It’s no secret that success, and happiness for that matter, are closely tied to having a positive attitude. Unlike the chicken and egg debate (which comes first?) a healthy and positive attitude will always precede, both happiness and success. Establishing and maintaining a positive attitude is challenging because let’s face it, it’s easier to let circumstances and fate dictate how we react and allow those things to influence our attitude, and now more than ever there is an onslaught of negative events and circumstances attacking our mental wellbeing. However, by taking control of how we respond to circumstances and events, and by taking a few proactive measures we can protect our attitudes. Over the past few months like many of you, my attitude has been shaken and challenged. Here are four simple things I have done to not only protect my attitude but shape in a positive manner.
1. Be grateful
There is an abundance of research on the power of gratitude. Happiness and longevity are just two of the benefits of practicing gratitude. For most of us, it shouldn’t be too difficult to acknowledge just one simple thing, at the start of each day, to be grateful for. I think the reason we don’t is because of what I call the tendency to think or say “Yeah, but…” followed by the negative or painful thing we are experiencing. Pick one thing each day, and focus, for just a moment on being grateful. The rest of the stuff will still be there when you are done feeling good about whatever you choose to be grateful for.
2. Know what you value, and feed it
If you’ve ever had a job you were physically mentally capable of doing but found that job to be unrewarding it was likely because the job wasn’t recognizing or rewarding something you truly valued. Personally, and professionally I value change. By change I mean changing behavior or learning something new that benefits me personally or professionally. Likewise, when I work with my clients, I value seeing a change in them that they benefit from. Spend some time identifying what you value most and ensure that thing is being nurtured every day in your work or personal life.
3. Be mindful of the company you keep
In his book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone, author Joe Girard discourages readers from falling victim to what he calls “Water cooler talk”. There is usually at least one person within a network (personal or professional) who has a negative attitude and is looking for recruits. It’s important to know who they are and be careful about how much of your time they get.
4. Curate your news carefully
Regardless of current events, consuming a never-ending stream of news will ultimately have an adverse impact on your attitude. To be clear I am not suggesting you stick your head in the sand. I am suggesting that you be mindful of how much news you are taking in, where it’s coming from and why you want to know. As an example, I look for news on my terms once a day for things that matter to me personally, and throughout the day, I may look for news that may affect my business or my clients. News and information are like nutrition, pay attention to the quality and quantity of the news you’re taking in.