We have all known a Negative Nancy, Gloomy Glen, and Defeatist Dan. The power of such pessimism changes the course of life and destroys hope for the future. Leadership cannot survive under such influence. There must be something better for men and women who are seeking for someone to provide guidance.
The difficulty of obtaining and maintaining a positive attitude is the misconception of how a positive attitude is developed. Too often, the tendency is to believe external circumstances control our mental faculties. If I only had more money, I would have a great attitude. If my family would just get along, my attitude would be fine. If I only had better health, looked younger, etc., etc., etc. Do such external circumstances really determine our attitude?
The answer to this question is simple, only if we allow it! Attitude is a choice. Leaders cannot allow circumstances to dictate their attitude, but rather they must choose the kind of attitude that dictates the circumstances. In reality, it will anyway. So why not choose a positive attitude?
Attitude determines our actions; how we treat our family, our friends, co-workers, and, yes, even the people we do not know. We will also find that our attitude affects the attitude of others. How then do we obtain and maintain a positive attitude? Here are four suggestions.
1. Eat the right food. No, I am not talking about the substance we stick in our mouths, although it does help. More can be read here. However, I am talking about what we put into our minds. Read Philippians 4:8 and truly “think on these things.”
2. Set and achieve a goal everyday. Few areas in life help develop a positive attitude better than achievement. When we set and achieve daily goals there is a constant and consistent sense of accomplishment. Do not let the big picture become so overwhelming it hinders the development of a positive attitude.
3. Get some exercise. I am not talking about running a marathon, but get out and move the body. Go for a walk, jog, ride a bike, or lift weights. Do something to get the endorphins and heart pumping. Exercise does a great deal for one’s mental attitude. A sedentary lifestyle leads to being lethargic and ultimately a negative or depressed attitude.
4. Write it down. This is just the basic reinforcement. We need to see it everyday. I have a picture in the office that says, “be the most positive, enthusiastic person you know.” Write it on a post-a-note and place it on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, car dash, and work station. We all need a constant reminder of the positive attitude we should display and writing it down will help.