You’re always one decision away from a totally different life
If you take a close look at life, it seems to go in cycles.
From time to time, you go through dark moments, then blissful moments and then dark moments again.
The cycle repeats itself over and over like sunrise and sunset.
The problem is that everyone tends to love the blissful moments and hate the dark moments. Moments of depression, moments of loss of a love one, moments of fear.The poignant feelings that accompany such moments are unpleasant.
You feel like giving up. You have no idea of what to do. You don’t know how to make it all go away.
Now, the first thing you need to come to terms with is that dark moments are inevitable in life. It’s part of life.
With that in mind, what you should strive for is a better weapon that can help you crush the demons as you walk your way through such moments of darkness into blissful moments.
In this article, I’ll show you how to use your greatest weapon — your mind, to build a powerful optimistic mindset that will permit you to face life and all the nasty monsters it throws at you head-on.
While reading the book Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, I came across a simple yet powerful sentence;
To build a powerful mental attitude you must strive to become an optimist.
I became so curious and decided to do some more research about optimism.
Then, I came across this man called Martin Seligman who is famously known as the father of positive psychology. Seligman has been performing research for 22 years.
He summarized his book, Learned Optimism in one simple phrase. He wrote:
Optimism is the most important quality you can develop for personal and professional success and happiness.
But how does someone develop an optimistic mindset especially in challenging moments?
I’m sure you know one or two people that are always happy. They have the banana smile painted across their faces as if nothing bad ever happens in their lives.
It turns out these optimistic individuals go through the same challenges of life as you and me. They also faced the wrath of life.
However, they have developed an indestructible powerful mental attitude. Their optimistic mindset is a choice and not a state of affairs.
So, in order for you to change your lens from probably a pessimistic one to an optimistic one, here are four simple principles to guide you.
I believe that if you consistently and consciously practice these in every life situation, you’ll be mind-blown by how much easier it is to handle challenges.
1. Look for Good in Every Situation
Every Dark Cloud has a Silver lining.
I have heard countless stories of people who hit the very bottom of the bottomless pit of life but, still yet built a fortune from scratch.
A typical example is the story of Oprah Winfrey born to a single mother, molested during her childhood and early teens, and became pregnant at 14; her son was born prematurely and died in infancy.
There are thousands of people across the globe with similar stories. Maybe you know a couple of friends or relatives that have been to hell and back. Maybe you have been through hell or are currently going through one right now.
If you ask every one of such people, how they succeeded to become who they’re today, the answer is going to be the same.
They stopped focusing on how bad their situation was and then started searching for the good in the bad situation.
So, beginning from this very moment, no matter what your situation is, poverty, joblessness, heartbreak, etc, here is what you can do.
Forget for a second about the problem, and focus your conscious mind on finding the good in that situation.
It’s not going to be easy. I know that. So, here is what I propose.
Take a cold shower and put on some comfortable clothes and shoes and then go out for a walk to the park, sea-side, forest. Whatever works for you,
Then ask yourself this. What is the one good thing that has come out from this horrible situation? It doesn’t matter how small the good might seem.
For example, let’s imagine, the Love of your life, suddenly called you and said it was over without any explanation.
Your heart is crushed into a smoothie. You can’t live without him or her. How can you? When you did everything together.
Here is a possible silver lining. At least you’ll get to sleep peacefully without someone snoring in your ears like a pig in labor.
That counts for something right? Keep searching for more good and soon you’re going to start feeling good.
But this isn’t enough to become a powerful optimist.
2. Seek for Lessons in Setbacks.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results _ Albert Einstein
Brian Tracy in his book wrote, “Optimists believe that difficulties come not to obstruct but to instruct”.
Look, every obstacle or setback that you are going to face in life contains a valuable lesson that you can learn and grow from.
This is a universally accepted truism by optimists.
They’re always ready to embrace challenges. Sometimes it feels like they get motivated by it.
This is totally contrary to what most people do when they encounter a setback in their lives.
