“Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done.” ~ Bo Bennett
I was a negative person. I complained. I felt sorry for myself.
And not surprisingly, my life was not good as a result. In fact, I spread that negativity to my loved ones without realizing it, hurting them in the process.
10 Good Reasons to Have a Positive Mental Attitude
My change in attitude did not come from some stranger’s advice. It came after studying thousands of the world’s most successful people. I want to share with you 10 good reasons why having a positive mental attitude can impact your life in a healthy, happy and meaningful way.
1. There’s a clear pattern that successful people have a positive mental attitude
Let’s start with the most important. There is a clear trend that successful people have positive attitudes towards life. They help other people rather than tear others down.
Of course, I run into occasional young successful people who break this rule, but there is an overwhelming trend there. If you don’t believe me, let’s look at Napoleon Hill. He spent his whole life studying 500 of the richest people in the world in person. These people were billionaires.
He interviewed them. He followed them around. He observed their behaviors. After decades of study, one of this key principles he found in all of them was that they had a positive mental attitude (PMA). He wrote many books covering the topic, his most famous being, “Think and Grow Rich.”
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Successful people are positive enough to persist when everyone else gives up.
2. It helps you persist because you have hope when others don’t
A year ago, I set it as my goal to read every book written by a billionaire. Most of these books mention or tell their life story. It’s eerie how persistent most of them were.
Sam Walton did not lose a drop of faith in the success of his business when most of his top executives chose to leave his company or when a number of other obstacles got in his way. Ray Kroc did not give up his dreams of McDonald’s despite already being in his late 50’s. Colonel Sanders chose to start and grow KFC in his 60’s. Martha Stewart kept with her business despite going to jail and facing massive debt. And Sarah Blakely kept shopping her idea around after numerous rejections. J.K. Rowling’s first book was rejected by numerous publishers. Positive people realize that success usually does not happen after the first attempt. They keep going.
3. You Avoid The Downfalls of Negativity
What does negativity, the opposite of positivity, bring you? A bad mood, horrible feelings, a bias to give up sooner, an attitude that repels others, the list goes on.
Most, if not all, of these effects of negativity, only serve to lessen your chances of success and happiness.
Positive, successful people often have a deeper understanding of how fortunate they are. If their business loses millions of dollars or they get cut off on the road, they keep everything in perspective. They know that in the greater scheme of things, it’s a minor roadblock.
What matters more is that they are healthy, young, have people that love them, and have made an impact on the world. They are grateful for the civil rights, four limbs, working brain, and lack of disease because so many others in the world would do anything just to have what we take for granted.
Thomas Edison once had his whole laboratory burn down in a fire. Rather than get upset, he told everyone to come watch because no one would see such an incredible fire again in their lifetime.
Just like negativity spirals you into more negativity and bad consequences, positivity works in the same way.
By putting it out, you give off a glow of charisma that naturally attracts people to you. Naturally, you improve your dating life, your career opportunities, and your network. You attract other game changers, top performers, and happy people that improve your happiness and fulfillment in the long run.
6. Your Confidence and Self-Esteem Skyrockets
Positive people do not their insecurities chain them down. They take time to celebrate their achievements no matter how small.
Psychology has uncovered that our brains are hardwired to forget about our achievements and dwell on negative moments. It can take over 10 positive associations or compliments to make up for one negative one.
As Rick Hanson, neuroscientist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, says, “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.”
While this served us in prehistoric times when a negative event could mean death if we did not prepare, it destroys us in the modern world where we shouldn’t let negative comments affect us so much. Positivity helps overcome this.
What do the most well connected successful people have in common? They give rather than ask. After studying some of the world’s most successful networkers, like Keith Ferrazzi, James Swanick, and Michael Ellesburg (people who rub shoulders with billionaires and A-list actors), I was startled.
They all came to the same conclusion. After years of selfishly trying to get what they can from others, they asked, “How can I help people first and ask for nothing in return?”
By not keeping score and just giving as much as they can for free to people, it created incredible networks and friendships that skyrocketed their careers. Positive people radiate energy, good vibes, compliments, and value.
Rather than dwell or blame the world for bad times, positive people learn, grow, and become stronger from the troubles life hands them. While most people do not develop at all from their experiences, positive people take what they can and move on. They do not let their past chain them down.
“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.” ~ W. Clement Stone
How does smiling more help you? Well, humans naturally reflect what others do with their face and body through their mirror neurons. Before you can help it, you will smile back when you see a genuine smile. This opens you up to more pleasant interactions, increasing your chances of meeting someone incredible and avoiding rejection.
Rather than constantly seeking needless approval and validation, positive people move on from negative interactions with people that suck them dry, judge them, or tear them down. They do not let others the courtesy to chain down or influence their mood. They have full control.
It’s clear as day that having a positive mental attitude has so many great effects, while negativity can ruin your success and happiness in life. Use this as your advantage to get ahead of the crowd, but also use it as a beacon to convert others into your state of happiness, love, and achievement.