Positivity. Purpose. Passion. Persistence. Say it three times fast.
I’m going to walk you through four very powerful words and some tactics and strategies to make them work for you. When applied to your daily life, these words will dramatically alter your life for the better. I’ll start with positivity.
Isn’t it a shame that we have to search for positivity? We have to work hard to find positivity in today’s world; there’s an abundance of negativity! Every time we log into facebook, it’s there: most recently, negativity takes the form of your opposing political party and the copious amounts of slam pieces towards one side or the other. On the news, it’s there too: murder, rape, hate crimes, assault…story after story of terrible acts. It paints such a bad picture of a world that has so much positivity to give. We even create negativity in our own lives: harboring resentment towards your spouse for leaving dishes in the sink, getting angry with a coworker because they support a viewpoint that differs from yours, or becoming irritable with your mother when she asks for help with a project. In a world full of racism, hate, bigotry, intolerance, and injustice; negativity can surround us every single minute of every single day if we let it.
I have something to tell you that might be difficult to hear: The amount of negativity in your life is directly linked to how much negativity you allow in your life. In other words: you control how much negativity is in your life, regardless of how much negativity is in the world. If you have a negative outlook, all the time, you will have a hard time attracting positivity in your life. On the flip side, the amount of positivity in your life is also directly linked to how much positivity you allow in your life. In my last article, I mentioned the law of attraction- what you think and feel will attract similar things. Here are a few tips to shift your outlook from negative to positive and start attracting more positivity into your life.
Put your phone down.
Sounds simple, right? One of the easiest ways to increase the amount of positivity in your life is to decrease the amount of negative input you receive. By cutting down the amount of time spent scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, CNN, Reddit, or any other news source, you immediately decrease the amount of negative energy that surrounds you. This also allows you to do things that will increase the amount of positive input you receive.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning after you shut the alarm off? I’ll take a guess and say you check email, check facebook, check twitter, etc… I used to do the exact same thing. What a terrible way to start the day! From the moment we wake up, negative energy is shoveled into our minds. I have a rule: I don’t check my phone for at least one hour after I wake up. This allows me to eat breakfast, spend time with my girlfriend, read a motivational book, go for a walk, and prepare for my day without negative influence.
How do you end your day? Are you buried in your phone or tablet, the same way you were in the morning? What you do in the last 30-45 minutes before you go to sleep is what your subconscious will think about while you sleep. Try reading that same motivational book, repeating your positive affirmations, making your to-do list for the next day, and visualizing things that make you happy, before bed. Not only will you sleep better, your subconscious will go to work on those things while you sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude.
Of course, you have to be open to receiving positive input. At first, you must aggressively seek out positive input; motivational books, podcasts, physical activity, positive affirmations, deep and nurturing relationships, et cetera. Over time, it gets easier and easier to filter through the negative minutiae and find the good in every situation.
One of the easiest ways to attract more positivity into your life is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Find a way to appreciate things where you would normally criticize. Make it a point to be thankful for everything you encounter; good or bad. To get started on building your attitude of gratitude, do what is called ‘the appreciation exercise’. As part of my morning routine, I set a timer for seven minutes and furiously type out everything I appreciate.
Again, it sounds easy. The first couple of days will be tough. I found myself typing silly things like ‘I appreciate my chair, I appreciate my desk, I appreciate my cats’ to fill the time. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I actually do appreciate those things. I appreciate my desk chair because I used to sit on an uncomfortable wooden chair while I’m working from home. Now my back doesn’t hurt when I work. I appreciate my desk because my computer would be on the floor or on the kitchen table if I didn’t have a desk. I appreciate my cats because they make me laugh and fill my heart with joy and love.
I’ve found that I say “thank you, I appreciate that” a lot more than I used to and you will too. That means a lot to people who hear it. We all like being appreciated, but sometimes we lack the ability to give the appreciation to other people. By making it a point to appreciate everything that happens in your life, every encounter you have, every person you meet, even hardships you may face, you will find that your general demeanor will change. You will criticize less and smile more. Your relationships will improve. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who is hearty with their appreciations and lavish with their praise? Seven minutes each morning is all it takes.
It makes me laugh when I walk past someone on the street or in the store, smile at them, and they frantically, obviously, look ANY other direction than towards my smiling face. I don’t think I’m hideous. There’s rarely something stuck in my teeth. I carry myself in a lighthearted and harmless way, aside from being quite tall. There’s no hidden agenda behind the smile (I’m not about to sell you something). So why do people do that? Why are people so scared of a smile? Why do smiles and pleasant attitudes make people so nervous? The few reasons I’ve come up with are these: they are miserable and don’t want to smile back, their face is stuck in a frown (that one might be far fetched, but you’ve heard the saying as a kid…’your face is going to get stuck like that!’), or maybe they simply didn’t see me. Deep down, I think it’s just because smiling isn’t the norm anymore. People are so consumed with negativity they just don’t know what to do when someone smiles at them.
