Who do you think achieves more in life? Positive people or negative people? I assert that positive people fare far better in all areas of life. Why? Because when you’re positive, you see opportunity in every difficulty. But when you’re negative, you see difficulty in every opportunity.
A negative person allows problems to rent cognitive space. But why think of problems when you can fill your head with solutions?
How you respond to a new idea is an example of what you put in your head. For example, do you immediately dismiss new ideas? Do you see something novel as foolishness? Or do you allow yourself to examine the idea, to try it on for size, and think, “It just … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Maintaining a positive attitude, speaking positive words, and thinking positive thoughts is essential to a happy, stress-free, and productive life. I learned to focus on the positive early in life. Like many, I was brought up on a principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say something nice about a person, then do not say anything at all.” I took that to mean that we should not only refrain from negativity, but that we should also focus on the positive.
My mother’s advice eventually became the bedrock of my first principle to reduce stress: POSITIVITY. I now think of it whenever something negative pops into my head or if I am about to say something that can be … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Have you ever heard someone say, “If only I had put in more effort,” “If only I had more time,” “If only I could go back … yada, yada, yada”? Or, have you said these kinds of statements to yourself? We’ve all done it from time to time. Having these thoughts occasionally is perfectly normal and expected. The problem is when “if only” thinking becomes a habit.
“If only” is simply wishing that things were different. Wise and capable adults act with strength and the realization of what exists so they can positively influence outcomes. Growing is what life is all about. “If only” is the seed of a negative attitude that makes it less likely to overcome life’s challenges.… >>> READ MORE >>> →
It’s true that life can be challenging at times. But no matter what you’re going through, it is possible to project positive expectations. And when you do, you’ll become more effective in everything you do.
Realize that becoming more effective is a way of traveling rather than a destination. In other words, it’s a state of mind, not a single event. That’s where projecting positive expectations comes into play.
The only advantage of being a pessimist is that all your surprises are pleasant. But that’s pretty small stuff compared to the big payoff that comes from projecting positive expectations.
The fact is that much of our happiness or unhappiness results from not by what happens, but how we LOOK at … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’ve written and spoken for decades about why it’s important to stay positive. Positivity is good for your health. Positivity lowers stress levels. It increases happiness. It prompts good relationships. The list goes on. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, bad things happen to us, prompting us to dwell in negativity.
Is it possible to stay positive during negative times? The answer is yes!
Harold Kushner in his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” writes that things do not happen to us for any good reason that would cause us to accept them willingly.
But we can give them meaning; we can use tragedies by imposing meaning on them. Therefore, the question that we should be asking is … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? In simple terms, an optimist focuses on hope. A pessimist focused on doubt. An optimist thinks about the good that can be in a situation. A pessimist thinks about all the things that could go wrong in a situation.
Positivity (or what I call ‘conscious optimism’) promotes and induces responsibility in everyone, including children. A positive attitude, just like happiness, begins between the ears. Both are skills that anyone can develop.
In fact, the most important thing people can control is their state of mind. Is your state of mind more like an optimist or a pessimist? You really do have a choice! A state of mind is something that one … >>> READ MORE >>> →
One of the great approaches to successful living is to develop the art of prompting positive mindsets. The fact is that your mindset and success are intimately intertwined.
For example, suppose I lay a plank on the ground. Almost anyone can easily walk on the plank from one end to the other. But if I were to raise the plank 10 feet off the ground, how many people do you think would get across it without falling? I would guess quite a few people would fall off the plank.
Why can people walk the plank when it’s on the ground but not while it’s elevated? A prime reason is that when the plank is on the ground, people imagine success. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
A prime goal of my approach is to increase people’s positive self-talk. I believe in the importance of positive self-talk so much that I’ve devoted pages to this topic in each of my books.
Researchers have acknowledged that in order to know yourself, you have to talk to yourself. They have studied children’s private speech for decades, but only recently have researchers focused on self-talk in adults. We use inner speech or self-talk for all sorts of things. We depend on it to solve problems, read and write, motivate ourselves, plan for the future, learn from our mistakes, learn language, and help regulate emotions.
Beyond helping people regulate their behavior in the present moment, positive self-talk is essential for learning … >>> READ MORE >>> →
You can and should unlock the power of your subconscious mind, because your subconscious mind is a powerful thing. Henry Ford, the American captain of industry, business magnate, and founder of the Ford Motor Company, once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
What he meant was, whether you expect to succeed or expect to fail, your expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.
