“Life is a reflection of what you think. If your thoughts are negative, the world you see will be the same.”
– Leon Brown, MLB player
Time for me to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Here are five ways to make positive changes in your life today that will leave a lasting impression on others, as well as make you a happier person.
- POSITIVE MINDSET
Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways. Practice positive self-talk. All of these things will contribute to you having a positive and productive mindset.
- DON’T DO IT
You know what I mean — you just need to think about it! Don’t post on social media when you’re angry, don’t respond unless you grandmother would approve of every word you use, don’t have an opinion unless you have the knowledge and facts to back it up. Show respect and avoid the fight. Only participate if you can clearly see the intent and purpose is for a positive change. It’s one thing to post a sarcastic retort on something you disagree with; it’s another thing to have an intelligent debate while disagreeing.
Think of it like this, “Pay it Forward” and focus on what YOU can do to make a difference. Once you get the motivation to do it, you will see the immediate benefits, and a true leader will find the purpose in getting more invested in the mission. One person can make an incredible difference. Giving and gratitude go hand in hand. The more you practice it, the better you will get at it. I challenge you to take the first step, then pass it on and grow the efforts.
When I say be a mentor, I mean take an active role in discovering what you are passionate about and go inspire others. You can find these opportunities all around you, through schools, community-based mentor programs, your church, YMCA, etc. Regardless of where you choose, mentor a young person who needs direction in their life. Teach them about life, integrity, leadership and the character and skills necessary to succeed. For some of these kids, you may be the only positive figure in their life. You can make a difference.
- GRATITUDE JOURNAL
For some, this may seem uncomfortable, but it is no different than journaling. I am a huge proponent of journaling; it allows me to put my thoughts, ideas, concerns, frustrations and questions on paper. And when I write things down, I am more likely to act upon them. A component of my journaling that I learned from my father was to remember what you grateful for each day. For years, I have made it a habit to write five things down each day that I am grateful for. We all have general ones such as health, family and friends, but look deeper and put thought into it. If I can recognize the things I am grateful for before I go to bed, the odds of me waking up with the right attitude increase.
Don’t talk. Act.
Don’t say. Show.
Don’t promise. Prove.
Make a difference today.