One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that a majority of the time when I smile at someone, something crazy happens…They smile back! There’s so much power in a smile. Even if no words are spoken, a smile can go so far in making someone’s day. Think about the customer or client you’re serving who is pleasant and smiling versus the one who is rude and crass; two completely opposite scenarios. The customer who smiles and is pleasant makes you want to smile and be pleasant, right back. Thus increasing the amount of positivity in your day. Conversely, the customer who is rude and crass makes you want to tell them to go kick rocks and can ruin your day if you let them. However, you can find something to appreciate in that rude customer. You can appreciate them for showing you how not to act.
Smiles are contagious. One of the easiest ways to influence people around you is to let them catch your smile! It’s very easy to captivate a room, simply by having a smile on your face. Even when you’re by yourself, make it a point to smile. When I take my morning walk, I deliberately make it a point to smile. If I realize that I’ve stopped smiling, I gently refocus myself and start smiling again. Even when it’s cold and I have my face shield on, I’m still smiling underneath it.
Try this: when you’re by yourself, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. It doesn’t have to be an ear-to-ear grin, just a soft smile. Get used to seeing yourself and envisioning yourself as happy and smiley. Using positive affirmations and acting ‘as if’ you are already happy, you will quickly become someone who smiles all the time. Someone who people want to be around, want to do business with, want to be friends with, et cetera.
At first, I thought I must be the goofiest looking human on the planet, walking around with a smile on my face every minute of every day. But then I realized how much of a positive impact it was making in my life and other people’s lives as well. People wanted to talk to me more, sales clerks and cashiers started giving me discounts for no apparent reason, I made new friends…all from ‘turning my frown upside down’ (yes…I said it).
Positive Affirmations will work for you.
In my last article, I mentioned the power of positive affirmations. An affirmation is a tool used for emotional support or encouragement. Synonymous with words like assertion, proclamation, or announcement; an affirmation is something that you declare and believe to be true. Affirmations help you think and act ‘as if’ you’ve already achieved your goals. Utilizing daily, positive, affirmations will re-wire your brain and destroy the beliefs that are limiting you and hindering your progress, or ‘limiting beliefs’. Affirmations are easy to create and aren’t reserved for the esoteric.
Just like the appreciation exercise and smiling, thinking of affirmations and repeating them out loud, with passion, to yourself in the mirror can seem silly at first; until they start working and coming true. In my world of training, a common theme is ‘you get out what you put in’. The same rules apply here. You have to make the decision to participate 100%. You must decide that you are ready for more positivity in your life. You must decide to make the transformation from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I will’. I’ll continue to cover affirmations in future posts because they are instrumental in transforming your life for the better.
An easy way to develop an affirmation is to think about something you want. Let’s use the example of more money. Who doesn’t want to make more money? Let’s say your goal is to make $100,000 per year. Start with the words I am. Your brain will decipher the words I am as a command, a distinct order to begin. State what you want as if you have already acquired it. State it as if it is yours and you know what it feels like. Do not state what you don’t want. ‘I am not broke anymore’ is not what we are going for. Since that is framed in a negative way, your brain will see it as a negative thought. That becomes counterproductive. Always make sure you are stating positive things.
Keep it concise and make it specific. ‘I want to make more money’ is too vague. You can make $.01 more than you made last year and have met that goal. That $.01 isn’t going to do much in this day and age. Add action verbs that will make your affirmation feel more real (think words that end with -ing). In the case of money, you’ll want to add something like ‘or more’ to the end of the affirmation. That allows your brain to think about your new $100,000 per year salary or more. I don’t ever want to cap my earnings, which is why the ‘or more’ statement is important. In the example above, the affirmation would sound something like this: I am excited to be earning and investing a salary of $100,000 per year, or more.
I have about 20 affirmations that I say to myself three times per day. Once when I wake up, once around lunch, and once before I go to bed. I say them out-loud and with passion. I say them and visualize them as if they are already true. I visualize myself living in a world where all of my goals and affirmations have been attained. The more you condition your brain to think about things as if you already have them, the quicker they will become true. You will see and notice things that you’ve never seen and noticed before. Things that are there to help you along your journey to success and positivity.
If you need any help with developing some affirmations, please feel free to reach out to me. Alternatively, you can read a step-by-step instruction manual located in principle 10, Release the brakes, in one of my favorite books: ‘The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield.
In closing, I’ve laid out four simple things you can do to make positive changes in your life. Four things that you can start working on right now. Actions you can take that will disband negativity and start the flow of positive energy in your life. If you want to start attracting more positivity in your life, you have to make the decisions to:
- Put the phone down.
- Develop an attitude of gratitude.
- Harness the power of positive affirmations.
In my next post, I’ll discuss another ‘P’: Purpose. Why are you here? What fulfills you? Are you maximizing the impact you can make in this world? Are you doing things every day that are getting you closer to your goals? Be sure to tune in for that. Also, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any articles in this four-part series!