How is this possible? Is the human mind really that powerful?
When you expect failure, you communicate your expectations to your subconscious mind. Your brain accepts the notion and prompts your mindset as if you will fail. You actually program yourself in a negative way to do the things that will lead … >>> READ MORE >>> →
To keep your stress level down, it’s important to fill your brain with positive thoughts. Why? Because the brain is like a sponge. It soaks up whatever is near. If positive thoughts dominate your day, your brain will soak that up. Likewise, if negativity dominates your thoughts, your brain will soak that up too.
Getting rid of the negativity isn’t always easy. Think about this: The ghosts of what we erase on a computer remain deep within the system, electronically etched into the hard drive. Similarly, what goes into the human mind can remain to contaminate it or to enrich it.
Let’s go back to the sponge analogy. If you soak a sponge in dirty water and squeeze it, dirty … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’ve long asserted that we should celebrate the differences in people rather than pose them in a negative light. Unfortunately, many people see their differences as flaws, and they view their diversity in a negative way. But in reality, our differences are not flaws; rather, they are what make us unique. They key is to focus on the positive aspects of our diversity.
This topic reminds me of the story about the cracked water pot. A water-bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Many people struggle with self-acceptance. In other words, too many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self-acceptance means being okay with WHO you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do something that you later regret. When you practice self-acceptance, you reduce your stress level greatly.
Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other. There may be many reasons why people have low self-acceptance, but most fall into one or more the following areas:
- A desire to be perfect
- A focus on imperfections
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Are you tired of stressful relationships where you feel you are always nagging, threatening, or bribing the other person to do what needs to be done?
Social scientists have determined that people accept inner responsibility for their behavior and actions when they think they have CHOSEN to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward. In other words, while the incentive may get people to perform a certain action, it won’t get them to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, they won’t feel COMMITTED to it.
The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.
What Stressful Relationships Look Like
You may … >>> READ MORE >>> →
While we all have both good and bad experiences in our life, the fact is that your memories can play a big role in your stress management. Which memories are you allowing to replay in your mind? Are you focusing on the good memories or the unpleasant ones? While I’m certainly not suggesting that you try to erase your negative memories, you can use the power of positivity to lower your stress when recalling any memory.
Science tells us that our emotions engrave the brain with memories, but our emotions also distort it.
Memory is a three-stage process. The first is the actual experience—the original information. The second is the storage or consolidation of the information over many hours, days, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Positive words have a positive effect on your life. The fact is that the words you choose can help you win or lose. They can put you in a positive mood, or they can enable you to free fall into a downward spiral. Your words can make you feel empowered, or they can burden you with stress. In any case, you get to choose the words you think and say. That means you have total control over your outlook and stress load.
Here’s a simple example of how your words—even a single word—can promote a positive mindset and why positive words are always the best choice. Consider the following example that a 14-year-old student sent me:
“When I think of … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Did you know that positive thoughts are the key to stress management? It’s true! Your mindset affects your stress level. In other words, what you think—whether positive or negative—will trigger certain emotions, which will then either invoke stress or reduce it. Your mind is a powerful tool in your stress management arsenal.
I was brought up on the principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.” She knew the value of positive thoughts!
I extended this admonition to refer to my own self-talk. As such, I continually said to myself, “If I can’t say something nice to myself about myself, then don’t say anything at all—unless I … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Classroom management strategies exist in every school around the world. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting my Discipline Without Stress methodology to teachers in many different countries. In my travels, I’ve noticed some key differences between how teachers in the U.S. tend to look at classroom management compared to those in other countries.
First, I’ve found that teachers in many other countries have more time to spend with each other in lesson planning. As a result, they focus on motivation and ways to have students WANT to put forth effort in learning. In contrast, teachers in the U.S. have very little employment time to plan lessons. They focus on what they (or the government) deem important to teach, and they … >>> READ MORE >>> →
People seeking discipline help need to first understand the power of their mind and how it impacts their interactions with young people. Having a positive mindset is indeed a powerful discipline tool.
You probably remember learning about the seventeenth century French philosopher Rene Descartes, who asserted the supremacy of the mind over the body when he wrote: “I think; therefore, I am.” This philosophical concept suggested that the physical body is separate from the mind, and it set the stage for Western philosophy and medicine.
We now know, however, that mind and body are inseparable and act upon one another. Thoughts and feelings are inextricably linked to the way a body functions. Yet we are generally unaware of the countless … >>> READ MORE >>> →