Having and maintaining a positive attitude is vital for success in life and business. Zig Ziglar gets it right when he says, "It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude." Sure you need skills, but you can learn skills - in fact a positive attitude will make it much more likely that you will learn the skills necessary to succeed. If you take two people with an equal skill set the person with the better attitude will win.
Unfortunately it is not always easy to stay positive and keep a good attitude. As things go wrong throughout your day, it is easy to let negative thoughts start to take over. Thankfully there are many things that you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. These are things that you can do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to make sure you keep your positive focus.
- Read Positive and Inspiring Books
One of the best ways to maintain a positive attitude is by reading positive books. These books serve to encourage you, inspire you, and teach you. Reading requires that you sit still and focus, and by focusing on something positive it helps you to keep a positive mindset throughout the day. (My favorite books can be found here.)
- Listen to Podcasts/CDS
The advantage of listening to podcasts or compact disks is that you can listen on the go. You can listen to motivating podcasts while you clean your house, exercise, or on a flight. In your car, you can play encouraging compact disks that help you make better use of your commute. Listening to recordings from people like Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, or John Maxwell can both teach and inspire you. (My favorite podcasts can be found here.)
- Wake up Early
One of the best ways to help you maintain a positive attitude is to create the habit of waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get a head start on the day. You can prepare for work and start your day without feeling rushed. You can get a head start on important projects before the rest of the world is awake to interrupt you. You can spend time reading or in prayer or meditation. I start each day by listening to a 10 minute motivational podcast. (Bonus Article: Simple Ways to Burst Out of Bed.)
Very few things in life leverage your time as much as exercise. Obviously it makes a difference for your physical health, but it also has significant benefits to your mental health. Exercise is useful to combat depression and to improve overall positive mood. Further, if you exercise early in the morning you can go through your day knowing that you have already completed the most valuable activity you had to do! (Bonus article: How to Develop the Habit of Daily Exercise.)
- Plan Your Week and Day
Having a clear plan to your day and to your week can go a long way to helping you maintain a positive attitude. By knowing what you want to accomplish you will be able to focus on your important life priorities. A weekly plan allows you to match your long-term goals to your weekly accomplishments. Your daily plan allows you complete the activities you need to do so that you meet your weekly goals. (My weekly planning process can be found here.)
- Understand that Things Won't Always Go as Planned
If you plan and expect everything in life will go as you planned, you will be quickly disappointed. One of the keys to maintaining a positive attitude is to understand that things will go wrong. If you expect things to go wrong, you won't be phased when they do. So have a plan, but understand that things won't follow the plan. The plan allows you to adapt to what went wrong and move back towards what is important. (Bonus article: A Beautiful Method to Find Peace of Mind)
- St. John's Wort and Griffonia Seed
These two herbal supplements can have an important role to play in helping you maintain a positive attitude. Many people know about St. John's Wort as a natural supplement to help prevent or treat depression. St. John's Wort is really a mood stabilizer. Griffonia seed works to elevate positive mood. Together they are helpful in maintaining a positive mental attitude.
- Get Spiritually Connected
Naturally this one will look different for everyone, and this is simply an option to consider. If you are spiritually connected, you will have a positive outlook on life. This might mean prayer, meditation or reading Scripture. Set aside time each day to be connected spiritually.
- Be Thankful
Take some time and be thankful. Be thankful about what you have, who you are, and what your life is like. Think through all of the things that you can be thankful for. Even if you are in a tough time in life there are many things you have that you can be thankful for. You need to look for them and recognize them. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude.(Bonus article: The Principle of Thankfulness)
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
The people around you have a big impact on you. They impact who you are, how much money you will make, and what you value. They also impact how you think. If you surround yourself with negative people you will be negative as well. You can't help it. Hearing negativity all day leads you to negativity. The opposite is also true. Surround yourself with positive people and you will be more positive.