It is one thing to change perspective and attitude and another to build it up so that you do not revert back to a negative perspective.
Will Foley was a major league baseball player that was active in the late 1800’s and he played for several teams including the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Grays. He said, “The world is full of cactus, but we don’t have to sit on it.” This gives you a humorous insight into how he felt about a positive attitude and he was spot on. The negativity is always out there, but we do not have to participate in it. By building a positive attitude, you will be able to succeed at what you do and have a better life.
Chapter 5 of this book has many suggestions for positive affirmations and how to use them in a morning or evening ritual. Affirmations are words and sentences that you say to yourself in order to convince your mind to think or do something. Some examples of positive affirmations are:
- I deserve to be happy.
- I am smart enough and organized enough to be able to get a good paying job.
- I am worthy of love.
- I see the good in all people and situations.
- I love my life.
- I am generous, giving and caring every day of my life.
- I act quickly and decisively.
- I am going to be a winner today.
- I will improve myself every day by following good habits, eating healthy and promoting good relationships in my life.
- I am super strong, healthy, wealthy and wise.
- I am super creative and perform flawlessly.
- The list goes on and on! Be sure to make your own personalized affirmations that pertain to you and the goals that you have in your life.
Affirmations build confidence within your positive attitude. If you tell yourself you can do it, you are more likely to be able to complete the task. I knew a teacher that worked at an inner city high school where the kids were very unruly and were unlikely to succeed. Teachers dropped like flies at the school because they just couldn’t handle the discipline problems. My friend was a tiny woman, someone very unlikely to succeed at this school. She walked in everyday with her head held high and each morning would start the day with a set of positive affirmations done with the kids in her homeroom. She would start every class with these affirmations by saying them and having the students repeat them back to her. Some of the affirmations she used were:
- I will be kind to my fellow students and my teachers
- I will learn something new today
- I deserve a good education
- I can succeed if I try
The kids thought it was pretty stupid at first and many mocked her and her affirmations, but she kept it up and did not waiver. Pretty soon the kids were repeating her affirmations and calling out their own for the class to repeat. She rarely had trouble with the students and if anyone wanted to do any harm to her, they didn’t stand a chance. She was at that school 25 years before she retired and changed the lives of many inner city students.
Forgiveness releases hard feelings and bitterness that might be held in the heart and that is a main source of a negative attitude. Asking for forgiveness is a great relief, even if the person you wronged is apprehensive. Forgiving others is difficult to do, but not as hard as forgiving yourself. The nice thing is, you don’t even have to tell the person or circumstance that you forgive them; you can just do it and move on. This is another subject that is easily said and not so easily done. I would also recommend checking out the variety of free “Tapping” videos on YouTube as they can be quite helpful.
Confucius said, “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” This tells us it is an old practice to forgive and forget in order to live on. This is something I have struggled with myself, that’s why I was able to find the best resources for you to utilize in order to be happy, get a good attitude and move on.
INVENTORY OF YOUR LIFE
Keeping a running inventory on certain aspects of your life can help to build positive attitude. Purchase a plastic recipe box and put in recipe cards that fit inside. Create three different life inventory boxes to give you inspiration and help you stay positive. If you don’t want to use a physical box, then substitute the box for a nice digital program like OneNote or Evernote. I personally use OneNote and love it, although I hear Evernote is great as well. Or, another of my favorite techniques, is to use a digital video recorder to record all my thoughts, then organize them on the computer according to category.
– Fill this box with good memories by writing them down on index cards. Use memories that give you peace and are just plain happy. You can even file them under a subject like kids, mom, pets, vacations, etc. Perhaps you had a dog when you were growing up. He was your constant companion and made you happy. Make a card and include a picture if you have one. Write down memories of this pet and file them away.
– Write a card for each thing that inspires gratitude in your life. Is it your job, your children, your spouse, a hobby, friends or something else? You will be amazed at how many good things you have in your life once you sit down and think about it and you will be more amazed at how thinking about them improves your attitude.
– For your personal inventory, keep cards with inspirational thoughts, phrases or quotes on them. Also detail those people, both ones you know and ones you don’t, that inspire you and why they do.
