Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Accentuate The Positive...Then Reinforce It

I recently wrote a post called the cynical optimist, where I noted the sometimes paradoxical challenges we all face when confronted by daily life circumstances. That choice being to accept said task or chore or adversity in an open, positive, optimistic way. Or look down at it like it is something that your foot just stepped in, another one of life’s ongoing jokes and misadventures that seem aimed directly at you. Here’s the video, for those of you who may have missed it (or ignored it) the first time:

I still believe that we can choose to be happy, and in effect, positive, if we will our minds to do so. Now, I’m not saying that if you get run over by a bus and are lying in a pool of blood on the interstate and some negative thoughts may seep (along with that blood) into your mind that you should ignore your injuries and smile, whistle, and watch the birdies tweeting around your concussive skull. But I am saying that, yes, even while you are being strapped to a gurney and being shoved into the back end of an ambulance, yes, even then, you still have the option to choose optimism over cynicism.

Wow, some happy joker this guy is, huh?

Yes, for the most part. Why? Because it’s just as easy to chose to be positive than it is to embrace negativity...and it's far more healthier.

One of the keys to success and happiness is not only cultivating a positive attitude and persona, but reinforcing that attitude every day. Most of us enjoy positive feedback, whenever we receive it. But those platitudes and kudos are not always available. What to do…?

Give yourself positive reinforcement. Give yourself a pat on the back for the job well done if your manager or supervisor or boss does not. Only, of course, if you deserve one.

If you do something wrong, make a mistake, fail, it’s not the end of the world. Rather, it is an opportunity to learn, grow, achieve. Then reinforce whatever positive success factors you gained from the experience.

Here is a video from my archives where I discuss, you guessed it:

Remember, we can choose, for the most part, to be positive throughout our daily existence, no matter how difficult that can be at times. But more importantly, we also need to reinforce this positivity with encouraging reminders, daily affirmations, and well-earned acclamation.

If we are constantly reminded that we have had past successes during certain endeavors, then we take from those positive memories the encouragement and experience necessary for continued success.

Think about it.

Until next time…




Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Attitude is everything! It can change a bad situation and help you focus on the good rather than the problem. I choose to rejoice and be glad today even though our lawn mower won't work and I don't know why, and I have to go to work--vacation isn't until next week.

Duni said...

One sentence really stands out:

'to choose to be positive'

It's a good habit to get into and I'm practising every day :)

Aimee said...

I completely agree :) Gratitude for what IS can be so powerful. That philosophy is actually a big part of the show I'm competing to host for Oprah's new network! Here's my audition where you can go and vote as many times as you like until July 3 :) And pass it on! http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=265&promo_id=1

Anna said...

Mike, this is a lesson I wish I could get through to my youngest daughter. She has a tendency to come into each job/situation with a resigned attitude. I keep telling her that if she puts a smile on her face and just pretends to be happy, her job will be that much easier. You smile, you pretend to be happy, the people you deal with see the smile, have a more positive attitude and it keeps building until, what do you know, you're happy and enjoying yourself! You can't control what happens, but you can control how you react to what happens. It's so much easier to be positive and so much more stressful to be negative.

Now, confession...this took me decades to figure out and put into practice in my daily life...I just wish I could teach my daughter this without her having to learn it the hard way as I did!

Manjunath D S said...

Thought provoking. Happiness is internal. We can decide what we live. Sadly, many people choose to live in misery, unhappy life.

People do not know how simple to enable them to be happy and at peace in whatever life circumstances.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just had that argument. He doesn't share our same belief. To me, it's just making excuses for being miserable. I choose not to be :)

Nicole said...

Great article, the power of positive thinking is undeniable!

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