Have you ever wondered how some people have a knack for always seeing the glass half full?
Meanwhile, you’re over there struggling because you see the entire world as half empty.
There are far more positives to being positive than people realize—and if you look around, a lot of extremely successful people have this art mastered. They know that positive thinking, positive intentions, and a positive outlook on life will only move them to where they want to be, faster.
How do they do it?
1. “The Appreciation Game”
For one day, I want you to find as many things as you can that you are appreciative of. And don’t go for the cliché stuff like, “I’m appreciative of my family.” Obviously. But that’s not going to really root you in the moment.
As you walk around your neighborhood, appreciate what you see. Say to yourself, “I appreciate the nice weather today,” or, “I appreciate that great conversation I just had with my friend on the phone.”
It may seem silly at first, but once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see. Appreciation leads to more appreciation. Which leads to more positive thinking.
Note the really successful people in your life. They inherently understand appreciation. Sure, they might also be competitive, or ambitious, or what have you. But still, they are appreciative.
2. Look For The Lesson, Not The Mistake
Whenever something “bad” happens, look for what you can take away as a lesson. If you focus on the mistake, you will waste so much time and energy that could be better spent improving.
The trap too many people fall into is they do not realize that there really is no such thing as “a mistake.” It’s always a lesson—and some lessons just take 814 times to learn. But as long as you call it a mistake, you will miss the underlying lesson that is clearly necessary for you to learn.
Positive people always reframe things as a lesson. And as a result, they are in a constant state of growth.
3. Stay Surrounded By Positive People
Negative people breed negativity. Positive people breed positivity.
One of the clearest examples I have of this actually unfolded at the gym. The gym I went to a few years ago, I had a very tight-knit group of friends. All bodybuilders, all serious gym rats. And everyone was extremely positive. Whenever someone would say to one of them, “Looking big man!” they would respond back, “Just trying to get like you!” It was a constantly back-and-forth of positive energy.
One day, this newer bodybuilder at our gym came up to the group and, although he was trying to be nice, he brought a very negative and competitive energy. Instantly, he realized nobody tolerated that much, and in an instant his entire vibe changed. He was surrounded by too many positive people to stay in that same state. Within a week, he went from being that “aggressive” guy at our gym, to being one of the crew. I watched, first-hand, how positivity breeds positivity.
4. Give Compliments
Have you ever talked to someone and walked away feeling like you wanted to be their best friend? Or you already felt like one of their closest friends?
Some people understand the art of complimenting, and perform the dance well—whereas others pay compliments and they come off as half-hearted or insincere.
The people who know how to share a real compliment aren’t just saying it to make you feel good about yourself, or because they feel like they need to. They are complimenting you because it brings them joy too, and they genuinely want to share that positive energy.
5. Read Inspiring Material
Positive people do not take in negative energy. They don’t tolerate it.
Too often, people mistake “sad” or “dark” for “negative.” For example: A tragic and dark theatre performance isn’t necessarily negative. In fact, it can be quite beautiful. But listening to Drumpf ramble on and on about foreign policy is a different story. Or watching someone’s face getting beaten in on World Star Hip Hop. Some material just isn’t conducive, and positive people know not to waste their time that way.
6. Daily Practice (Making Time For Yourself)
If you notice, positive people tend to be those who understand the value of taking care of themselves. They don’t run themselves into the ground with work. They are diligent about making time each day to do something that makes them happy. They don’t over-extend themselves. They understand the value of “checking in” emotionally and always giving themselves what they need in order to stay in a positive place.
There is so much to be said for making it a habit to take time to yourself. Whatever that means for you—maybe it’s a class at the gym, or going for a walk in the park, or reading a book, or writing in your journal, or going to a live show. Regardless of what it is, make time for yourself.
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Nicolas Cole is a writer and essayist, and Top Writer on Quora with over 10,000,000 views. His work has been published in Time, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and more. He is a columnist for Inc Magazine and is best known for writing true stories about self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @Nicolascole77