The economy sucks. Everyone is an asshole. That one blogger? Yeah, she’s a scammer.
Pessimism permeates the air.
Is there anything positive in the world anymore?
It’s no secret that our society is enamored with the temptation of impending doom. It’s what sells… but as information becomes more abundant our options are beginning to expand.
There’s no law saying you have to be cynical. In fact, the most successful people in the world are choosing to opt out of the world of negativity.
No, that doesn’t mean they are buying one way plane tickets to Fuji and ignoring the realties of the world. Rather, they are consciously choosing to focus on what brings them closer to their goals.
Sure, the world isn’t perfect. But don’t let that stop you from seeing the good in the world… there is good, a lot of it.
As someone who prides himself in looking on the bright side, I too can have bouts of pessimism. I’ve found the following tips helpful in keeping focused and grateful when bombarded with waves of gloom.
Admit You’re Being Cynical
Admit you’re viewing the world from a dark grey lens. No matter how positive you may be, there will be days when the world can’t do anything right.
It’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
When you catch yourself complaining, or getting in bed with negativity, acknowledge it.
“Wow, that thought I just had was pretty negative..”
Then let it pass.
For many, being negative is so natural and embedded in their every day lives, that they quickly forget it doesn’t have to be their default state.
I know, because I’ve been there.
Simply by noticing your thoughts, you’ll discover that you have more control over what you think than you give yourself credit for.
Admitting the problem is the first step to fixing it.
Audit Your Network
Every time I find myself in a rut or experiencing long bouts of negativity, I try and reevaluate my network.
Are my friends in real life being negative? Am I following a bunch of pessimists on Twitter? Do my Facebook groups love to complain?
Who you surround yourself with both in real life and online has a profound impact on your daily thoughts and actions.
Simple logic says that if you surround yourself with positive and energetic people, you too will become positive and energetic.
The opposite also holds true, if you surround yourself with people who only look at the ground, you’ll soon forget that there is a sun shining bright in the sky.
Most people know this in theory, however, in the real world it can be a little tricky understanding the dynamics of your network.
If you find yourself being negative, start to take notice of your social circles. When are you most negative?
I’m not suggesting you ditch all your friends. Instead, begin to notice who brings you up, and who brings you down. Can you shift your time and resources to better service your needs?
Your network is yours to build or tear down. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the love and support you need to get the most out of your gifts and talents.
Guard the castle with everything you have, one or two intruders can bring the walls tumbling down.
Check Your News Channels
The majority of news is negative. Yet, hour after hour we find ourselves clinging to the latest breaking headlines.
North Korea has nukes. People are on a ship with poop. Child murdered in the inner cities.
It’s no wonder many of us find ourselves depressed. I’ll be the first to admit, I do like to keep up with the latest trends on what’s going on in the world.
That being said, there are a few things you can to do keep negativity to the minimum.
Limit checking the main news networks. CNN, Fox, NBC, will do anything to keep your interest, so they fuel with fire with doom and gloom.
I recently saw a clip of Anderson Cooper the other day and literally every single one of the five stories on his broadcast was negative. No thanks.
Instead, look to stay updated through a variety of different means. These days, I get a lot of news from Twitter, and if it’s something that I’m interested in I’ll then do a quick google search.
Sometimes I’ll use subreddits on Reddit to keep me informed on issues I’m interested in.
There are an abundance of resources out there to keep you informed, while keeping you sane as well.
Are your news networks adding value? Or simply adding more drama to your life?
Perhaps the greatest thing you can do to leave the world of cynicism is incorporate gratitude in your daily routine.
I like to write 3-5 things I’m grateful for each day before I go to bed. Despite being surprisingly simple, this little trick has significantly helped me be more positive.
Knowing I have to write 3-5 items down, causes me to search for the good in my day. Will you still occasionally have negative thoughts? Of course. But don’t underestimate the power of training your brain to look through the lens of positivity.
Regardless of your current situation, there is an abundance of things going right for you. It may be easy to focus on what’s wrong or the things you lack, but doing so won’t get you any closer to your goals.
