Advertising
Advertising

If You Want To Be Consistently Optimistic, Read This

If You Want To Be Consistently Optimistic, Read This

Do you find yourself wishing that you could be optimistic more often? Maybe you’ve had occasional stretches of optimism, fueled by success. Then, you default to well-worn habits of pessimism once the success fades. Perhaps you are acquainted with someone who always seem to have a positive outlook on life no matter what and wonder how they do it.

Yes, being consistently optimistic is hard but not impossible. Here are eight steps to achieving consistent optimism:

Advertising

1. Develop a morning routine

Some of the most optimistic and successful people in the world are early risers with well developed morning routines. They start their days in prayer or quiet meditation. They exercise. They plan their day. They have a good breakfast. Developing a similar morning ritual will give you the physical, emotional, and spiritual energy needed to meet the demands of your day. You wouldn’t think of leaving home without fully charging your electronic device. Don’t leave home without charging your own batteries.

2. Become more intentional

Consistently optimistic people understand the power of being intentional. They do not wait for external circumstances to determine how they should feel. On the subconscious level too many of us operate this way: if x happens, I will feel y. Consistent optimists say, “If x happens, I can choose to feel y or z.” They choose optimism. The good news is that you can learn to consistently choose optimism. One way to develop this ability is to speak positive affirmations to yourself in the present tense. Act as if you are experiencing joy now even if you are not joyful. Smile. Laugh. When you create the expectation that you will have a positive day, an optimistic attitude will likely follow, even when things are not going your way. Don’t make you optimism contingent on some future achievement. Choose optimism now.

Advertising

3. Surround yourself with positive people

We can all identify them, the people in our lives who always seem to have a smile on their faces and joy in their hearts. Spend time with these people in order to learn the ways of optimism from them.

4. Avoid negative conversations and gossip

Optimists understand that these are detrimental to maintaining a positive attitude. Pay attention to your speech. Ask your friends to hold you accountable when you start to engage in negative conversations.

Advertising

5. Focus on the journey, not the bottom line

Economists tell us that incentives rule the world. Just give the right incentive and people will do almost anything. The problem with incentives is that it can narrow our focus on achieving a desired result. When we do this, we run the risk of pining for what we do not yet have instead of enjoying what we are doing today to get there. We run the risk of taking short cuts to achieve goals by all necessary means. Optimists instead focus on enjoying the journey, fully aware of the future result they want, but not fixating on it. They find joy in the process of getting there. Let go of the results. Allow the results to flow from following the path with a right attitude.

6. Practice gratitude

As soon as you find yourself slipping into negative patterns of thinking, find things to be grateful for. Don’t underestimate the power of expressing gratitude even for the little blessings we experience everyday but ignore because of our desire for bigger and better things.

Advertising

7. Assume the best in others

When people let you down, assume that they did not mean to hurt you. Be quick to forgive rather than holding on to grudges. Look for the good in people, even the ones you have a hard time getting along with. Focus on their virtues and let them know how much you appreciate those qualities.

8. Practice everyday

In order to achieve consistent optimism, you must practice everyday. You must practice on the days you feel like it and the days you don’t feel like it. You must practice even if you think it’s a waste of time.

Commit to doing these steps and you will transform your thinking and your life.

Featured photo credit: Joy via flickr.com

More by this author

People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths 5 Warning Signs That You’re A People Pleaser (And How To Fix It) 34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success 15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop 60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

Trending in Communication

1The Gentle Art of Saying No 217 Ted Talks for Kids to Inspire Little Minds to Do Big Things 310 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of 4Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 5Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Advertising

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

Advertising

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

Advertising

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Advertising

Read Next