I had a troubling incident at the end of 2019 that really got me thinking about my attitude. Now, I’ve written about my attitude here before, and I’m fully-aware that having a positive attitude is definitely not my calling card.
I’m not a Pollyanna, I’m rational and logical by nature, and I call things like I see it — take it or leave it, and see how much I give a damn.
This is separate from having a positive attitude. I’m sure you’ve heard that happiness is something you choose. Before these last few years, I never really understood what that meant.
But in 2018, I really took control of my life. At the end of 2017, when it was New Year’s Eve and I was reflecting on my year, I was so tired of feeling like another year had passed without much to show for it. Sure, maybe I had a few memorable nights or gotten a new job, but had I really made a difference in my life, for myself?
I hadn’t. Because I was someone that often just took things as they came. I let life happen to me, instead of making life happen.
A trip isn’t something that just happens… I mean, it could if someone planned it for you. A great meal at a local restaurant doesn’t just happen… I mean, maybe if someone invited you. You see where I’m going with this.
Once I realized I had to stop waiting for things to happen; stop waiting for non-existent boyfriends, a husband, or friends to plan my life, shit got rolling and it’s been non-stop ever since.
This shift in my outlook also trickles over to my attitude. There have been many studies that show people with a positive attitude live longer than those with a negative outlook, and two ways to maintain a positive outlook are to 1. Take responsibility, and 2. Be proactive.
Over the last two years, I’ve suffered from a decent amount of trauma and have had to find ways to cope with severe anxiety and depression. Now, I am not a doctor and I’m not saying that having a positive attitude will cure anxiety or depression, but I have found that — for me — having a positive attitude is sometimes all I have.
There are plenty of days that I don’t want to get out of bed (I cannot think of a day where I actually threw back the covers and jumped out of bed), and most days, I just know that I have a full schedule and I don’t have time to waste.
But, I consciously try to look on the brighter side of my work. No, not all of it is fun or exciting, but it makes it possible for me to live and work as a professional writer. My work allows me the freedom to live how I see fit, travel and pay off debt so I can set up a better financial situation for myself later in life.
My career and daily work gives me an outlet to express my creativity in ways I didn’t think I’d be able to at a traditional desk job.
I also try to think positive when it comes to new opportunities and ideas. Instead of asking why do it, I ask myself why not? This could boil down to something as small as where to eat dinner or what book to read next.
The biggest thing for me is that, on a daily basis, I have to convince myself to do things to help my mental health. I have to tell myself that yes, going to yoga is actually a GREAT idea and I’ll feel better when it’s over. I have to give myself a pep talk when I want to cancel a client contract because things get rocky.
I build things up so I can continue on, and when someone with a bad attitude comes in to knock everything down… that is what I’m not here for. Seeing the harsh effects of someone ELSE’s poor attitude has made me change mine.
The thing is, there’s so much of our lives that we can control, so we all have to take accountability. When someone has a bad attitude, their life choices are making a negative impact on my life. Of course, I have to choose how I react to it, but I know I’m not going to let my bad attitude affect someone else’s good one.
Life is tough. We all have issues, we are all going through it and we all have to figure out how to make the most of what we have. I’m not saying one person’s struggles are bigger or lesser than another’s, but I do know that whatever you’re going through, someone else out there has gone through it and has conquered it.
Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Stephen King… even Lizzo! There are so many examples, and certainly millions of stories from those who aren’t well-known, all whom have faced adversity and made a real difference in the world. These kinds of stories help fuel my positive attitude and keep me going.
The cool thing about getting a positive attitude is, it costs nothing and it takes no physical energy to get it. Literally, you do not even have to move!
The energy you put out into the world is what you give back, and I know I can only handle positive vibes right now.
Having (and maintaining) a positive attitude is what keeps me going. It’s what gets me excited about going to the library for a local author’s panel; it’s what fuels me to cook healthy food for myself; it’s what puts me in front of my TV to gawk at the stars on the red carpet.
What inspires you; what fuels you is likely different than what gets me going, but it all starts with your outlook on the world.
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