Thinking positive isn’t only a mental attitude. it’s also an emotional and spiritual attitude that enables you to see the brighter side of life and be hopeful for positive results. As my good friend Carter Murray always says :
People are either radiators or drains. So be a radiator!
People who have an optimistic approach to life radiate out to all around them whereas negative thought drains others. Numerous studies show us that having an optimistic or pessimistic perspective affects health, well-being and the way we manage stress in challenging times. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor explains that job success is predicted not just by intelligence but also by optimism and enthusiasm.
So what does it really mean to think positive? How do you do that today in organisations where there’s so much pressure, competition, and no time? Here are some habits and strategies I’ve been noticing in leaders who think positive.
They surround themselves with positive people, they socialise
Building a solid social support network around you is essential. You need to bounce ideas off other people, connect with people, listen to their stories and find happiness in these links you make and maintain.
They lead a healthy lifestyle
This means doing sport regularly, and taking enough time to recharge your batteries. You can’t be positive if you’re stuck in your mental and intellectual life “watching shadows on the wall” in John Lennon’s words. This is what having an all-round perspective means : head, heart and body.
They have positive body language.
Expressing your positivity through non-verbal communication is a way to train the positive-thinking muscle. Smiling, positive body language such as an open posture, and being open to humour by laughing at yourself and life is key.
They are open
As Richard Branson says :
Business favours the open mind. It favours people whose optimism drives them to prepare for many possible futures.
Being open to people, different ideas and learning helps you develop positive thinking and enables you to unearth shortcomings in the way you see the world. Positive people don’t polarise but navigate complexity by being open and knowing that they don’t have the answers to everything, which translates into a willingness to learn from others.
They are intuitive and have faith that things will work out
Positive people have faith in their intuition and trust their instincts. This helps leaders who are facing unpleasantness or uncertainty do so in a more balanced and confident way. And when their intuition isn’t clear to them and they can’t feel their way out of a challenge, positive people have faith that things always work out as they should and don’t panic but show patience.
They are kind to themselves
People who are negative tend to blame themselves for everything whereas if you think positive, you are kind and gentle with yourself. As soon as you start being negative, you need to evaluate it and affirm what is good about you. And laugh at yourself.