Rules for Intrepid Daily: Rule #60

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Rule #60. Nothing beats a positive attitude.

As you know, things never go exactly as planned. It’s the way of the world. Sometimes things just go wrong.

It happens all the time.

That’s just part of the deal, or as my friend Mike says, “it’s all part of the game.”

So what do we do about it? How do we move forward when things go wrong or the shit hits the fan?In my experience, the best thing to do is to laugh about it, because nothing beats a positive attitude.

We all have the right to get upset, angry, or blue. In fact, I believe that we need to experience a full range of emotions to be healthy. But we can’t dwell on the negative. When bad things happen to us, we make a mistake, or things go wrong, we need to keep moving forward. If you look at the people who overcome trials and tribulations, you’ll find time and time again that it isn’t necessarily the strongest or smartest who come out ahead, it’s the people who maintain a positive attitude.

Individuals who survive shipwrecks, being lost in the woods, or plane crashes all tend to be people who maintain a positive outlook. It’s not easy, obviously, to see the good side of a negative situation, but it’s one of the best things you can do to strengthen yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

How can I be more positive?

I’m not a naturally positive person. I struggle with negative thoughts, bad attitudes, and insecurities all the time. Despite this, I feel that I am an overall positive person. It’s not always easy; being a positive person takes practice, but over time it will feel more natural. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions about ways that you can develop a more positive attitude.

Practice gratefulness.
Once a day, consciously think about something for which you feel grateful. Write it down or say it out loud to really cement it in your mind. Be as specific as you can.

I signed up for an account with Gratefulness, which sends me a prompt once a day asking me what I’m grateful for; I text my response and they save it in a private log for me. When I’m having a bad day, I’ll often go back and reread some of my entries and it always makes me feel more positive.

Surround yourself with positive people. 
If you want to be more positive, you can’t surround yourself with negativity. Make sure that the people on your team are supporting you in a positive way, and be sure that you’re doing the same for them.

Don’t beat yourself up.
You’re going to make mistakes, because that’s what we do. Sometimes that sucks, but remember that you need to learn from your mistakes, and then forgive yourself for them. Making yourself feel guilty is a terrible motivator. Instead, acknowledge your mistake, figure out how to do better next time, then forgive yourself. Remember, practice makes progress, not perfection.

These are just a few ideas, but everyone is different; what works for me may not be exactly what works for you. What helps you maintain a positive attitude? Let us know in the comments and let’s all help each other stay positive!

“Rules for Intrepid Living” is an ongoing weekly article that gives potential guidelines for how we can all live a more adventurous life. 


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