CULTIVATING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE: THE POWER OF INTENTION
Have you ever met someone who seems naturally cheerful? It might seem effortless, but chances are, he or she actually had to really work at developing that attitude. Contrary to popular belief, a sunny disposition doesn't really come naturally to anyone; rather, it's a deliberate lifestyle decision that you have to make -- and the sooner you make it in life, the better.
People come to a positive attitude by choice, not by some accident of birth. And while there are plenty of grumpy millionaires and disgruntled CEOs, the men who are most successful at every aspect of life -- and the operative word here is "every" -- are the ones who have found a way to cultivate a positive attitude, even in the face of occasional bad luck. Those grouchy CEOs may have succeeded at business, but their bad behavior signifies an inner malfunction that's triggered by deep unhappiness and frustration.
It's been argued that happiness isn't a potato -- the seed can't simply be planted and cultivated in ourselves -- but the foundation of happiness is a positive attitude, and this is something that decidedly can be cultivated, once you make the choice to do so.
One way to cultivate a positive attitude is to take whatever you're compelled to do -- whether it's a difficult exam, a challenging project at work or an unfulfilling job -- and decide that you're going to be the absolute best at it. If you have to polish floors for a living, make them the best, shiniest floors you've ever seen. Of course, if you're unhappy in your job, the first thing you should do is look for a new one; but if you're temporarily stuck where you are, the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is make a conscious choice to excel at what you're doing.
As an example, consider someone who works in an exclusive menswear shop selling men's clothing and men's accessories. This person might not have envisioned working in a menswear store; in fact, he might be studying for a law degree, or trying to earn enough money to start his own business. Regardless of his ultimate career aspirations, his demeanor in his present job will go a long way toward helping him realize his goals. He might not want to be a salesman; he might prefer another line of business, or he might feel as if he were meant to own his own company, rather than work for someone else. However, if he can get out on that sales floor every day and maintain a helpful, positive attitude, then he can accomplish just about anything else he wants to do.
The Health Benefits of Staying Positive
Cultivating a positive attitude isn't just good for your career; it's also good for your health. On a sobering note, recent studies show that more than three million men struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. Likewise, more than six million men suffer from depression -- and research shows that in men, depression often isn't diagnosed.
One of the most important ways you can cultivate a positive attitude is to persist in the face of trouble. Accepting the fact that life is supposed to be difficult sometimes, and persevering through your struggles are a surefire way to ensure long-term victory: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Once you make a deliberate choice to be positive, you'll be surprised at the difference it will make in both your personal and professional life. After you've armed yourself with a positive attitude, you'll find yourself able to deal with everyday challenges in a calmer, more focused way, with less distraction from inhibiting emotions such as fear, guilt, or doubt.
In essence, choosing to be actively positive means that you'll be free in ways you never were before. To truly see the best that life has to offer, and recognize that it belongs to you (as much as anyone else) is the key to success in an uncertain world.