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Attitude Does Count

If you look at life through a negative lens, I can guarantee negative outcomes. You really do become what you think about. I made a choice some time ago to be positive—not to be a Pollyanna but to be realistic. A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will keep enough toxic or negative people away that it will make it worth the effort.

If you sometimes are in a toxic frame of mind, unhappy about everything, it may be time to start changing your focus now. You will be amazed how a positive attitude can make life more positive.

Consider these steps toward a change of mindset:

Create pleasant memories. Set yourself up for happiness by planning events that you know will have happy endings. Instead of maintaining a pattern of defeat and unhappiness, you should begin to see things in a more positive light. My belief is that you actually can train yourself in how to enjoy the present and create your future.

Relish every day. Learn to celebrate small things and combat sameness. Concentrate on staying pleasant, and learn to be grateful. Don’t get caught up in an excess of anything—eating, sleeping, exercising, working, shopping, or the like.

See friends and make connections. Get out of your way, right now, to send an e-mail or text message to someone you care for and haven’t connected with in a while. Individuals who are connected tend to be more emotionally resilient. Just knowing you have support makes it easier to tolerate life’s little disasters.

Stay out of heavy traffic; it will just make you realize your lack of control. Like life, sometimes you have to find a new route. This mentally places you in control, and you are in for a more pleasant role.

Limit your options; otherwise your mind stimulates debate. There are just too many choices in life. Too many choices equals using your limited time and energy on trivial decisions. Instead of reading every item on the six-page restaurant menu, know what you want before you arrive. When I go out for a routine lunch, for example, I narrow it down by knowing I’ll order some salad that has chicken in it. Then I can focus on my company and any business or socializing.

Enjoy what you do. You own your career. Be grateful you have a job, and create an environment of success for yourself.

Don’t follow the herd. Don’t talk, dress, or act like the rest of the people, but stay within your own comfort zone.

Use humor. Lighten up. In today’s tough times, it is very easy to let circumstances depress you. A little laugh now and then can overcome the response.

Learn from your mistakes. Get over them and move on.

Form your own opinions. Think for yourself. Don’t take what you hear from peers as gospel. And don’t conform to someone else’s thinking just to have them like you.