That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.
I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.
I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.
I thought I had it all.
People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.
Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.
Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.
When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”
How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?
What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.
“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”
Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.
As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.
How does one practice positivity?
By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.
Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.
One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.
During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”
Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.
It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.
At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.
It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.
It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.
Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.
You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.
Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.
Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.
The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.
The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.
You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.
You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.
People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.
Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.
Take a long hard look at yourself.
Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.
I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.
My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.
“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”
Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.
So, what did I do?
- Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
- Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
- Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
- Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
- Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
- Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
- Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness
Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.
When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.
People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.
Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.
Tragedy will strike everyone.
That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.
Positivity can make you see another way.
By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.
“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”
Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.
Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.
Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.
Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.
You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.