We hear a lot about the importance of positive thinking and cultivating a positive outlook if we’re going to be happy and successful …. But what does this mean and how do you do it?

Positive thinking is a choice

Positive thinking is about consciously selecting good thoughts and banishing any tendency to dwell on negative things . It is about choosing who you want to be and how you will live your life – adopting a positive and grateful mind-set  ahead of a negative and complaining outlookpositive thinking

Through developing positive thinking as an integral part of your life, you open the door to good things happening in your life. With an optimistic and positive outlook, you expect that good things will eventually come to you – which you appreciate and do not take for granted

We are not talking about simply waiting passively for these opportunities to present themselves, but instead positive thinking that drives positive actions.

Pessimistic thinking can too easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy …..if you think you can do nothing to improve a bad situation, then you do nothing and the situation most likely does not improve.

By deliberately cultivating a positive attitude and harnessing the power of positive thinking in your life, you will start to find that your environment and the people around you are also influenced by your upbeat approach. And, you will likely discover that other positively minded people are attracted to the bright and welcoming manner that you  begin to project!


Control what you focus upon

Positive thinking will result in you developing confidence and faith in your own abilities. You will be more affirming of what you can do, instead of allowing yourself to dwell on what you cannot do. Through exercising greater control and discipline in your thinking, you will no longer allow unfounded fears to hold you back. The fear of failure or the fear of making a mistake or the fear of upsetting other people – these fears will be challenged when you adopt positive thinking to guide you.

Positive thinking is not intended to promote reckless behaviour For example, it’s just plain stupid to drive through a red light and think “positively” to yourself that everything will be OK. There will always be consequences to reckless decision making that disregards proven facts and risks.

No, what we are talking about here is adopting a positive outlook to life based upon encouraging self-belief, appreciating the good in your life, and training your mind to focus on looking for opportunities and solutions rather than difficulties and problems.

Here’s a short video clip in which popular actor Jim Carey shares some of his thoughts and experience on the power of having clear intentions and a positive outlook in life ….

How to cultivate a positive attitude

So, having considered what is positive thinking – let’s look at some quick and simple positive thinking tips …..

  1. Hang out with people who are positive
  2. Do more things that you enjoy – play and have fun
  3. Cultivate positive words and language when you are speaking
  4. Look for opportunities to compliment others – it will actually help you as much as them, to feel good
  5. Think about things that make you smile – and allow yourself to readily smile at others
  6. Read quotes, uplifting stories and positive thinking books that provide you with inspiration
  7. Set small achievable goals for yourself, that will bring you satisfaction when accomplished- and also helps to engender a positive belief in your own capabilities. Success helps breed further positive expectation of future success.

So in summary – by choosing a positive attitude, you will be adopting a belief that you can change things for the better in your life. You will be accepting responsibility for your own happiness….

“Many of the world’s greatest achievements were accomplished by tired and discouraged people –who simply never gave up because they clung to the belief they could make a difference”

  • But, if bad stuff happens …

When challenges and difficulties arise that are beyond your control (such as the floods we’ve seen in many parts of the country), your positive attitude provides you with a firm foundation of belief that you possess the ability and resilience to adapt and get through it all. You also recognise that often there are people out there who are willing to help you – and with a positive outlook, you open yourself to receiving such support.

With positive thinking you have an optimism and faith that the situation will eventually be turned around for the better – and that a brighter future awaits you.

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For self-improvement resources, see Personal Development