You know the old saying: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
It’s relatively easy to be positive, motivated, and engaged when all is going well. It’s not quite so easy to have that Pollyanna attitude when life gets tough and things turn sour.
—Remez Sasson, Success Consciousness.
One of my favorite songs of all time comes from the 1951 musical, The King and I, by Rogers and Hammerstein.
Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
so no one will suspect I’m afraid.
While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
and no one ever knows I’m afraid.
The result of this deception
is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well!
I whistle a happy tune
and every single time
The happiness in the tune
convinces me that I’m not afraid.
Make believe you’re brave
and the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
as you make believe you are.
The lyrics are all about the power of suggestion . . . how it is possible to overcome negative thoughts . . . and, in the process, become the happy person you want to be.
Attitude is everything. I learned this truth way-back-when I was on a mission to recover the essence of the happy girl I once was. No matter how I felt, if I smiled, people smiled. The happier I appeared to be, the more I attracted happy people who, in turn, uplifted my spirits. It was the old domino effect and as contagious as a hearty laugh. Before I knew it, I was happy as could be, enjoying life, and feeling good about myself.
Having a positive attitude touches every phase of our lives in positive ways. It impacts the way we behave and interact with others. We have better relationships, more successful careers, greater satisfaction and overall pleasure, and are able to cope more easily with the wicked curves life sometimes throws. We all know about those wicked curves. They are the detours—the disappointments, drama, and heartache—that knock us down, bring us to our knees, and sometimes keep us there, praying for courage and guidance.
Living with a Positive Attitude
- Realize it is possible to bring about positive change in your life.
- Squash negative thoughts like a bug.
- If bad things happen, let them roll off like water on a duck’s back. Turn even the most-sour situation around. Tell yourself, This too shall pass. Look for the good. Choose to be optimistic.
- Make a conscious effort to be grateful—every moment of every single day—for your life, the things in your life, your gifts and talents, and other people.
- Focus on what you have, not on what you want.
- Be inspired by others, but don’t compare yourself to them.
- Accept criticism with grace, but ignore the naysayers.
- See bad things as blessings in disguise.
- See failure as a stepping stone towards success.
- Surround yourself with happy, optimistic people.
- Complain less, smile more.
- Pay it forward. Every day say something nice to a stranger—a sales clerk or bank teller, for instance.
Try it. Put a positive spin on life today. Glow with optimism and hope. Smile and look for the good in everyone and everything. You will love the way it makes you feel.
“I Whistle a Happy Tune” from THE KING AND I. Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Copyright ©1951 Williamson Music, Inc.