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Have you ever woken up in the morning and knew right away once you started your day you should have stayed in bed? Almost every day? Don’t worry- you aren’t the only one. About 53% of all humans feel ‘dreadful’ when their alarm goes off in the morning. Right now you’re probably thinking,’ how are people successful with that percentage?’ Everyone’s heard the question “Is your glass half-empty or half-full?” How you answer this question about a positive mindset may be your outlook on life and your overall attitude. What is a positive mindset, how does it affect the average person, and how to implement it in your life? Having a positive mindset is a key trait to become successful and can change the way you think, act, and speak in your daily life, for the better.
What does positivity mean? Positivity means ‘thinking optimistically, looking for solutions, expecting good results and success, and focusing and making life happier.’ When you think of positivity, the things that pop to your head are smiling, happiness, and being cheerful, but that’s not all of it. Happiness is a mood and positivity is a mindset. Happiness is momentary, even though you may have a lot of wonderful things happen in your life the happiness can only last so long. Positivity is more about your perspective on life and your tendency to focus on the positives in life. It’s an attitude that you can have no matter how difficult the situation or circumstance. Our circumstance is something we can’t control and some situations might bring in unhappiness which we have no control over, but positivity is a choice. Being positive is always in our control. No matter how bad our situation is we can still choose to be positive. Kendra Cherry from Very Well Mind definition of positivity is “Positive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook. It does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things; instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.” As said before, positivity is a choice. Taking it a step further it is called a positive mindset. What is the difference? A positive mindset is a trait. It means making positivity a habit continually searching how and making the best out of the situation you are in. After an interview with Mr. Steve Winesett, who has had successful experience in philanthropy at universities and hospitals and has lead, or been a part of, campaigns ranging from $75 million to $400 million, I found out what a positive mindset means to a successful business person. His definition is “a positive mindset means that I approach my daily experiences, interactions and activities from a positive standpoint. I see the world as a place of abundance rather than a place of scarcity. It is also tied very much to a growth mindset. Seeing – or approaching – my daily experiences from a place of abundance and growth deeply influences the day. If there are successes or happy occurrences in the day, I can celebrate those with others, lifting their spirits and edifying them. If there are failures in the day and I have a positive, growth mindset, then I don’t see the failure as the end of the story. I can learn lessons and strategies from these failures that enable me to approach similar situations differently (and more confidently) in the future. In some ways, it is as simple as this analogy. If the day is cloudy, I remember that there is blue sky just behind those clouds. In other words, clouds aren’t the only thing there (they are just the only thing I see in that moment) and it is very likely they will pass, and the blue sky will appear. A positive mindset is not pretending that everything is all right in every situation. That is naïve. Rather it is approaching every situation with the underlying belief that even in broken or negative situations, we have the ability to help make them better and we can learn from them.”
A person’s mindset is important because their mindset influences their perception of daily events and interactions. In turn, a person’s perception of events and interactions greatly influences their behavior. Not only can a positive mindset help you become an overall happier and positive person it can help you in many other ways. A person with a positive mind can do a lot of positive things. Every thought we have and every decision we make, has an impact and influence in our lives. Believe it or not a positive mindset has benefits that include better health and longevity, happiness, athletic performance, career advancement, team building, and financial success. ‘Your child did well in school or you saw an old high school friend, or you played a great game of golf and hit an ace in the hole or something. That practicing optimism over five years in 7,000 patients was shown to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and dying,’ says Dr. Kopecky of mayo clinic. ‘Cognitive Contributions to Well-Being says that actions taken by people with a positive mindset, that “they’re more likely to pre-emptively address threats, more likely to engage with and accomplish goals, and have better physical health.” For example, a person with a positive mindset sees that they are overweight so they are likely to face the threats about it, they then are more likely to start dieting and exercising, which would lead to better mental and physical health. The human brain is always monitoring the emotional tone of what you think, so too many negative thoughts will make your brain create stress and sadness in your body. When you add more thoughts that are positive, your brain will create relaxation and best of all happiness. All athletes, at all competitive levels will at some point experience and element of uncertainty or self-doubt. Research has shown that having a positive mindset will continually help you even in your sports performance. The main reason for this is it effectively improves self-confidence which turns into more confidence on the field or ice. More confidence helps you in your performance and skill execution. “The right attitude and positive thinking are necessary mental skills for performing well in sports”. Career advancement, team building, and financial success are all key parts of a business people’s life. A positive mindset helps in all these areas and in your overall business life. It has been proven time and time again that a positive mindset in your career can help immensely. In the workforce you can take on challenges with a positive mindset that will develop good relationships with co-workers, bring you outstanding results, and even help you work up the ladder in a business. I talked with an employee at Acculift that has recently graduated from Oneschool and he gave me his opinion about a positive mindset in the workforce. He says “Positive thinking is essential for a couple of reasons – the first two that come to mind is that positive thinking eliminates the possibility of having negative thoughts and secondly it prevents paranoia (essentially means you have a skewed outlook on life that makes everything seem against you). When you have negative thoughts or have paranoia, your productivity will most likely drop. Positivity is known to have compounding effects. You feel better so you work harder. When you work harder you usually make progress in life. When you make progress in life you become happier so you work even harder… as you can see, positivity is essential because it increases your overall quality of life.”
Based on many psychological tests, happy people have a quality that allows them to live a better life than average. That is because they are living their life with the quality called positive mindset. The great news is that a positive mindset is learnable. That means that you are able to think, act, and speak positively by taking a positive mindset. Loretta Breuning, Ph.D., author of The Science of Positivity and Habits of a Happy Brain says that “Our brain is not designed to create happiness, as much as we wish it were so. Our brain evolved to promote survival. It saves the happy chemicals (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) for opportunities to meet a survival need, and only releases them in short spurts which are quickly metabolized. This motivates us to keep taking steps that stimulate our happy chemicals.” The thing is, as said before that we can train your brain to become more positive. So, it’s a matter of teaching our minds what to think. Being positive also requires effort. As it doesn’t come naturally, if we think positive, we will become positive. There are many ways to start positivity in your life, but training your mind to think positive can be quite simple. The human brain can only focus on one thought at a time so all you have to do is keep it focused on positive thoughts and positive things in your life. Until you form a habit of it. You may be thinking “yes of course this is easy to say when times are good but what happens when the circumstance is sad or depressing?”. Don’t worry there is still reason to stay positive. In every negative, challenge, and/or obstacle there is a positive. It is how you personally react to a situation that will truly determine the outcome. Also, you can have your own way to stay positive for some it may be social time with friends or it could be a journal they write in to stay positive all day every day. Mr. Steve Winesett, on how he keeps a positive mindset, say “I keep a journal every year. I do this in the morning and it reminds me that even though I wake up every day feeling slightly differently depending on my emotions, rest, stress, etc., I can greatly influence how I approach the day simply by being intentional about it. In other words, I simply remind myself that my emotions are going to come and go and instead of being ruled by emotions over which I have little control, I’d rather approach the day with intention and remember that I have a choice of my attitude and my actions. I may feel grumpy or tired, but I still have a choice how I act and remembering that I want to act in certain ways (positive, growth oriented, thinking of the world as a place of abundance, etc.) helps me do that.” So to implement positivity in our life and to make a mindset for us we have to make a habit. The google definition of habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” So we have to make positivity a settled or regular or practice that will make it hard for us to give it up.
In conclusion, Samuel McChord Crothers once said “Positive thinking is the key which unlocks the doors of the world.” This quote shows that to do or become anything in this world, a positive mindset is crucial. We can change to be that positive person we all want to be.
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