“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind” – Joyce Meyer.
Positive thinking, as a concept, has been around for quite some time but it is only in recent years – in part thanks to the ease of which information is shared across the internet – that it has really started to become popular in the mainstream.
The problem with this is that our society loves to reduce concepts into a single soundbite. The quote which has become most synonymous with the positive thinking movement is “whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve” from Napoleon Hill. Mr. Hill was an absolute pioneer when it came to tapping into what makes successful people as successful as they are. Sadly this quote has been boiled down into the kind of mindless new age babble that makes up “self improvement” books like ‘The Secret’.
The truth is that nothing will come just from wishful thinking, you need to take action too. Many positive thinking programs forget this though and it has given the power of positive thinking a bad name.
When used correctly, positive thinking can propel your life forward in a way that you might never have thought possible…but it needs some assistance from critical thinking as well as a pro-active attitude.
The real “secret” is to develop all three abilities into one mindset.
Many people have great ideas that they never capitalize on simply because their mindset is lacking either positive thought, critical thought, or a pro-active attitude. I’ve lost count of the amount of times friends have come up with interesting ideas in mid-conversation and then quickly talked themselves out of following up on it. For whatever reason they’ve resigned themselves to a life of mediocrity where nothing great will ever happen to them. And if they keep thinking that way, it never will.
You have to ask yourself “Do I want to be successful and am I willing to work for it?”
If you answered yes then read on as I have a few tips that will help you develop that PCA (Positive Critical Action) mindset that will drive you towards success.
5 steps to becoming a positive thinker
- Learn from the past – do not dwell on it. You cannot change the past no matter what you do. All you can do is learn from it and look towards the future.
- Accept the imperfections of life. No-thing and no-one will ever be perfect. Appreciate the good and stop focusing on the bad.
- Help others. If someone has a problem that you can help them with, do it. It’ll make you feel great about yourself.
- Use positive language. If someone poses you a tricky task don’t say you can’t do it. You’re belittling yourself with that kind of answer. Instead say something like, “Yes but I’ll need to put my thinking cap on. Can you give me a little time?”. This will make you think more highly of yourself AND help you to push your boundries.
- Thank people. When someone helps you out make sure to thank them. A hand-written thank you note will go a long way with most people and make them want to help you again in the future.
5 steps to becoming a critical thinker
- Question yourself. Rarely do you partake in an activity that isn’t loaded with ways to question yourself. Why is X always the way you fix Y? Is there a better way?
- Question others. There’s no need to be rude but when someone states something it is perfectly okay to question their statement. It will help you understand the process or you might even help them work out there’s a better way to do things. Also, when it comes to the internet, question the facts behind any little meme you see on social media. If they involve any sort of political hot-button issue, the facts presented are usually skewed at best and flat-out made-up at worst. Believe nothing until you have personally checked it.
- Try new things. Whether it’s a genre of movie you don’t usually watch, taking part in an activity you’ve never done before, or reading a little philosophy; it all helps to expand your thought process and make you a more critical thinker.
- Improve your mind. The most successful people never stop learning. Just because you’ve left school that doesn’t mean your education is over. Keep moving forwards or you’ll be left behind.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Every time you fail you are learning one way NOT to do something. The most successful people have failed a lot of times, in a lot of ways before they found out the best way of doing something. And they learn something from every failure that improve their critical thinking function for next time.
5 steps to becoming more pro-active
- Make lists. Organize your day into a list of tasks with the most urgent tasks at the top. Work your way as far down the list as you can each day. This is best done at night, looking forward to the next day.
- Use your critical thinking skills to sniff out future problems. And nip them in the bud before they become BIG problems. A stitch in time saves nine.
- Realize that you control your own destiny. If you really want to do something there is nothing and no-one who can stop you…except for yourself. If you haven’t done something it is down to you, no-one else.
- Fill your day. You will find that the more you have to do, the more you will get done. If you have 20 things to do it’s hard not to be pro-active. Just a couple of things and there’s a good chance neither gets done. Once you get on a roll keep it going!
- Say no to procrastination. Every time you find yourself doing not much of anything ask yourself what you are accomplishing and how this will help your future. Soon you will realize that procrastination actively harms your progress in life and doing nothing will make you feel itchy.
Please don’t just read this article and discard it. What I want you to do is to print it off, or at least the 15 steps, and read them to yourself at the end of every day. Ask yourself if you’ve truly followed them. If you have how they have helped you? If not, how has that affected your day? It won’t take long to see these steps really help and, with enough repetition they will soon become habit.
That is when you will truly have the mindset needed to be successful in life.
Thank you for reading, here’s to your success!
Author Biography: Dr. Jack Crosby is a qualified and practising psychiatrist and an advocate of subliminal therapy. His website is currently offering a FREE Positive Thinking Subliminal MP3 that will help you to develop a more positive mindset. You can get your free download at the link below :-