“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” – Winston Churchill
We all know that one person, that person who seems to just be optimistic in all situations. They find the good in the bad, the happy in the sad, the sunshine in the rain, and I could go on and on with examples. When we look at this person what do we see? Normally, we see someone with determination, focus, and drive. We notice they are persistent, humble, and grateful. All together, they exude positive thoughts in (almost) all they do.
Now, I know what everyone is thinking, “But Chris, this can’t be just a ‘Be Happy’ post?”, and you are correct. I’m not here to say just be happy, for I know that there will be plenty of tough times. Tough times will come, but our reaction to these times will be the determination to how it actually effects us. This is where Positive Thinking comes into play.
Does it really work? Simple answer? Yes. A recent study by a Harvard psychologist found that those who had a positive attitude towards their actions, due to being told that what they were doing fulfilled the guidelines and needs for weight loss, showed significantly better results than those who were not given any information to the impact of the same actions. What does this say? Basically, it says that when we have a positive outlook on the work we are about to accomplish, we perform at a higher level and gain greater rewards. Reinforcing our daily routine with a positive outlook will drive greater results and less stress.
So what does this look like practically? Well, I’m glad you asked…
- Be Grateful- The first step in any positive thinking is to be grateful for where you are today. It may be difficult in tough situations, but if you really take the time to see how much good you have, you’ll rarely be able to hold the thundercloud of negativity above your head. We all must realize just the gifts we have been given and be thankful for them. When we take for granted our lives, we only strive for what we don’t have, instead of cherishing what we do have. This is a recipe for negative thoughts and jealousy, and I’m pretty sure we all know that nothing good comes from jealousy. Take time to reflect on the good things in your life, and then be thankful for them. You’ll be amazed how it will impact your day.
- Zoom in on the details- Doesn’t time seem to be flying by? Well, that’s because it is! Far too often, we find ourselves on autopilot, simply going through our days without paying attention. Life seems to go by quickly, and our reactions are based off of bland thoughts and attitudes. When we actually pay attention to the details around us, time seems to “slow down” and allow us to understand the situation. While this may seem crazy, in some ways its actually true. Our minds become super focused on the things around us and the brain begins to process all the small details, which ultimately slows down our minds. Try this sometime, look all around you, check out the different colors, the sounds, the smells. You’ll be amazed how it changes your thoughts of the situation. Once you’ve slowed down time, then you can react to the situation accordingly. Stop sometimes to smell the flowers!
- Look for the Good- I have a friend that always said “Blue Sky Thinking”. Now, I don’t know if she thought of it herself or from someone else, but I normally counted it as a pretty lackluster phrase. She would write it on everything and say it often to others. While I didn’t use it myself, I now see the impact of what thinking of the positive can really do for you. When we look at the good in every situation we are in, we are able to find motivation to keep moving forward. Finding the good may simply be realizing that you are one step closer to the end of this struggle, or it can be to see how someone else can benefit. Finding the good in a difficult situation oftentimes is the difference between success and failure. Search for a positive aspect of every situation.
- Trust the Process- At the end of the day, we are all on a journey towards becoming better versions of ourselves. Have faith in yourself, in others, in God. We must trust that we are moving towards our goals. If we have vision, have set our goals, and directed our lives towards those goals, then we must trust the process to get there. When you are no longer worried whether or not something will happen, you bring action into your life. As with a previous post, the trail will get you to the top of the mountain.
I’m positive (See what I did there) that positive thoughts can unlock power in many of our lives. Remember, be grateful how far you’ve come already, zoom in on the details of life, look for the good in every situation, and lastly trust the process you’re on. Every day is a new day to conquer and achieve. Use every bit of it you can.
Blue Sky Thinking! (That’s for you Adrienne!)