How to Develop a Positive Mindset and Change Your Life Forever

About 2 years ago I realized the toll that working retail was taking on my attitude.  Without noticing I had become much more bitter, suspicious, negative, negative and negative.  Oh, did I mention negative? I didn’t like going anywhere except home after work and made it my mission to avoid other retail stores at all costs.  If you have worked retail you understand me, if not, go to Amazon and buy “Retail Hell” by Freeman Hall and it will provide perspective.

shanaslifeguide.com

shanaslifeguide.com

Working retail can be a challenging situation especially if you work in a store that is located in a more affluent area.  My experience was that customers treated you like a second class citizen, that is if they noticed you at all.  The grind of being on my feet for 40 hours per week was brutal and when combined with corporate performance pressure and demanding customers…well, you get the picture.  Then under girding all of those issues were the difficulties of living with MS.

Negative self-talk and negative talk in general will simply perpetuate a negative attitude and I had one sour view of life.  I knew I had to change.

Do you have a negative attitude or tendencies?  Here are a few characteristics I noticed in myself:

-often complaining
-tendency to see the downside in things
-have a negative effect on others/you’re a drag
-tendency to belittle others
-speak negative
-negative internal self-talk
-frequent use of sarcasm
-rude to others
-quarrelsome
-unfriendly
-judgmental

I am sure there are others, but these are a few that I recognized in myself after I started making an attitude change.  Looking at the list still makes me a little embarrassed, but I own the way I acted then and thank my past self now for making changes!

Needless to say my attitude was poor and I had to change.  I did not like the person that I had become and the thought crossed my mind that if I realized my attitude was bad, then how bad was it in actuality?  Similar to when the drunk realizes he’s drunk, that means he’s super drunk!!  The question was how to change?  How would I change my mindset to be more positive?

In order to change any habit you must change either the motivation behind the habit or the routine that supports it. Insert definition of insanity here!  If you continue the same action expecting a different result…

You must change your actions in order to get different results!

First, I left my job in retail!  Then, over time I implemented brand new actions and thoughts in my life.  Second, I had to start thinking before I opened my mouth, then fill my mouth with more positive speech.  Third, I began exercising and eating healthier and lost some weight.  Lastly, I got back to playing a little golf to relieve stress and increase the joy in my life.

lifehacker.org

lifehacker.org

I will say the thing I enjoy the most about working to be a more positive person is noticing the good in the world  I know it is not realistic to think life is always going to be rainbows, chocolate chip cookies and puppy kisses.  But it is also not realistic to think it’s always going to be cloudy with a good chance of rain and a high probability of ultimate devastation!!

Always know this: you control and create every aspect of your life. The more positive your attitude the more opportunities you will see in life.  My new attitude has allowed me to begin things I never thought were possible; like the Dream Big community!

When you see the positive, you see the opportunities.  When you are negative, you see the difficulties.  Which do you want for yourself?

24 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF EVERY MORNING

It is easy to become lost in this day and age. Information flows quickly, the daily pace is rapid and the demand to conform is strong. Before you realize, 5 years has passed and you no longer recognize the person you have become. Time for a reset and these questions will assist you!

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Reconnectfully Yours

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to improve my morning routine.  I find that some days, I start off slow, while others I hit the ground running.  I think a big difference in my day has been posting this list of questions on my wall next to my bed.  I’ve found that it really helps me start the day energized, motivated, and feeling alive on the inside.  Here is my list, and I’d love to hear about your morning routine and daily questions in the comments!

Questions to feel grateful:

1) What do I love about myself? What are my strengths and what makes me unique?

2) How am I lucky in my life and what privileges do I have?

3) What is great in my life right now?

4) What have others done for me lately that I could be grateful for?

5) What could I be…

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1 Reason Why You Should Be Sure of Yourself

Throughout the week I am challenged with producing quality original content for the Dream Big community to read and digest.  I try to post 3-4 original posts each week focusing on observations of the world around me, especially as it relates to setting and achieving goals, daring to chase dreams and learning to expect more of oneself.

il_fullxfull.395050651_9owuSome weeks this task can be very difficult, leaving me with posts that feel manufactured and contrived.  Other weeks ideas flow with ease which leaves me feeling proud of my work and eager for you to read my latest thoughts.  I have responded to hundreds of comments, emails and private messages over the last week ranging from words of gratitude, general comments and questions/advice about posted topics.  And one conversation continues to emerge over and over: self-belief.

I do not want to dive deep into what causes self-doubt, nor do I want to directly discuss how to improve your confidence.  I want to talk about why you should have self-confidence.

Here’s the deal: many people lose their confidence because they lose their true self.  Life has a way of straining out originality and producing a very large segment of conformists.  I have written about this idea in the past: graduate school, get job, get married, get promoted, buy house, have children, raise children, pay for children’s education, retire, die.  In a nut shell that is life for the majority of individuals.  We allow ourselves to be turned into a person that looks, talks and acts like every other person around us.