Instead of being envious of your friends on Facebook, or your friend with her dream job, focus on what’s going right for you.
As someone who used to be an extreme pessimist, I know it’s not always easy being positive. Some days down right suck. I do know however, that the more I’ve practiced seeing the good in the world the more good I’ve been able to see.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
If you find yourself being cynical and looking for ways to change, put these tips into action. I promise the world looks so much better when viewing from a positive lens.
Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a wonderful and festive holiday season – I know I sure have.
Its been relatively quiet here at A Boundless World for the last few months. I’ve been spending a lot of time behind the scenes working to improve my knowledge capital and also reflecting on the direction I hope to take my career and personal brand – particularly with A Boundless World.
As with many, I have high hopes for 2013 and I’m very excited to be unveiling some of projects I’ve been working on behind the scenes. The first product revolving around travel will be released shortly.
In the past, I’ve made new years resolutions like everyone else. And unsurprisingly, I often find myself in the camp of people who fail to follow through on their often ambitious resolutions. The latest statistics show that 80 percent of people who set new years resolutions fail to follow through.
Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. With that in mind, I’m going to completely change my approach to goals this year and I’m excited to see the results.
Instead of creating a list of dozens of resolutions and goals I hope to accomplish I’ve instead purposefully chosen to scale back and focus one one habit for each of the 12 months.
My hope is for the goals to scale as the year progresses, but for the purpose of simplicity my only commitment is the goal at hand for the month.
With the exception of the low carb diet, each habit should take no more than 30 minutes each day. Some will take significantly less time.
I’ve chosen goals that if I were to do them all year know would have a huge impact on my overall health and career development.
I haven’t chosen the order of the goals quite yet, but in January I’ll be starting with the very simple ” Write three things you’re grateful for each day.” I may or may not try some of the other habits on my list, but the my only focus is the habit of the month.
Some of the habits obviously have to do with health, such as walking 30 minutes a day and flossing. Others will undoubtedly help me in my quest to be more creative and content focused.
Being completely honest, focusing on just one habit a month leaves me feeling like a significant underachiever, but I know that in previous years I often never followed through. My train of thought with this is simple. Doing one small thing is significantly more advantageous then thinking big and doing nothing.
I am also betting heavily on the compound effect. While I’m only required to focus on one goal a month, I suspect they habits will compound as I process through the year. Odds are after one month of flossing I’ll likely continue.
Being human, I know I’ll make mistakes throughout the process. That being said, I’m aiming to complete the habit a bare minimum of 90 percent of the time. That leaves me a day or two to make a mistake. Obviously, I’m aiming to complete a perfect month, but I won’t waste a single moment beating myself up over falling off track once or twice.
As of now here are the 12 habits I’ll be attempting to complete in the year 2013. I haven’t decided on the exact order yet, but I’ll be starting with “Write 3 Things I’m Grateful For Each Day” in January.
I may edit one or two of the habits down the road. But as of now this is my expected habit line up.
Floss one tooth a day
Write 3 Things I’m grateful for each day. (January)
20 Push Ups 20 Pull ups 3 1 minute planks with 30 Squats Before Eating
Meet one new person each day.
20 Minutes Dual and Back ( Helps improve memory)
Read 30 minutes each day.
Walk for 30 minutes each day
Take a photo each day
Ice pack/cold shower 10 minutes
Protein within 30 minutes of waking.
Write for 30 minutes a day.
Low Carb Diet
At the end of the year, if all goes as expected, I’ll likely have a plethora of benefits to show for.
Cleaner teeth. Significantly happier and more positive. Much more lean and healthy. At the top of my game both from a writing and creative perspective. Mentally at my peak. In the best shape of my life strength wise.
I will be sure to keep everyone updated on my habit progress. Like I said, it’s a significantly different method than I’m used to but I’m excited to see the results.
How are you going to ensure 2013 is different? What are you hoping to accomplish? Leave your ambitions in the comments below!