- You can choose to be optimistic. You’ve probably heard a pessimist described as someone who sees a glass of water as half empty, while an optimist sees it as half full. The pessimist focuses on the negative (the missing water), while the optimist sees the positive (the water that’s there). Who has a better outlook? Who’s likely to be happier, more confident and sure?
- You can choose to accept things as they are. This doesn’t mean that you wilt and give up. It means that you don’t struggle, whine, and bang your head against a brick wall when things don’t go right-behaviors that make you a helpless victim. (It’s what eats you that puts the pounds of weight on your spirit.) Instead, you get on with your life. You move forward.
“You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. … The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called the present.” Deepak Chopra, M.D
- You can choose to be resilient. Have you ever watched a tree swaying in a storm? A tree that stands rigidly will never win a battle against the wind. Trees that bend with the wind are those that survive. Like a tree, you can bend and sway as life batters and blasts you then bounce back again, supported by your strong, deep roots. When you’re resilient, you can survive almost anything-being hurt, frustrated, or let down; losing friends, making mistakes, and much more. Remember the image of a tree in the storm. You can learn a lot from nature.
- Developing positive attitudes doesn’t mean that you’ll never experience pain, suffering, or disappointment. You will.! But having good attitudes will help you to turn your problems into teachers so you can learn from them and grow.
Developing positive attitudes doesn’t mean you should ignore problems. If someone steals your bike,
you won’t say “So what?” Instead, you’ll contact the police and report your stolen bike. You’ll do everything you can to get it back. But if you can’t get it back, you’ll accept the fact that it’s gone. And you won’t let that drag you down.Flip a coin in the air. What do you get? Either heads or tails. Problems always have a flip side, too.
- If you fail a test, you can flip the coin and learn to study harder or find a tutor. If you lose a friend, you can flip the coin, repair the friendship, or find a new friend. If you don’t like your looks, you can flip the coin and develop a fantastic personality.You can choose to be cheerful. Have you spent time around cheerful people? If you have, then you know that they energize you. They’re like human battery You can be one, too. Start by refusing to say gloomy things. Bite your tongue. Count to 10. Pull up the corners of your mouth. When you send out positive words, thoughts, and feelings, positive people (and things) are attracted to you.
- You can choose to be more alert. If you’re more alert to potential problems, you can be better pre-
pared for them and even dodge some. Example: A friend invites you to a party at her house on Saturday. But you remember overhearing her tell someone else that her parents are going out of town for the weekend. Parties without parents can spell trouble. You say “No, thanks!” Of course, you can also be alert to positive experiences. You hear an announcement about a team
tryout or new club. You write down the time and place and plan to go.