, but it is important to ensure your goal is aligned with your personal values.
Realistic – whilst there is nothing wrong with wanting to dream big, it is important to understand that there are some things that are simply unrealistic. For example, wanting to become a billionaire business owner overnight, when you are currently unemployed and with no money in the bank. Of course to make the goal more realistic, it might be that you need to extend your timeframes, or break it down into much smaller goals.
Timely – all compelling goals must have a timeframe attached to them. This is to create a sense of urgency. So if you want to lose 20 pounds, by which date do you want to lose them? Or if you want to start your own business, when are you going to have it all set up?
The five strategies listed on the previous pages, are only a small drop in the ocean compared to the many things you can do in order to achieve a positive mental attitude. By applying one or even all of the strategies above, you will begin to see positive changes in your life.