Other people are naturally pessimistic, tend to look on the darker side of life and see problems rather than opportunities.
“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.” Sir Winston Churchill.
I think it is fair to say that most people fall somewhere in the middle, with a tendency towards one extreme or the other.
I think it fair to say that life as a glass half full person tends to be a little easier, which is not to say we “optimists” can’t also be realistic… we just choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
If you would like to move yourself closer to the glass half full perspective on life then here are ten things you can do to get there:
- Be cognizant of your state of mind. Just being aware that you might be construed as negative can help you to adjust how you react and what others might see.
- Pause before reacting. Teach yourself not to react with your first thought, but to put more effort into thinking about the situation. Very often what seems like a big deal at the outset is really not all that bad when all of the facts are known.
- Look for reasons to be positive, rather than looking for problems. Yes, you need to deal with reality, but generally there are positive things in your life in addition to “the problems”… focus on the good first, and THEN tackle your “problems”.
- Make a list of things to be thankful for and revisit it often. We all have much to be thankful for if we compare ourselves to people in third world countries, people with terminal illnesses etc.
- Hang out with as many positive people as you can. Positivity is contagious!
- Try to limit your time with people who drag you down, negative people, “whiners” and complainers. If possible avoid them, if not then spend as little time as possible. Unfortunately negativity is just as contagious as positivity!
- Do things for other people… with no expectation of a return. It’s amazing how good it feels to help others who could use a hand. A charity, a friend in need, a relative who could use a little help or any other way you can.
- Find things that lift your spirits… I like motivational sayings, “feel good” stories and lessons from successful people. Find things that lift your spirits.
- Create a plan and measure your success against that plan. Success breeds success. If you create a plan to do something and work at it, and achieve your goal you will feel good. Things like achievable weight loss, learn a language, learn to play an instrument, take a course, make a first speech (Toastmasters) etc.
- Consciously smile! We all feel better when we smile, so find reasons to smile, catch yourself when you are not smiling… and SMILE!
You might find this a little hokey, or not… but give it a try. Give it a month and see if your days are better, your mood is lighter and people comment about how happy you seem!
As Monty Python might say, “Always look on the bright side of life.”
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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