I grew up in a small town in the beautiful Swiss Alps. The town isn`t very big, the current population is approximately 4000 people. What I most loved about living there wasn`t just the beautiful scenery but also the strong community the locals have.
I especially admired one person. Every time I talked with him or just saw him from afar, he had a huge smile on his face. A particular memory of this relates to a car accident he had. One day he had a head-on crash with another car. Fortunately, the crash wasn`t too bad and no one got injured. But what amazed me most is that the first thing he did as he stepped out the car was to laugh out loud! He was that positive all the time, no matter what he went through or what circumstances he was in.
I could feel my life lighting up whenever I had the opportunity to be in his presence. He inspired me to believe that life is all about looking at the positive side rather than the negative. At some point I made a decision that I wanted to be like him when I grew up. To have a positive attitude 24/7, no matter how I feel, what I have or the circumstances I`m in!
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who has a positive attitude all the time?
Positivity is something we all want yet most of us find it hard to have a positive attitude, especially when life does not go the way we imagine.
Another person I look up, who had a positive attitude is Paul, who we find in the Bible. If you`re not familiar with the Bible or Christianity, let me give you some context. Paul was born a Roman citizen and a Jew. Before he converted to the Christian faith, he persecuted Christians in the name of the Jewish religion. His conversion was so deep that he had a great zeal to preach the love and hope of God to people in many nations. It was a 180-degree turn in his life! It was no longer about religion or who was right or wrong, but about a living relationship with God that brings unconditional love, hope and meaning. Paul’s new-found faith meant he himself was often persecuted, beaten, or put in prison. This was at the hands of his previous colleagues, people from other religions and even governments..
In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul writes how he masters his life. It says: “I’m not telling you this because I’m in need, for I have learned to be satisfied in any circumstance. I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.“(TPT)
I picture Paul here as someone who had the mind to make it through any circumstances., I see him as someone who developed a positive attitude whenever he could and in whatever circumstances he was in.
I would like to share with you three things that I have learned from these positive people and their attitudes to live:
1. Attitudes can be changed
No matter the situation, conflict, circumstances or pain we have to face right now, attitudes can be changed, even in the middle of the difficulty. We have the freewill and capacity to choose what we think or let into us in a particular situation.
I consider myself as someone who has a positive attitude. People have often told me that you`re either born with it or you’re not. But everyone has the opportunity to change their attitude. Attitudes can be changed just as much as circumstances do! Having a positive attitude has little to do with the circumstance itself; rather it has to do how we perceive it. That means to perceive our situation as an opportunity rather than a defeat or loss of something.
2. A positive attitude gives you meaning
The more you see the positive in everything the more you develop your positive attitude. I believe a positive attitude is a source of strength. The more we focus on the negative side of a particular circumstance the more draining it is. Looking at the positive side gives us the opportunity to see what can still be instead of what can`t be. This will give us new strength and hope to keep going into an endless future ahead of us!
3. How to change from negativism to positivism
One of the most practical steps I do when facing challenging circumstances is to look at what still is or can be instead of what has been lost. Let me give you an example of what this can look like on an everyday basis.
Picture yourself in bed at the start of the week. You had an amazing weekend but now it`s Monday, back to work, routines and being in the presence of a grumpy boss or colleague all week. The first thought you probably have is: “Oh Monday. Can`t it be the weekend for just one more day? I don`t want to get up!” You have a choice here. You could choose to focus on the negative and all the things that are wrong. Or, it could be the perfect moment to take authority over that pessimistic perspective and change it into a positive perspective with something like: “I`m so grateful that I can still get up, have a job and can make a difference in the workplace with all my talents I have.”
I hope this blog has inspired and empowered you to constantly develop a positive attitude. Never give up on developing a positive attitude! Life is so much easier when living with a positive attitude!J
Please feel free to contact me if you need any coaching on this topic or if you want some more practical steps to take.