I recommend to writers that they NOT begin a post or an article with a disclaimer. This is going to be another example of a post where I do not follow my own advice because this is a post that is going to, has to, begin with a disclaimer.
Because this is a post about maintaining a positive attitude. That’s something I struggle with. I know it’s importance but I too often allow my choice of a positive attitude to be overwhelmed by the circumstances I find myself in. That’s not good for me and it’s not good for the people around me.
I want to offer that disclaimer as a way of not appearing as a total fraud to those who know me best. The fact that I can’t always maintain control over my attitude is no reason not to try. The same goes for you. So here we go!
You’ve probably heard or said yourself, “what else could go wrong.” It’s most often said in a very dejected tone of voice when problems just continue to pile up. It sometimes seems as if everything that could could go wrong already has. That’s when we start looking for things that are wrong.
That makes it very difficult to choose a positive attitude. Yes, your attitude is your choice and no one and nothing can rob you of that choice. But here’s the thing, to maintain a positive attitude you MUST make that choice. If you don’t consciously make the choice of a positive attitude then the choice of a negative attitude will be made for you by whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
We do not subconsciously choose a positive attitude. That choice must be made consciously and it must be made frequently. Failure to make that choice leads to a negative attitude, whether you realize it or not.
Researchers say the average person has 40,000 thoughts a day. I don’t know how they can figure that out but here’s what really concerns me. They also say that of those 40,000 thoughts over 80% of them are negative. That’s a whole lot of negativity going on in our heads and it won’t be overcome without intentionally fighting to overcome it.
So how about this. How about when “things” start going bad instead of asking “what else could go wrong?” we start asking, “what else could go right?”
How about we start looking for the good. The good in a particular situation or the good in a particularly difficult person. No matter the circumstances something good is never that far away. You only have to make yourself look!
Now if that sounds all Pollyanna to some of you especially negative people reading this then I have a message for you.
You can easily find something wrong with very little effort. If you want to find something right it can take a little more effort but something right is there. And this much I can promise you from my personal experience… on the days you successfully choose a positive attitude everything and everyone around you seems, looks, acts and is in fact, better.
Every aspect of your life is affected by your attitude. Either you control it or it will control you. That’s a scary thought for some people but it’s a fact and it’s also a fact that the choice is yours.
4 thoughts on “What Else Could Go Right?”
Steve, It’s a little like the guy who heard, “Cheer up, things could be worse.” So, he cheered up and sure enough, things got worse. Interesting post about maintaining a positive attitude as I am one of those who I think just came that way. I am an eternal and incurable optimist with a healthy dose of reality thrown in for good measure. I think one of my long time practices that helps immensely is that I start every day with gratitude, thanks for the gift of a new day and the opportunity to make of it what I will and what I can. My aim is to do and be better and help others do the same,
Here’s a short piece from me on that topic. http://garygruber.com/better/
Thanks Gary, you are the 3rd person today that has suggested beginning my day with gratitude. I’m a slow learner but that’s telling me something. It’s already caused me to think about all the people and things I have to be grateful for…something I clearly don’t do enough of. But I will now!
Thanks for another great post. I was just listening to Rare Leadership by Marcus Warner and James Wilder (I think they’re the authors) and they were talking about how our self-talk often defaults to negative when we let our brains operate on a fear basis rather than on a joy basis. Interesting book. Thanks for the 40,000 number. Interesting. I expect more than 80% could be negative some days. And the other 20% would mostly be neutral. But now, I will think to look for what else can go right! Great idea. Thanks sir!
Thanks Mike, I like the “joy basis” idea. It’s in line with a suggestion I’ve received from a few people today that I been each day in a gratitude frame of mind. I have so much to be thankful for and I take too much of it for granted. One thing I’m grateful for is people like you and many others who help me learn from a post that I write. You are a blessing!