Do you really have a positive attitude

If you’re like me, you know you’re “supposed” to have a positive attitude.

After all, the research is overwhelming and indisputable. A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world.

Dr. Martin Seligman, for example, discovered that attitude was a better predictor of success than any other factor, including I.Q., education, grade point average, race, age, gender, or anything else. He concluded that people with positive attitudes stay healthier, have better relationships, and go further in their careers. He even found that people with positive attitudes make more money.

That being the case, let me suggest a couple of things you need to know about the way a positive attitude works and how you can keep yours in great shape.

►1. Understand the importance and function of a positive attitude.

I have to admit that years ago I did not fully understand this thing called a positive attitude.

I wondered, for example, “Did a positive attitude mean that a person would never feel down?

That seemed impossible. My training in psychology told me that it was normal to experience a wide variety of emotions, from the pleasant to the unpleasant. In fact, experiencing a wide range of emotions gave life a bit more spice and excitement.

I also wondered, “Did a positive attitude automatically eliminate all problems in life”

That also seemed impossible. In my work with hundreds of thousands of people around the world, I’ve noticed that some of them have a very positive attitude, while others a very negative attitude. But they all had one thing in common. They all had problems.

So I learned that a positive attitude does not stop all negative feelings or all troubles from coming into your life and work.

But a positive attitude does mean that you’ll get past your negative feelings and through your troubles a lot more quickly.

A positive attitude is not wild-eyed, turbo-charged behavior that is going in a hundred different directions. And it is not a fanatical commitment to one and only one goal in life; that would lead to a life of imbalance and workaholism.

A positive attitude is a calm, committed decision to stay positive … no matter what the circumstances. As legendary TV commentator Hugh Downs put it, “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

And 16-year-old Anne Frank, the famous Jewish refugee and diarist understood the power of a positive attitude … even though she was hunted, persecuted, and killed by the Nazis in World War II. She wrote, “Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

What about you? Do you have a really positive attitude? I certainly hope so … because good attitudes bring good results … and bad attitudes bring bad results. It’s as simple as that.

One of the take-aways for my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience is having a lasting, unshakeable, positive attitude.

John Tolbert, a manager at the Index Corp., reported, “Your Journey experience breathed new life into my attitude and improved every one of the key relationships in my life. I’m so thankful that I decided to take this course!”

My next two-day virtual Journey will be October 3-4, 2024. Check out our Super Early-Bird Savings.

► 2. Reinforce your positive attitude with positive living.

People with a strong, healthy positive attitude live their lives. They really LIVE them — deeply, fully, each and every day. They don’t waste any of their emotional energy muttering such pitiful comments as “Another day, another dollar” or “I’ve got just five more years, three months, and two days and I’m out of here.” In essence, people like that are not living their lives. They’re simply enduring them.

In the movie, Braveheart, Mel Gibson portrayed the famous Scottish warrior. And he summed it up better than most. Braveheart said, “Everyone dies, but not all people actually live.”

What about you? Are you living your life now … fully? Actively engaged in achieving your goals and creating the life and work you really want?

Or are you putting your goals off — until the kids leave home, you get remarried, find a new job, buy a different house, have less stress, finally retire, or just plain feel like it? If any of that sounds like you, you DO NOT have the kind of positive attitude that will lead you towards success.

By contrast, I am reminded of one 83-year-old woman who wrote to her friend about living life NOW. She exemplified this second component of a positive attitude. She wrote:

“Dear Bertha,

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.”

Figure out two things you can be doing right now to live your life to the fullest. And do them again, and again, and again.