Because I generally have a positive outlook, I frequently have people ask me, “Greg, you’re not one of those positive thinkers looking at the world through rose colored glasses are you?” Well, yes and no.
I am a positive thinker, but I’m not someone who ignores problems and pretends everything is perfect. That’s not being positive and optimistic. That’s being stupid.
The optimist throws the curtains open and says, “Good morning, God!” The pessimist rolls over and says, “Good god, it’s morning.”
If you are having trouble paying your bills and instead of doing anything to fix the problem you simply think positive and hope your bills get paid, they will eventually come take your car and foreclose on your house.
But that doesn’t mean the only thing you can do is focus on your poor financial situation. There is always more than one reality.
Reality 1: You don’t have enough money coming in.
Reality 2: You have a good job. You have opportunities for advancement. Maybe you can ask for some overtime work, or take on some extra responsibilities and earn a promotion. You have skills to earn extra income. You could start a side business via the Internet. You could cut back on some of your expenses that aren’t necessities, etc.
The reality you focus on will greatly affect your mood, actions and outcome.
Remember, you aren’t lying to yourself or ignoring reality. You are choosing to focus on the reality that will help you the most. And that is key:
- You get to choose your reality
- You get to choose your attitude
- You get to choose how you react
- You get to choose to be happy
“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are weeds that strangle confidence.”
Research shows that to get the best results you need to focus on the positives three times as much as the negatives.
- Pay attention to your thoughts. When you have a negative thought, yell STOP! (If other people are around, you may want to use your inside voice. We don’t want the men in white suits coming to get you with a net.) Replace that negative thought with a realistic positive thought.
- Focus on those positive thoughts and take action on them to improve your situation.
- Every night write down three new things you are thankful for. They can be something big or little that happened that day, or anything in your life your are grateful for. The trick is to come up with 3 new things each day. (Research shows this simple exercise significantly improves our happiness.)
It’s something all of us can start doing today. When I do it, I move forward and feel better.
Let me know how it works for you.