These inventories come in handy when you feel down and not so positive. Just pull one out and start looking through it to get a boost of positivity. This may not seem so important now, but you will regret it if you don’t do it. This is one thing that I have done throughout my life and I really enjoy going back and viewing all my great victories and accomplishments. I have a huge music, video, audio, and journalistic diary of all the great events in my life as well as a whole library of uplifting books, pictures, computer programs, etc. from the greatest authors and people in history. When things seem down, I can always retreat to my base foundation and just read back all the great accomplishments in my life. I don’t want to brag, but I have the heart of a lion, great genetics and the will and determination to win no matter what the sacrifice and I have been fortunate enough to have great mentors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tony Robbins… so I have had a lot of glorious victories in my life! It’s not all been a cake walk though… let me be clear. Winners will do what others will not, and the majority of that time it just boils down to the fact that smart choice and hard work pays off. But, however many victories you have had in your life, be sure to record it! Record the things that make you the happiest and in the future you will have it at your fingertips to review whenever you need that extra boost!
A vision board is a visual depiction of all your dreams and goals in life. You can use poster board, magazine pictures, drawings, quotes, photos and words to make the vision board. If you have aspirations of becoming a millionaire, you could put it on your vision board. You could put in a picture of your beautiful mansion or of a huge pile of cash that you have at your disposal. Those that desire to travel can paste pictures of sights they want to see on their vision board. If you dream of having your own restaurant, put the floor plan on the board along with photos of other restaurants you would like emulate and some of the equipment you would need to start your restaurant. Also include a copy of your menu. Those that want to have a family complete with a house with a white picket fence can put pictures of that on their vision board. Put whatever you want on the vision board. Remember, you can make a digital vision board as well, simply by pasting your favorite pictures into a document.
Vision boards can consist of a single goal or many. You can also have more than one vision board at a time. The key to your visualizations is to use high emotion while visualizing!
Place the completed vision board on a wall where you can see it every day and take the time to look at it and visualize what your life would be like if the dreams on the board came true. A friend of mine made his vision board on a trifold science fair board that was rigid and stood up by itself. He wanted to start his own business that would be very successful. He placed a floor plan of his store on the board, samples of what he would sell, pictures of equipment he would need and a list of personnel needs his store would have to have. He placed it on a table next to his bed and would turn on his side so he could see the board every night before he turned off the light. He visualized a day of running his business for about a half hour before sleep overtook him. Five years later he owns a popular computer repair and sales store and is very successful. His vision board fostered a positive attitude that made his dreams come to fruition. Cesar L. Rodriguez has a great YouTube video on vision boards called How to make a Vision Board. Visit that video and get very good ideas on making your own.
TALK TO YOURSELF
Your biggest critic is yourself, but on the other hand, your best supporter is also yourself. Everyone has that subtle inner voice that calls out to us and gives us advice. It is very wise to listen to that voice and to talk to it out loud. People may wonder if you’ve gone off the deep end when you talk to yourself, but some of the most positive people in the world seek advice, listen to and talk to themselves. The only one you can really depend on to keep your positive attitude is yourself. This activity is most commonly called “Self-Talk.” Here is a YouTube video of Dr. Ivan Joseph delivering a fascinating lecture about Self-Talk called The skill of self confidence at the TEDx conference at Ryerson University in 2012.
If you have a bad attitude about your life, change it by volunteering at the local food bank, animal shelter, homeless shelter, home for battered women or a soup kitchen. Helping others that are down on their luck improves your attitude and shows you there are others worse off than you are. Merely giving a helping hand in times of trouble will help your attitude build up to a big positive one. Most communities have many different volunteer situations. They are usually advertised in the local newspaper but you can also contact your local chamber of commerce for other volunteer ideas.
STOP LOOKING FOR FLAWS
Some people just can’t help themselves. Even in a positive situation they are hell bent on finding flaws in everything. Humanity is flawed. People are going to make mistakes. Some people are going to take it too far. They may use humor to belittle others in order to increase their standing in the group. Don’t be that person. Be the hero/heroine, the person that people can rely on, the person that people know can get the job done. Instead of playing into other people’s petty games, look for people’s strengths, look for allies that you can go to battle with. My advice… look for loyalty. Mighty kingdoms have been won based on loyalty and trust.
In order to build up a positive attitude it may be necessary to end friendships and begin others. Make a list of your friends and the benefits of each of them. If there are little to no benefits, you may need a change. Make new friends with positive attitudes. Meet them in positive places like community events, church, support groups, the internet, or places where people of like minds get together. If you have a dog, visit the dog park to find friends that also have dogs. If you like to sing, join a choir and get to know the people there. If you like to read, join a book club and participate. If you enjoy self-improvement, research a good Facebook group for that. Avoid negative places like night clubs and bars.
Building up a positive attitude takes some work with some people. Maintaining it also takes work, but the benefits are great.