Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

“The greatest part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” ~ Martha Washington 1731
Living a positive life in a world where we are constantly bombarded with a plethora of negative things, can be very challenging. Some days can be more difficult than others, but for the most part staying in that zone where you see the positive aspect in every area of your life, it is not always easy.

As I am writing this post, my mind is still trying to adjust to the new increased spending that has come to my pocket book like a shooting missile as a result of a major hit and ‘run’ accident on my car three weeks ago today. As of now no one has come forward and so the perpetrator is still unknown.

After two and a half weeks of chasing behind the car dealer and repair shops, I finally got the first estimate to repair the damages to my car at a cost of $1650. My insurance deductible pay is $500.

The hole in my pocket book just got deeper. It’s not the way I had planned it – because the day the accident took place was really the start of my long awaited vacation with plans to travel. So there it is, my vacation plans got ‘screwed.’ In addition to my car accident, there are some other unplanned situations I’m dealing with that involves spending.

Situations like these it is very quick to turn sour and even wish hurt back on the other person but in spite of the way my life is right now, or yours for whatever your reason may be, I know that choosing to be brave, keeping your mind free of negative thoughts and continuing to do everything that is possible to lead a happy, fulfilling and positive life is still the right thing to do.

I could have thrown a pity party but what good thing would it do? I am standing strong because I’ve taken the necessary steps that’s made it much easier to see the good in life.

Here’s a list of things that you must strive to master in order to live a positive life:

  1. Keeping positive attitude and feelings

You’ve got to constantly tell yourself that keeping a positive attitude is not an option or an alternative for you, it is a choice! This one I know wasn’t always easy for me. And in 20/20 hindsight, I admit that there was a time in my life that I had a bad attitude. I was negative about most things.

I was careful however, not to hold much conversation about my negative thoughts or feelings but would entertain them in my mind for long periods of time. My wake-up call came one day when I suddenly realized that much of my unhappiness and sometime misery was as a result of me consistently entertaining negative thoughts.

This text from Romans 12:1-2 is what really transformed me:

“Therefore, I urge you, brethren and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. V2. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Now any bad situation that I find myself in, I know that it is up to me to find the good and be positive and to be positive regardless of what is happening.

The day of my car accident, I was pulled into three different directions – have an angry outburst, to cry or to pray. I conceded in the end to praying about it. I realize that everything happens for a reason and it is up to me to choose my attitude towards the situation.

Action step

Set aside time each day to work on developing a positive attitude and mindset through reading self-help books, especially the word of God. Stop saying ‘it is what it is’ and start believing in yourself.

  1. Getting rid negativity from your life

We have heard this one so many times before but if you want to live a happy, healthy positive life you have to rid yourself of negativity [influences, environment, surroundings] and this too include moving away from the people who rather than encourage happiness, spurt negativity like an ongoing open water faucet.

We can all agree that no one is perfect and as painful an experience it would be, there comes a time when you will have to draw the line and move towards cultivating a positive lifestyle and building strong, healthy positive relationships.

Achieving your lifelong goal of a positive life also means working on getting rid of unhealthy habits and negative behaviors that you have engaged in previously. For me personally, it has not been an easy process especially that some of the people who are agents of negativity are your own family members. And so while the process for me is ongoing, a lot of progress has been made so far.

Action step:

Pull out your writing tools (pen and paper, journal) and start writing down the things (thought, belief, situations etc.) that you know are holding back your progress. For each of the things you listed, write down your items on how you can act differently that will bring change. Monitor your progress and note improvements. Celebrate your victories.

  1. Appreciating others even when they do things to hurt you

Life would be so much better if you and I could just make that extra effort to show how much we appreciate others, even ourselves and the things around. Love and appreciate even those who wounded your spirit.

Experience the beauty of nature, sunshine, rain, your health, your daily food and the fact that you even have a roof over your head.  A psalm of David that brings conviction and deafening reminder of the need to show appreciation say:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth their speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voices goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV)

Show love and appreciation, forgive, and be gracious and kind. Regardless of what you think might have happened there is some good in every situation and in every person. And because the law of reciprocity is strong, eventually those same persons will return you the favor and start appreciating you. The result is a spiraling upward positive thoughts, feelings and emotions and a better life.

Action step:

To start, think of one person you can show love and appreciation to today. Build momentum and do this action step every day. Find another person each time, even the stranger along the way.

  1. Learn the lesson from your experiences, and then let go

Did you know that the same experiences keeps popping up in your life until you learn the lesson? That’s right, they do.

So here’s what, you need to stop rehashing and going over the things that are past, especially negative past experiences. It will do you no good to be constantly analyzing what’s already done. To put a cap on this, I quote Jules Murphy Wyman who said,

“Going over your past life is like sitting in a crap film and watching it over and over and over and over and expecting the end to change, when it’s not, it’s not going to.”

So whatever it is, just let it go!

Action tip:

Pause right now and think about that one thing in the past that caused you some hurt and pain or discomfort in your life that is still haunting you. Think about why it is still bothering you – perhaps it’s because you have not forgiven the person. You will also need to dig deeper and to extract all of the positive lessons from that situation. Use them to bring about continuous improvement in your life.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the things that you must master in order to live a positive life. It is important to remember who you are. Keep on believing in yourself. Above all, be yourself. Having a positive outlook is not a one-time chance. It is a choice that you can make. It starts with a few small steps in the right direction.

Tags for post: positive mind, positive thinking, life, positivity, happiness

How do you stay positive?

Have you met Yvonne I Wilson?

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