I tend to be a pessimist. I see the proverbial glass as half empty, and I had a gloomy outlook about everything. Growing up, my mother and I were always into arguments over my negative attitude. I remember her telling me over and over that life is what you make of it, and boy was she right!
I woke up one day and decided that I was going to shake off the black cloud of depression that followed me. I was tired of being on the outside looking in. I wanted to be in the middle of the action. Here’s how I learned to change my mindset, and it changed my life.
“You get out of life what you put into it. I think you need a bit of luck but you also make a bit of luck. I think that if you’re a pretty decent person you’ll get back what you put in.” – John Key
1. Find Purpose
One thing that I lacked in my life was a purpose. I was enthralled with video games, surfing the web, and being alone. I had nothing that I was proud of other than my stellar scores on the latest games. I had to find some way to give back. I was no longer content to wallow and weep forever. I signed up for a local charity in my town that helped the homeless in our area. I cannot tell you how much this impacted my life. These people didn’t care about video games and the latest edition as they were in survival mode.
While this journey was meant for me to have an outlet to give back, what I received from these people was more than I could have asked. I learned that there are so many others less fortunate. I’m now quite active in many charities, and I enjoy working with each one. My favorite is dedicating my Thanksgiving to work in a local soup kitchen. I feel like I am helping humanity and doing something good for the people who live and work near me. Finding purpose is the first step to giving back and changing your life.
2. Learn That It’s Okay To Fail
I have always been fascinated by the story of Milton Hershey. He was one of the greatest businessmen in our country. Not only do I thank him for his contribution to my sweet tooth by making the Hershey Bar, but his ability to rise after adversity is profound. Hershey failed not once but twice before he became the legend he is today. He filed for bankruptcy and almost didn’t become the king of chocolate.
He and his wife longed for a child, but they were unable to conceive. When they were faced with another uphill battle, they did something remarkable. They opened a school for children in need of help. To this day, when a child graduates, the school gives them $100, which was a gift-giving practice that he began many years ago. No, these children weren’t his, but he brought them to live at a beautiful school and gave them what they needed. He fulfilled his desire by helping others.
There have been many great men in our country that have tried and failed. The most important thing is they learned they must rise again. I learned that it was okay that I failed at so many things in life. The most important thing was that I got up each morning and tried again. My failures don’t define me, only my successes.
3. Put Positive Energy Into The Atmosphere
My mother always told me that “birds of a feather flocked together.” I got so tired of hearing her say that statement. She never liked any of my friends and made it a point to tell me whenever they came around. However, I have since learned what she was talking about. My friends were just like me. They were naysayers who didn’t have a purpose or a goal in life. Their biggest adventure was seeing what mischief they could get into.
As I grew older, I realized that I had a knack for attracting the wrong crowd. I was always putting negative energy out into the world, and I needed to change that. If you feel stagnate and like you are stuck in a rut, then change the people around you. Watch yourself grow when you are surrounded by positive people who are putting out good energy.
I learned to change how I talked so that my words were positive and uplifting. It changed my entire life. I started each day by saying five things that I was thankful for, and it helped me to see all the good I have and focus less on the bad. Now, I can’t stand to be around a person who does not appreciate the gift of life.
4. Focus on Gratitude
If we focus on all the bad things that happen to us, then we may miss the blessings staring us right in the face. I have learned to be grateful for every moment. Life is one of the best gifts I have. I am walking, living, breathing, and thriving. I must realize that I could be gone tomorrow. I want to leave a positive legacy that makes people smile when they remember me. Your situations are temporary. If you’re having a hard time with something, remember that it won’t last forever.
So many times, I thought I had so little to offer that I let it become a crutch. However, I learned that donating a bit of time or energy can go a long way. Surround yourself with people that can add value to your life. It’s all about making the world a better place. Forget about money and putting your focus on riches as there are far more essential things in life. Learn to be thankful for even the smallest things and see how it changes you. Count your blessings every day!
5. Don’t Forget To Take Time To Smell The Roses
In my neighborhood, there is a conservatory that grows exotic plants. The place is always abuzz about their latest and greatest exhibits and endeavors. I have always wanted to go there, but I never made the time. In ten years, I couldn’t tear myself away from work for a few hours to enjoy something for me.
With my new positive outlook, I made a trip to entwine myself with mother nature. I can’t even begin to tell you how magical that afternoon was to me. I stopped, took a moment, and smelled the flowers. Blossoms of all kinds surrounded me. I looked up to the sky and realized that I am such a small part of this world. It’s sometimes the little pleasures that we have that we often take for granted.
I reflected on the things about nature that I adore. I love the smell outside right before it rains, and there’s nothing better than the sound of thunder and lightning as it crashes during a storm. Sometimes, you must turn the cell phones off, unplug the television, and just be at one with nature. I love to run barefoot across my lawn and feel the connection with the earth. It helps me to stay grounded and realize how magnificent our world. When we have a heart of appreciation, and we stop to smell the roses, life can be beautiful.
6. Always Be A Team Player
I always hated working as a team. I preferred to work alone. However, as a journalist, teamwork was still part of the job description. I preferred to lay low and let the others contribute more so that I could disappear into the background. However, when I truly learned that life is about what you put into it, I changed my methods at work.
My name was going on these projects too. If they did a cruddy job, then that would be me in front of the firing squad also. I decided to start getting involved and helping my team to the best of my ability. I can’t imagine what they must have thought of me all those years. I was proud of my accomplishments, and I learned that working as a team sure beats working alone. Whenever we presented something to our supervisor, I felt a sense of pride because I had a hand in the final product. I learned that I am quite the team player. Since my transformation, my team has become part of my family. We depend on each other, and we love spending time together.
Turning Over A New Leaf
The world has enough Debbie downers floating around. You can be a game-changer by merely changing your outlook. Speak positive affirmations about your day the moment you wake from your sleep. When troubles come, and you feel surrounded, stop, and reflect on nature and the healing power of being entwined with something so much bigger than you. Keep In Mind; nothing lasts forever, not even your struggles. Be thankful for every minute you have breath in your body. Many have died too young and before their time. You can make a radical change by only contributing more. Remember, you get back what you put into this life.