Do you want to know one of the secrets of success?
It’s this: Become an optimist.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about one tiny business project or you’re talking about a plan for your personal life, optimism is essential to your success. When you focus on being optimistic, you just feel better. And when you focus on good things in your life, you’ll suddenly realize that even more good things start flowing towards you.
However, most people can’t just say, “I’m going to be an optimist” and see their life change. You need to work at it. You need to consciously make a few changes to your mindset and your environment.
Key #1: The Right Sight
The first thing you need to do is focus on the good things in every situation and every part of your life. Look for the win in every situation, even if it is a small win. You’ll quickly realize that things could have been worse.
Example: Sometimes people complain at tax time about how much money they have to pay to the government. If they’re self-employed, they may even worry about whether they’ve paid enough money for estimated taxes throughout the year. And so tax time becomes a burden, because they’re focusing on the negative aspects.
Do you ever do that? If so, time to turn things around. Instead of worrying about money and thinking about how much you hate to pay taxes, look at the positive side of the situation. Namely, you have to pay taxes because you’re making money. And the bigger your tax bill is, the more blessed you’ve been in the income department.
Point is, look for the positive (the win) in every situation. Be grateful for these wins. Look at them as blessings. Because you can train your mind to turn even a seemingly negative situation into a positive one.
Key #2: The Right Surrounding
Take a look around your life – are you surrounded by positive things? This includes:
• Listening to empowering music.
• Watching feel-good movies.
• Reading uplifting books.
• Putting positive and inspirational quotes in front of you.
• Browsing motivational websites.
• Hanging inspirational artwork.
See, you’re heavily influenced by your environment.
If you’re “feeding” your mind and soul with negative influences, then it will be no surprise when you find your mind tends to focus on negativity. But surround yourself with positive music, art, reading material and more, and you’ll find yourself feeling happier and more productive in your environment.
Key #3: The Right Standard
You have dreams and goals, and that’s a good thing. But your expectations are every important.
If your goals are unrealistic, you’re going to start feeling down when you don’t reach those goals. In turn, you’re going to become negative. You’ll start believing that you can’t do it. And negativity will settle over you like a toxic cloud.
So what do you need to do instead?
Simple: You need to be reasonable when you set goals.
Yes, it’s great to dream big. And yes, it’s awesome to “reach for the stars” when you’re setting goals.
But if you find yourself habitually falling far short of your goals and then falling into despair as a result, then it’s time to dial back your goals a bit. The idea is to lower the bar to rack up wins and build confidence.
Key #4: The Right Solution
Sometimes you’re going to fail. Sometimes you’re going to have disappointments. But in order to keep the right mindset, you need to learn how to deal effectively with these setbacks.
Here are two steps to take:
• Create a Plan B. No, you shouldn’t expect failure – but you should create an alternate plan in case things don’t work out the way you originally planned. That way you can get right back on track quickly, without letting negative thoughts interfere with your progress.
• Learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself what went wrong and how can avoid this mistake in the future. When you take responsibility for your mistakes and then learn from them, you become a better, stronger person.
Key #5: The Right Support
Earlier I mentioned creating a positive physical environment. However, one of the most important ways to create a positive environment is to be sure to surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
These are people who:
• Believe in you.
• Encourage you.
• Support your dreams.
• Make you feel good about yourself.
• Communicate in positive ways.
On the flip side, this also means that you need to eliminate or otherwise avoid the negative people in your life.
These include people who:
• Doubt you.
• Talk negatively about your dreams (naysayers).
• Talk negatively about other people’s dreams.
• Talk negatively about their own dreams.
• Seem to always look at the negative side of any situation.
• Demand a lot of your time and attention. (Energy vampires.)
• Seem to have a lot of drama in their lives.
If it’s impossible to completely eliminate those in your life who drag you down, then at a minimum you need to spend less time with them. And when you do spend time with them, avoid talking about any topics that bring out their negatively (especially your own plans). Instead, stick to light topics like hobbies, sports, etc.
If you look around, you’ll likely notice that people who’re really successful are also really optimistic and positive people. Chances are, they didn’t become optimistic and positive as a result of becoming successful. Rather, they probably became successful as a result of cultivating a positive environment and mindset.
The good news is that you too can create a more positive environment for yourself and start being more optimistic. And all you have to do to get started is follow the five keys to optimism that you just learned about.