What we forget is that there is not another human being on the planet like ourselves!

You are a unique individual, a one-off, an original.
There is not another person on Earth that sees the world the way you see it, that feels the way you feel, that thinks the way you think.  You are designed to be different in every single detail, so why would you not be confident?  There’s no one else with which to compare yourself!!  Your self-confidence will be as high as you allow it to be.  And the more you discover your unique, individual self the higher your confidence will grow.

The more you compare yourself to others and their accomplishments the more your true self-confidence will dwindle.

Think about life as a company.  Successful businesses are so because different people specialize in different jobs.  Each job requires a very particular skill set and produces something necessary for the department to survive.  When combined, the skills from each individual produces an overall company product which then can be sold for profit.  There are many different jobs needed for a company to succeed: HR, accounting, sales, administrative, sales support, manufacturing, etc.  If the entire company was composed of only sales staff, then who would make the product for the sales staff to sell?  Each person contributes a unique skill set to allow the company to survive.

And so it is with you. In order for the world to be ultra-successful each individual must contribute to life according to his or her unique abilities and talents. Determine what YOU are all about, not what others want or expect you to be.  Some people spend their entire lives in sales when they really should be in design and product development. The more you see yourself as a truly unique, special INDIVIDUAL, the more your confidence will grow.

You were designed to provide this world with your gifts and talents.  That is what makes the world successful!

Stop trying to live up to what others expect of you and start living up to what you should expect of yourself.

Celebrate your individuality.  Rediscover your true self and you will find your confidence.

Beginning At The End

Have you ever wondered what your funeral will be like?  I know it sounds a little depressing and maybe a bit morbid, but I can’t help but wonder what people will say about me when I’m gone.  A few years back I had a tough run as I lost 5 friends and a cousin in a 12 month period.  I remember the conversations where everyone talked about the deceased and told funny stories to make the pain feel less.  Death usually hits me hard as I tend to over-analyze life and mortality sends me into hyper-over-analysis-of-the-meaning-of-everything-and-anything!  Needless to say it took a very long time to recover from that year, that is assuming I have. 

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But listening to people talk at funerals makes me think about what type of person I want to work to be now, so that folks are saying quality things once I’m gone.  I want to be known as a hard working, self-made man.  Honest, fair, kind, fun, giving, a listener and loving.  I want to be known as a friend.  I want my wife to say I was a great husband, mate and best friend.  So if those are the qualities that I want to be associated with, I have to live my life in an honest, fair, fun and loving way!  And if I want my wife to say I was a great husband and friend then I must focus on practicing the qualities that will make me a good mate.  Most of us want to be thought of as likeable, loving, kind, friendly, etc. and there are lots of nice people in the world.  But, how often do we stop and take inventory of our actions to compare what we do, to the type of person we desire to be?  It is not a good practice to trust your own view of yourself, to assume that you actually are as awesome as you see yourself!   Learn to be self-aware and recognize areas that need changing and change!  If you want to be known as a giver, but you pass by the homeless every day and never give, then drop .50 cents in a can.  If you want your significant other or spouse to think of you as a great mate, yet you show little patience, criticize often, disrespect and tear down emotionally, stop acting poorly and start loving more.

Like lots of things in life, most people like the idea of something, but not the work associated with the quality.  We want to be rich, but would prefer to hit the lottery.  We want to be great parents, but prefer to vegg at the house versus play at the park.  We would like to be our own boss, but are too afraid to take the risk to do so.  We would like to donate our time to a cause, but make excuses as to how we have no time.  It is very difficult to change and changing is one of my least favorite activities!  I am a creature of deeply rooted routines that shape my days and help me focus, but as painful as change can be, it must happen to become the person you want to be.  Recently, I have changed 3 major habits that fall into the “bad” category.  One of these is complaining when my wife asks me to do something.  It is such a habit that I didn’t realize when it was happening.  To change this I decided to say yes to anything I was asked to do as soon as I was asked.  I wanted to become a yes man before my mind had a chance to react negatively.  I am getting better, but still have to focus and stay committed to changing my actions.

My goal has always been to help people realize how to be better, more successful, fulfilled individuals.  Think about the type of person you want to be at the end of your journey and start making small adjustments to your attitude and habits.  Over time you can become that vision you see in your mind.  Love more, give more, help more, hug more, support more, hold more…these are all good traits to start with.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, Dream Big, Dream Often, and hit me up on Twitter @BigDreamer0323.  I love, love, love the feedback and comments/questions so keep them coming: draygolf@yahoo.com.

Hopefully they’ll say I…Dreamed Big, Dreamed Often. 

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