By Chloe Longstreet
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” – Buddha
There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who get up on Monday morning dreading another week of work and counting down the hours until they leave work on Friday. And then there are the people who wake up on Monday mornings feeling invigorated and excited about the week ahead. They still look forward to Friday, but it usually sneaks up on them before they are ready and provides a needed respite from the vigorous work schedule that they have and love.
The first person, let’s call her Mary, works to live. She does not like her job, it is nothing more than a paycheck to her. She hits snooze several times before dragging herself out of bed in the morning and is often late to work because she just doesn’t want to be there.
Patricia, on the other hand, lives to work. Her life is about much more than her job of course, but when she is working she feels truly alive. Her job is important to her, and it gives her purpose in life. She wakes up before her alarm and shows up to work early ready to take on whatever challenges might be thrown her way for the day.
What is the difference between these two types of people?
Their mindset.Success and fulfillment come naturally from a positive mindset. To get the life you want, you must first love the life you have. These things may seem like platitudes, but they are absolutely true.
Success and fulfillment come naturally from a positive mindset. To get the life you want, you must first love the life you have. These things may seem like platitudes, but they are absolutely true.
Some people would disagree and say that it is just a matter of luck — that Patricia is lucky enough to have a job that she loves, which is why she is so excited to go in every day. But it was a lot more than just luck that enabled her to get to where she is today.
Here is an example of how mindset can affect your ability to get what you want out of life:
Mary and Patricia were both candidates for the same job several years ago. They were both fresh out of college and working minimum wage jobs at fast food restaurants. Mary hated her job there too, and spent the day checking the clock to see how long it was before she could go home. Patricia, on the other hand, showed up every day full of energy and ready to work, and was often surprised to learn that it was time to go home.
Mary and Patricia spent their energy preparing for their interview in drastically different ways.
Patricia spent her time learning about the company and preparing a statement on what she could bring to the table if she was hired. She was confident that she would get the job and wasted zero energy on worrying about not getting it. Patricia also spent significant time researching the company, analyzing who the players were in the company, studying the work culture so that she could have an intelligent conversation with the interviewer. Patricia focused her energy outwards in a positive manner.
Mary, on the other hand, fretted about whether her qualifications were good enough. She spent hours agonizing over the fact that she was going to mess up her interview, did not spend time researching the company (except for googling what benefits she could expect) and stayed awake at night wondering if she would even really like the job anyway. She programmed herself to fail. She was not prepared at all by the time she arrived.
Afterwards, the interviewers noted that Patricia appeared upbeat, capable, and self-assured. They invited her to come in for another interview shortly after even though she really did not have the necessary qualifications for the job. They felt that Mary, on the other hand, was more than qualified skill-wise, but they were concerned that her lack of self-assurance and motivation would lead her to do a poor job if she was hired. She was not called for a second interview.
Your mindset has a direct effect on how people view you and it can prevent you from getting jobs you want and living the life you dream of living. If you can make the change to a positive mindset, however, you will learn that these things no longer really matter to you. With a positive mindset, you wake up every day feeling great, and that is worth more than anything else in the world.
The big question is, how do you produce a positive mindset if it is your inclination to think negatively? There are a lot of tried and true methods that you can employ. Remember that it will likely be a slow process, you are not going to become a positive thinker overnight. As the results of your mindset change start to show in your daily life, it will become easier and easier to make more and more changes until you are finally living a life you love. On the outside, it may even look as though nothing has changed. But it is the inside that counts. Here are several ideas you can implement in your daily life to help create a positive mindset.
Write up a list of positive affirmations and put them somewhere you can see them — on your bathroom mirror, over your coffee pot, or on the dashboard of your car are a few examples. Make sure you say the affirmations out loud at least once a day.
Spend five minutes at the end of everyday writing or thinking about the things that you did well that day. Everything that you can think of, even little things. Congratulate yourself for a job well done, and remind yourself of how capable and strong you are.
Create a vision board to put someplace where you can see it every day. Then work towards achieving the life on your vision board by telling yourself that you are capable and worthy of the life of your dreams.
Avoid negative people and thoughts. Whenever negativity enters your life, try to find the silver lining. This can be one of the hardest ways to achieve a more positive mindset and it is okay if it takes you awhile to get good at it.
Change your words. Eliminate negative language from your vocabulary as much as you can. Phrases like “I can’t” or “That’s too hard” or “I’m not good enough” should be reframed as “I can” and “I need to try a different way to do that” and “I am good enough.”
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to imagine the life I wanted, the perfect husband, the perfect family, and the perfect job. I was told to really work out every detail. Then, my advisor told me to not focus on getting the things that I wanted to make me happy, but to instead focus on making myself the kind of person that had that life. If you work on yourself, the rest will come.
All of these things will take work, but the benefits will start to show up in your life before you know it. Even if you only do one thing each day that makes your mindset more positive, you will eventually find your thoughts are filled with positivity and that you enjoy your day to day life more than ever before.