You have read it over and over again, heard it over and over again: the key to your success is your mindset. And… yes, I am going to tell you the same, mindset is everything. How do I know? Not so because I have read it and heard it over and over again but much more because I have tried and seen for myself. Conclusion: a positive attitude towards life enables you to find something beautiful and enjoyable to appreciate every single day and that is how you craft the life you want to live.
But before we dive into it, here is an important preliminary note: “positive mindset” is not a synonym for “dictatorship of happiness”. Having a positive mindset does not mean you (have to) feel good all the time. It is rather the ability to not lose hope and to keep taking actions that feel aligned and that bring you to experience the life you truly want to live. It is about the relationship you choose to have with the events that occur in your life. A positive mindset welcomes with confidence all the emotions and offers them a space where they can be fully expressed and experienced so that they can transform and their energy can be used for something good.
So how to create and nurture this joyful attitude towards life no matter what? Let’s begin directly with the secret to a positive mindset and then explore its concrete applications. Follow me for an interesting exercise: sit quietly, let your breath become calm and ample, and become aware of your whole being and of your surroundings. Come back to your center and be present with me. Now, think of a moment where you felt really angry. Let this rage fill your veins as if you were brought back to that event and fully experience the intensity of your anger exactly as it was at that time. Then, come back to the present moment. Allow your breath to calm down and your body to relax. Now, think of a moment where you felt really happy, joyful, and at peace (in case you find it difficult to bring back such a memory, imagine a scene where you see yourself experiencing those feelings), and let this wave of good energy rise and reach every part of your body and mind. Enjoy the relaxation, allow a smile to come to your lips, let this wonderful feeling spread through your entire being. Breathe freely and then take the time to come back to the present moment.
What has just happened? You have felt in turn anger and bliss at will. You have vibrated with joy just as easily as you have immersed yourself in rage simply by the power of your mind. This is the secret to a positive mindset: you make the decision to have a positive mindset. It does not come from somewhere, something or someone else. It is already at your disposal within you and it is only up to you to tap into it and nurture it. And the nice thing is, the more you use it, the more it grows — naturally and effortlessly.
Take the time to think about it and realise the tremendous and beautiful power — and responsibility — it represents: it is all in your head, indeed.
How to exert concretely this magic power in your life? First things first, when you wake up, before painfully extracting yourself out of bed grumbling and gloomy, ask yourself the following questions:
Is there really a 100% valid reason why I should be grumbling and feeling gloomy just right now before having done anything else than just opening my eyes? Could it be that this is just an unfounded habit that I have taken over time? And if you can honestly find one valid reason for feeling so low, then a little gratitude for having slept on a mattress and with a blanket can help you to invite the positive into this new day that is just beginning and that holds a myriad of possibilities for you.
How do I want to feel today? Yes, remember the secret you have just discovered: you can shape your mood at will. It is a bit like choosing which clothes you are going to wear. And it is important to remember it is not about faking happiness, it is about envisioning your day with a positive and kind attitude. You can feel sad or angry and still foster a positive mindset knowing that joy is the treasure that lies at the heart of sadness and action is the fruit of the intense energy of anger.
Brilliant, you have started the day with a clear mind and on the lookout for the good things in your life! Keep applying this every single moment. Set yourself on the quest for the sparks of beauty and joy in everyone and everything, regardless of how tiny they might be. As a matter of fact, you will often find them in small details: a ray of light, the smell of delicious dish, the funny shape of a branch or the unexpected smile from a stranger. Life is there all around you, pay attention to it using all your senses and you will start noticing wonders are everywhere. Allow yourself to absorb all this good energy and then share it, it is one of the best ways to grow it. As a wise man once told me, Love is the only thing you get richer of when you give it.
Throughout the day, when/if you are confronted with a difficulty, spend more time imagining solutions — even crazy ones — than focusing on what is wrong. You can see this as a challenge: how many proposals can I come up with to solve this issue? Aim for a minimum of three. Once you have them, pick one and start implementing it immediately. Don’t forget the equally important step that is to congratulate yourself for having chosen to take responsibility for your own wellbeing. It requires courage to make the decision to be fully in your power and to stop being a victim of what happens in your life. So, celebrate yourself exactly like you would celebrate your best friend achieving something great!
Sprinkle light over the hours. This can be done in many different ways: have mirrors reflecting the light in your home, add a colourful note to your outfit or your meal (making sure your dish contains five different colours is a simple way to ensure a rather healthy meal — provided these are not five different ice cream flavours), go out when the sun is shining (it is there now — your work will faithfully wait for your return), smile to yourself, smile to the people you know, smile to the people you don’t know, give compliments and allow yourself to receive them with joy (no playing it down like “Oh, that jacket? Thanks, yeah, I have had it for years, it doesn’t even look good anymore…”).
Be conscious of what and who you let in. This is valid for food, people, emotions, and content. The latter is an important one: watch or read the news just enough to know what is happening in the world but not more than once a day. And if what you see there feels depressing, scary or infuriating, use the energy of anger and fear to do something about it. Join an organisation whose values align with yours, start a project in your community, question the idea that everyone else knows better than you and learn more about the topic to be better informed. You have power over more things than what you imagine. Feed your inner strength and joy with content that inspires you and create your own form of art. You don’t have to know how to draw, for instance, to enjoy the fact of drawing. Expressing your creativity is a beautiful way to nurture your inner source of positivity.
After a good day filled with moments of joy, unexpected opportunities, and smiles, take the time to write with a pen and paper in a nice notebook three things you are grateful for, from the light of the sun to the food on your table to the beauty of your hair, anything small or big you are thankful for. A journal of gratitude trains your mind to see something precious even in the darkest days.
This brings me to an important conclusion note: to cultivate a positive mindset requires from you to make the deliberate choice to believe that life can be good. For this choice to be healthy, it is paramount to remember that choosing a fulfilling and meaningful life does not mean betraying the parts of you that have been hurt in the past. It means taking them with you, with love, care, and tenderness, so that the journey heals them.
How do you grow your positive mindset? Share your wisdom in the comments, I am always happy to learn about your experience and your insight can be invaluable to other readers too!