Top 5 ways to maintain a positive outlook.

This posting appeared at my employer’s intranet. I found it so inspiring I had to post it here.

We all have a job. We all have a life away from our job. The lucky ones among us have found a way to balance the two in such a way that they are able to be happy in both. So- how do they do that? I imagine that those who are truly successful at maintaining a positive outlook on life each have their own formula that they use to make it happen. No one formula is good for everybody.

BUT – there are some consistent practices that many of the most consistently positive among us use on a regular basis. All told- there are more than five of them – but these are the five that meant the most to me and I hope they help you as well. Here we go …

#1 – Maintain perspective.

See the “bigger picture.” Focus your time and energy on those things that provide the most joy, create the most satisfaction, offer the greatest comfort, instill the most pride and confidence, and allow you to be happy. Life will still throw the occasional curveball and unfortunate things will still happen. However, if our priorities are in line with those things that make us happy – there is always a way to recover and move on with life. For me- this is my most important reminder.

#2 – Don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.

Nobody is perfect. Many might think they are, but they’re not. The people we work with? Yeah- they’re not perfect either. The sooner we are able to embrace the fact that we’re supposed to make mistakes and learn from them, the happier and more satisfied we can become. When we can accept the mistakes that others make, we can better accept the mistakes that we ourselves make. When we do that- we are better able to focus on the positives of life.

#3 – Get involved.

Don’t stand on the sidelines of life. We all have something that we are passionate about, something that gives us joy. Maybe it’s charity work, maybe it’s sports or fitness, maybe it’s art or theatre, maybe it’s music… It doesn’t really matter what it is. What matters is that we find that passion and take proactive steps to incorporate it in our lives. Join a group, play on a team, volunteer, join a theatre group- so something.

#4 – Exercise.

Easier said than done for many of us, including myself. However, time to exercise is “me” time – a time to focus on making our physical makeup stronger. Additionally, exercise impacts four neurochemicals that influence mood: serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, and endorphin. So- exercise actually provides a physical means by which we can increase our positive outlook. It’s more than just being happy about the fact that we exercised today.

#5 – Own your life.

We are each responsible for our own lives. How we feel, how we react to specific situations, how we treat others, how we perceive positives and negatives, and how we conduct ourselves are all under our own individual control. We can make good things happen in our work lives and in our professional lives. The direction of our lives and how we feel about the life that we have created for ourselves is of our own making. Own it.

We create our own positive outlook and we choose how to manage our perception of our respective realities. It takes intentional action and hard work to maintain that positive grip on our lives but it is well within reach for each of us. As we make it happen for ourselves, we will find that it’s easier to help other make it happen as well.

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