Their minds automatically switch to defense mode and they just crawl back to their previous miserable conditions.
They never change and they never use the experience to grow.
Let’s imagine for a split second that, you’re a drug addict and have almost lost your life to drugs.
After such a near-death experience, what lesson have you learned? What you can do to turn things around?
For me, for example, I could enroll in a rehab center. Later, create an NGO educating youths about the perils of drugs and offering counseling to drug users.
Whenever you find yourself in deep shit, don’t interpret it as a difficulty or challenge, that has come to kill you. Instead, ask yourself these questions;
What valuable lesson can I learn from this? How can ensure that next time it doesn’t happen?
Remember, setback and difficulties are like the universe’s way of saying it’s time to up your game and move to the next level.
Just like in video games, where it’s impossible to defeat a certain villain unless you have a particular weapon in your arsenal, the same holds true in life.
By changing how you approach challenges, you’re halfway to building a powerful mental attitude, but you ain’t there yet.
3. Seek Solutions.
Have you ever had a problem you know you must solve but you try as much as possible to ignore it with the hopes that, it’s somehow magically going to disappear?
Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, I would have won a gold medal in such a contest 2 years ago.
Everything started changing when I realized that problems don’t just disappear.
I had to make them disappear and the only way to do that was by actually making a conscious effort of taking sole responsibility to solve the problems as they appeared.
Look, problems will always appear out of the blue and there is nothing you and I can do about it. That is life.
Choosing to ignore problems will only lead to more problems piling up like dirt in your backyard.
To build a powerful mental attitude, you have to make up your mind and start taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life.
Do what you know has to be done by you at the time you need to do it. You’ll be amazed by how much control you have over your life.
Instead of pointing fingers and blaming others when things go wrong, strive to take action, and find possible solutions.
Here are some questions optimists ask themselves when faced with a problem.
What’s the problem? What can we do now? What is the next step?
In your journey to becoming an optimist, you have to ask yourself these very questions each time a problem pops up in your face and then take action immediately.
You’ll be mindblown by how quickly the mountain in front of you collapses like dominoes.
In very rare situations, you won’t find any solution, because maybe it doesn’t exist.
In such a case, it helps to remind yourself that you are not alone. That there are millions of people who have lived before you and who are currently living with the same problem.
4. Talk about Your Goals.
I had this friend back in my undergraduate days, who never stopped talking about the car he wants to buy, the company he’s going to build, or the book he’s going to publish?
Guess what? He’s done all of these and even more. He now owns his own publishing company.
For these types of guys and gals, all they talk about is what they want and how they are going to get it.
They have total disregard for the past and where they came from. They are laser-focused on the future.
They seem to base their life-decisions and actions on the old adage Forward Ever and Backward Never.
To develop a powerful mental attitude through optimism, you should always visualize your goals and desires.
Write them down.
Talk about them to the people you trust. Let the thought of achieving your goals bring a smile to your face. You’ll start feeling more confident, focused, and creative.
I know life is hard. It wasn’t meant to be easy. Just as Les Brown said, “If your parents or someone promised you life is meant to be easy, they lied”.
I want you to understand this and then develop an impenetrable mind, one that can’t be broken. One that is ready to handle anything life throws at it because whether we like it or not, life is going to throw a whole lot of dirt at us.
So, building a powerful mental attitude, requires that you always strive to find the silver lining even in the darkest clouds. There is always one, keep looking.
Also, the universe we live in has a way of teaching us, and I believe this is by placing challenges along the path of life we walk on. Always learn from any difficulty or setback.
When you’re faced with a problem, avoid the temptation of pointing fingers and focus all your conscious mind in finding a solution. Never cry over spilled milk.
Lastly, talk to friends who share the same ideals with you about your goals. If you have no friends you trust, talk to yourself. Get excited about the person you’re becoming and act like it.
Do these consistently and you’ll be surprised by how powerful your mental attitude will grow.
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