If we believe in a magical life, we will live it.”
– Tony Robbins
Isn’t it funny how the only people who say that our outlook on life has nothing to do with the kind of life we live are always negative, pessimistic people? Very rarely will you see a positive person tell you that their optimism has nothing to do with their success in life. Why? Because they know that their positive outlook has everything to do with success.
It’s simple: Be positive and your life will be better. Although your life becomes magical, there is no magic involved. It’s purely and simply all down to your mindset.
People who limit themselves with an “I can’t do this attitude” won’t get very far in life. They will always live within the narrow confines of the limits they have imposed upon themselves.
Meanwhile, optimistic people will be out there, smashing boundaries and running away with life. They will be forever discovering new pleasures, taking on new challenges and winning.
It’s actually not all that hard to go from thinking negatively to thinking positively. The hard bit is making your new outlook stick. Here are some usable tips:
Do What Makes You Feel Happy And Accomplished
Sure, watching box sets on Netflix for a few hours on my day off from work while gorging on candy makes me feel good, but it doesn’t make me feel accomplished. At the end of the day, I find myself looking back on it thinking “Gee, that was a total waste of my time.” I feel gross because I literally did nothing productive.
To be more positive about yourself and life in general, I think it’s really important that you do something that makes you feel happy AND accomplished. Merging the two together gives you a real enthusiasm for life, and reminds you of your worth and abilities. Feeding your soul is important, so try it more often.
Quit Being The Victim
A trend I’ve noticed among negative people, especially on Facebook, is that they play the victim all too often.
“Great! I wanted to go out but can’t now because *someone* has changed their mind. Second time this has happened to me in a week!”
Does this kind of Facebook status sound familiar? If it’s closer to home than you’d like (i.e., you’re the one who make such status updates), it’s time to take responsibility.
Don’t become trapped by externalities. Take control of your life. If someone can’t come to the concert with you, go alone. There is always a way out. Casting yourself in the role of victim just makes you feel even more pessimistic about life.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
So what if Emma on your Facebook has a new pug and you don’t? You’ve got plenty of things she hasn’t got.
Everyone has someone we can compare ourselves to and come out worse.
Which means someone is comparing themselves to your great life right now.
Focus on yourself and making your own great life even better. It’s much easier.
Write Down The Things You’ve Accomplished So Far
Sometimes, we get a little bit down when we think about how we haven’t really accomplished anything in life. But you’ve accomplished more than you realise.
Spend an afternoon writing down everything you’ve accomplished so far. This will make you realise that you’re capable of so much more than you thought you were.
Listen To Music That Makes You Feel Good
When I was in the process of pinpointing why I had such a downbeat year in 2015, I realised that I was listening to a lot of melancholic music. Especially during the winter, my Spotify playlist read like a mortuary. Many of the artists were either depressed themselves, or wrote unbelievably depressing music. While it moved me, it wasn’t doing anything for my outlook on life. It was infecting me with pessimism.
Nowadays, I only listen to music that takes me to my happy place, and I think it’s very important if you do this, too. Who cares if the Spice Girls were “so 1990’s”? If it makes you feel good and puts you in the mood for taking the bull by the horns, stick it on in the morning.
Don’t avoid music because society has told you it’s uncool or because you think you should have outgrown it by now. Listen to whatever you know gets you smiling.
This one is so simple but it works every time. The easiest way to become more optimistic is to do what optimistic people do all the time – smile more.
Read Self-Help Books
Feeling a bit blue because you’re not assertive enough? Then why don’t you read a book about how to become more assertive?
Whatever it is about yourself that is making you feel down, remember that it can be improved by educating yourself. Buy some new books and boost your skill set.
Appreciate Things More
How much time do you spend actually appreciating life? The chances are that you probably spend a lot more time either letting life pass you by as you bury your head in your phone, or you instead criticise too much.
The next time you get stuck in a traffic jam, appreciate the fact that you’ve got some free time to listen to a podcast or catch up on some blogs.
The next time you’re trapped in a storm, appreciate that you’re alive to witness nature at her angriest.
Turn negatives into positives. It will make you feel so much better.
What we wear can have a huge effect on how we feel about life. Last year, I was walking around in my rags, both inside the house and in public. I literally saw no point in getting dressed up. What did it matter how I looked to other people? I didn’t care.
I care now, because I know that dressing up is important for cultivating a positive mentality.
You should want to look good every single day, because looking good automatically makes you feel better about yourself and life itself. You have more self-respect, and you’ll probably even get complimented by others – which will automatically make you feel more positive.
Set Achievable Goals
One of the reasons I personally become so pessimistic about life is because I was failing to achieve my big goal. After two years of trying, it was pretty much all over.
“I’m thirty now, and I’ve totally failed,” I thought to myself. “What is the point of anything?”
I became disillusioned and apathetic. I slunk into negativity, which spread to my friends as I told them not to bother trying to achieve their dreams.
And then I realised that the problem was that I had set myself a quite frankly impossible goal. Without a series of smaller, achievable goals along the way, I hadn’t given myself the necessary ladder needed to reach this MASSIVE goal.
Reaching big goals is only made possible if you devise a series of smaller, short term goals. In this way, you are building the ladder that will take you to the top.
Don’t be afraid to dream big, but make sure that you work out how you’re going to get there.
In this way, you’re no longer putting yourself at risk of getting downbeat when you STILL haven’t achieved your goal, because each week you’re crossing off a series of smaller goals. And each time you cross off a goal, you feel great.