#190 - How do you create a consistently positive attitude?

Close your eyes. Now, think of all the people you know. Who stands out? Odds are that there’s at least one person that is almost always in a good mood. They bring light and joy to everyone around them. And, If you think about it, there’s probably one that always has a dark cloud over their lives. They’re the one that can suck the oxygen out of the room with just their presence. We all know a couple of people like this.

It was a crisp 31 degree morning, the sun was coming up and trying to break out from behind a layer of thin clouds. I was traveling through upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin when I realized how good I felt. Was it the fact that I was “home” for the weekend, or that the fall leaves were at peak color? That may have been part of it. But, I think, more important than that was the fact that I was listening to a great book on Audible.

You see, I love to immerse myself in self-help books. It’s been a passion of mine for more than 35 years. Some are spiritual in nature, some are business books, and others deal with relationships. No matter what I’m reading, I derive great joy from whatever I’m learning.

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Creating and maintain a positive attitude is more than just thinking positive thoughts. There’s a lot more to it. This point was driven home during this recent road trip through northern Wisconsin. As I was driving, observing the beautiful fall colors and thinking through my morning projects, I was listening to my most recent Audible book, and was struck by a recent noticeable change in attitude, productivity, creativity, and overall focus on my coaching practice. I realized that I was having a major attitude improvement.

Why? Because lately I have been filling my head with great information and positive ideas.

It’s not that I was negative or in a bad mood for the past few months, I just seemed to be stuck in a rut of frustration and lack of focus. I have a lot of projects that scream for my attention. Prioritizing has been a problem and I’m certainly not one to multitask. I’m just discovering that I need to focus on one project at a time, complete it, then move on to the next.

What does this have to do with creating and maintaining a positive attitude? Well…everything. It started with being able to read more books via Audible. The books I listened to helped me clarify that I personally need to focus on one task at a time. Focusing on one thing at a time has helped me gain clarity on how to complete each task.

However, that’s me. I don’t care if you are a great multitasker or can only focus on one thing at a time like me. You need to be able to fill your head with great ideas regularly. I’m not talking about just thinking positive thoughts. I’m talking about filling your head with positive thoughts, information and ideas from outside of yourself.

To create a positive attitude you need to first clear your life of as many negative things as possible. This includes your self-talk, negative people, negative information that bombards us daily from TV, radio and social media.

This isn’t always easy to do. It requires a strong will because it’s so easy to fall into negative conversations, complain about all the things that are wrong in the world, gossip about someone in the office or someone at church. Stop it! Get rid of this crap from your life.

Remove the negative people from your life. Not in the sense that you never talk to them again but, in the sense that you start to distance yourself and not participate in their negative world.

Clear the negative self-talk from your head. This usually takes a little hard work in the beginning. Start first thing in the morning by telling yourself that you’re going to be happy today. Tell yourself it’s going to be a great day. As the day progresses keep focusing on the positive things in your life.

Many of you have been negative for a long time and in general have an unsatisfactory life, not by my standards but by your own. This happens not by chance but by action and attitude. When you don’t pay attention you can turn a bad day into a bad week, into a bad month, into a bad year. The time to change that is today!

Feed your mind with as much positive stuff as possible. This is a key component I’ve been missing for a while. It’s not enough to just push away negative people and thoughts. You have to replace the negative with new positive people and thoughts. The best way I’ve found to do that is to read or listen to books that lift you up, teach you, and inform you.

Consume as much as you can about the things that you’re most interested in. If you don’t have any particular interests right now, pick out books that will teach you something. I’m a big proponent of self-help books. Walk into any book store or go on-line and you’ll find a plethora of great books…and some not so great ones too! LOL

Start reading. Turn the TV off for an hour and start filling your head with good information. It’ll take a little while, but you’ll soon start to see a change in your attitude. It’ll become more positive. Odds are you’ll become more confident in conversations especially when you’re talking about something you’ve read or learned.

There are some side benefits to reading. Reading good material will make you smarter. And guys, I haven’t met a woman yet that doesn’t find intelligence attractive! In fact, some women actually like a man to be smarter than they are. Ladies, if the guys you’re dating are intimidated by your intelligence, maybe you need to find smarter guys to date.

Here’s a few of my favorite books:

Relationship Books
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – John Gray
The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
How We Love – Milan and Kay Yerkovich

Business Books
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Person Improvement
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do – Amy Morin
The Four Things That Matter Most – Ira Byock, M.D.
High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard