The world news can sometimes be overwhelming. Looking for inspiration, I came across a quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
You and I may individually not be able to control all the crazy things that happen in our world, but I believe individually we can make our own lives better – which can ultimately make this world a better place. So back to Gandhi’s quote, let’s say “the change” we want is for the world to be a more positive place. Then we must first change ourselves to be more positive.
I’m just one little person in this big world… can a personal change I make in my life really make a difference to the world?
Think about how ONE person can affect a whole group. It’s like the ol’ saying, “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” It only takes one person to spew negativity to make the whole group focus on the negative side. On the flip side, ONE person with a glowing positive attitude can reshape the conversation to something that feels so much better.
I know I feel much better about myself when I’m that cheerful, positive person in the group versus the Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer who wreaks havoc on office morale or who drains the festive spirit out of a family event. Bad attitudes, negative thinking, and dim outlooks can spread like wildfire. So based on the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, here’s my idea on how each of us individually can make this world a better place, and it’s really quite simple:
Give focus to what makes you feel good emotionally.
From experience I know that what I focus on determines how I feel, and how I feel forms my overall attitude about life. For example, think about the difference of how you feel after watching a news story about some horrific situation versus how you feel after watching a feel-good story.
Another example is how you feel after ranting about your awful ______________ (fill-in the blank). If you catch your thought or conversation going downhill, be mindful that swinging it to the positive side will have you walking away feeling a lot better.
Focusing on the bad feels heavy and tends to drain the life right out me. Focusing on the positive helps me personally stay more optimistic and joyful, and the bottom line is I feel better. When I feel good, it makes life feel brighter and not so burdensome.
Again, Gandhi’s quote is “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Any “change” or good new habit requires practice, so building a more positive attitude will likely require some practicing. When you find yourself slipping, recognize it and guide yourself back to a more positive place. Having that positive attitude will even help to more easily overcome and learn from setbacks.
Specific ideas to help you focus on things that make you feel good emotionally and build a more positive attitude:
- Let it go. Stop thinking again and again about a negative situation. Ask yourself, will this matter a year from now? Don’t sweat the small things, move on to something better. As soon as you realize you’re thinking negatively, change your thought to something more in line with appreciation.
- You might cringe at the thought, but consider limiting (or eliminating) tv news. I have done this and without doubt, it has been a blessing in my life. I feel like there’s less weight on my shoulders, and it certainly makes it easier to try to maintain a positive attitude.
- Think about the people you spend time with. Might it benefit you to spend less time with someone in particular? Surround yourself with positive people.
- See the good in the people. Treat people with love and respect, and create an upward spiral of positive changes in relationships with family and friends.
- Exercise. Walk, run, dance, go to the gym, whatever! I always feel like I’m in a better frame of mind after a good walk.
- In any situation, you have the choice of making the best or worst of it. You have the option of making it hard or easy. Choose wisely.
- Take some time for yourself. Partake in a few self-care activities, even if only for a few minutes each day. Nothing like some “me-time” to help adjust your attitude.
- Read my post The Power of Positive Thinking for 5 additional things you can do to make it a habit to focus on more positive thoughts.
To wrap it up, I’ll end with another great quote by Gandhi:
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. Do you think “feeling good” is contagious? What’s your best advice for keeping a positive attitude?