Henry Ford got it right when he said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”
I am a HUGE believer in the power of positive thinking. Starting the day with positive intentions and energy begins the important momentum needed for a successful day. There's also medical research which indicates positivity = healthier. Positivity is linked to longer life spans, less stress and stronger immune systems. I always look at a situation and think, “How can I make this fun?” or “How can I find the diamond in the rough?”
Start With Your Words
Thanks to my mom, I’ve been thinking positively since I was a kid. Growing up, she always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. When I’d say “can’t,” she’d say, “Look that up. It’s not in the dictionary, and we only use words that are in the dictionary.” I really absorbed that idea when I was young, and it’s always served me well.
Never Give Up
This is one of our family mantras and how Aaron and I teach our kids. We say, “Zack’s do not quit.” We ask them to be honest with themselves and evaluate if they're unable or they choose “not” to. Said another way, is it “can’t” or “won’t”? When you approach a task with positive attitude and the commitment to see it through in spite of obstacles, you'll accomplish much more than you set out to do.
One of my sources for inspiration is sports! March Madness basketball is a collection of David and Goliath games, and it's always exciting to see the teams pull off the unimaginable task when “on paper” they shouldn't win! The athletes are out there playing with different strengths and strategies, and really any team can win any game if they believe they can.
In baseball, we witnessed a great example of that with our own Kansas City Royals in the American League Wild Card Game in 2014. We took our 7-year-old son and our 10-year-old nephew. That game went to 12 innings, and the Royals never gave up. Many people were surprised we didn't leave when we were behind, but we believed we would win. We stayed until Salvador delivered that gorgeous hit down the third base line. Even though it was midnight, all four of us were exhilarated with plenty of energy. All of us will forever be inspired by the team that never gave up, and it was a good reminder of the true power of positivity!
I loved being able to watch that game with my kids and share the experience of totally believing in our team, knowing we could win it. I’m so inspired by that “never give up” attitude. To me, that is character. We’re all going to run into adversity in life, but when your back’s against the wall, I believe you can’t give up. Instead, that’s the time to dig in—and really, that’s the fun part!
Practice Being Positive Every Day
Positivity is a regular part of my life. I know it can be hard to be optimistic and find the brilliance in each situation. I think the key is to find a few habits that work for you, and then make them a regular part of your daily routine. These four are a good place to start:
- Smile. Research suggests smiling can actually make you happier.
- Practice mindful gratitude and count your blessings. Being thankful for the good things in your life triggers positive emotions in the brain.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, and get enough sleep because being healthy makes you happy.
- Seek out a mentor who models positivity. Ask for their habits and inspiration, and try to incorporate them into your daily life.
I can tell you that being positive is like many other aspects of your life: The more you practice, the better you'll be. And pretty soon it'll become the healthiest habit you have!
Connie Zack in fact never gives up! As owner of Sunlighten with her husband, Aaron, she applies that same positive approach to both her business and her busy family. Tweet to her @Sunlighten or share your thoughts on the Facebook page.