In our day-to-day life we see failures and successes. The latter help us move forward while failures can stop our progress. It can be a state that puts us in a dilemma; a person can feel he is done with the rest of his life or some people can feel a lack of self-worth. These failures often hold us back. Every time we start doing new things, past failures come in between and hold us in the darkness of feeling unworthy and useless.
But life is not about what we have or what we can make. It is all about attitude. It is attitude that makes or breaks us. Let us first understand what attitude is. Attitude is ‘being’ 100%. The right attitude is what brings about success. Attitude is a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or a situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action and responses to challenges.
Let me share a story. There was a man who made a living by selling balloons at a fair. He had balloons of many colours, including red, blue, green, yellow and pink. Whenever business was slow, he would release a helium-filled balloon into the air and when the children saw it go up, they all wanted to buy one. They would come up to him, buy a balloon and his sales would go up again. One day, he felt someone tugging at his jacket. He turned around and saw a little boy who asked, “If you release a black balloon, will that also fly?” Moved by the boy’s concern, the man replied, “Son, it is not the colour of a balloon, it is what is inside that makes it go up”.
It is not the colour of a person, it is not his caste or tribe, or the qualifications he has or the car he drives or the house he has which matter, it is a positive attitude that makes him a human being and a successful person.
Let us decide what a positive and negative attitude is.
Positive Attitude: It simply means you have the power to overcome every problem you face in life. With a positive attitude you can see a brighter side of life. This attitude brings you success and makes your life a lot easier. This attitude makes you optimistic (a positive thinker).
Benefits of a positive attitude: Expecting success not failures; making you feel inspired; it gives you strength not to give up if you encounter obstacles on your way. It also makes you look at failures and problems as blessings in disguise; helps in believing in yourself and in your abilities, and opens you to recognise opportunities.
There are some ways to improve positive attitude: Manage rejections, since setbacks often give you an opportunity to turn a rebuff into a win. Accept everything in a positive manner: always thank the Almighty. Associate with more positive people: negative people pull others down. Compliment at least one person every day; this will make you feel good and will lift your spirits. Be enthusiastic: it draws others like a magnet. When you act enthusiastic, you will be a person like that.
A negative attitude, on the other hand, according to Nick Vijucic (a motivational speaker) ruins your life silently. A negative attitude is the viewpoint that you don’t want to do what people want you to do, or you hate what you’re supposed to do, or you don’t want to cooperate with other people.
Negative thoughts are caused by ingrained patterns related to our own beliefs, self-esteem, security, money, people and life.
A negative attitude shortens your life: the more often you become angry, upset or frustrated, the less days you will have left to live. I know this is extreme, but that’s how it is. Your actions determine your future. If you constantly moan and are dissatisfied with your circumstances, in the future you are sure to meet with more of the things you are unhappy about. Your negative mood affects people around you. You should never make others feel bad because by doing so you are contributing not only to your own misery, but to the unhappiness of others. Every cause has an effect, and so your negative attitude (cause) produces negative circumstances. Mostly people think it’s the other way round, but that’s not the case. Your thinking causes your circumstances.
The best way to change your negative attitude is by understanding the outcome of negativity. Try to find out what causes your negative attitude: It may be your past or you may be living with a person who has negativity. Change the way you look at the situation: If you have extra work, rather than complaining take this extra work as a challenge and do it. Whenever a challenge is thrown at you, accept it in a positive way. This helps you kick out your negativeness and invite positivity. Exercise a lot, offer salah, meditate. This rejunivates your body and brain. Try not to be a couch potato; get up and change yourself. Read success stories that have inspired the world. Try writing quotes of your favourite poet, or anyone else you see as an inspiration. These things increase your positive capacity. You actually feel good! And, repeat these words the moment you wake up in the morning: everyday in every way I am feeling better and better!
—The writer is a life-skills specialist