positive attitude: a mental outlook of optimism and of expecting good things to happen
As I write this post, I’m watching the invasion of Ukraine unfold. If you are a caring, thoughtful person, it’s inevitable that you empathize with the devastating plight of all those people in Ukraine whose lives have been suddenly upended, or worse, have been killed or injured in the fighting. And for what? Power? Manufactured grievance?
What a tragedy.
Empathy means putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes. I’m not sure we have the experience or capability to really understand or feel the depth of their anguish. We in America right now have our pandemic and tribal wars that are so upsetting, but what is being in the middle of real war like?
I can’t imagine suddenly being forced to leave our home in fear, unable to carry little more than the clothes on our back, with nowhere to go and no assurance that we’ll ever be able to return, with no conception of even what we could return to when it’s over... a way of life totally disrupted.
Writing a post on the power of a positive attitude feels so impotent in the face of this level of torment in the world. But I’m doing it anyway because each of us, in our own way, must face the challenge of dealing with negative news, negative experiences, negative thoughts and feelings. Some people are more burdened than others. The people of Ukraine are in trauma. Families of service men and women are in a high state of anxiety. Thoughtful people everywhere feel the pain and the helplessness.
But each of us is challenged to not let all that is negative dominate our life. Taking charge of our life, in every possible way, is our most profound challenge.
A positive attitude is powerful and empowering.
Attitudes shape our lives. We must proactively and consistently work on uplifting our attitudes above the negative storms so that we can think clearly, assess analytically, focus on thoughts and actions that will move us forward, and inspire us to aspire higher in every aspect of our life.
We cannot allow negatives to control our life. We can feel the calling to help others in need, comfort the sick and troubled, better ourselves with learning, support efforts to improve the lives of others. But we must develop a core focus on building a genuine appreciation for what is positive in our life... while we strive to improve ourselves... while we strive to make sense of and improve the world around us.
Focusing on the positive is one of our most powerful tools to make our life better, more meaningful, more fulfilling and healthier.
The science is undeniable.
I was going to spend some time outlining some of the overwhelming scientific evidence that a positive attitude is good for our mental AND physical health. But, rather, I’ll just refer you to a small selection of articles(1,2,3,4) which confirm that a positive attitude can prolong our life, strengthen our immune system, make us more resilient to stress and anxiety, reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease and much more to improve our overall health.
We have within us the power to control our life.
We simply must CHOOSE to focus on the positive and not allow negatives to overwhelm us. In one of my favorite posts from last year, I outlined in “The Optimism Project” my 10 Tips To Be More Optimistic:
1. Start Every Day Grateful
2. Let Go Of What You Can’t Control
3. See Yourself Doing Positive Stuff
4. Connect With Positive People
5. Keep Your Focus On the Positive
6. Set Small Achievable Goals
7. Resist Envy And Greed
8. Look Ahead – Embrace The Future
9. Look For Beauty In The World
10. Find A Mantra – An Affirmation
I printed out and framed a PDF print of these 10 Tips on the wall of my office to remind me each morning that today I have work to do. I alone must take responsibility to not let the negative storm around me cloud my appreciation and gratitude for all that is good in my life. Having a positive attitude is MY responsibility. I CHOOSE what I will focus on today.
We are granted so few precious moments on this earth to find meaning, fulfillment and joy. We cannot lose our focus on all that is positive. We are all imperfect humans in search of something better. A positive attitude is one of our most powerful tools in our personal quest.
Check out my new book EverAgeless: 6 Steps To An Ageless Life now available on Amazon (and please leave a review if you like it).
Check out our archive of past blog posts. There are lots of interesting topics there.