In all the hustle and bustle of life, we tend to get caught up in the fast pace and lose ourselves in the current. We lose sight of what we're living for and the enjoyment is sucked out of life. Our main focus becomes merely getting through life and not actually living it. In this comes a pile of stress and the many health issues that accompany it. Having a positive outlook on life is absolutely paramount if you wish to enjoy this precious time you have here on earth. I have come up with a few tips based on ideas that help me view life in a more positive manner even when things seem terrible.
1. Appreciate menial labor
Oftentimes, especially in a lot of recent graduate cases, people don't find themselves in the place they wished they'd be. They find themselves as an assistant to the boss rather than having the “boss” position themselves, making copies and coffee runs. Or perhaps they find themselves taking on many unpaid internships, but never put on payroll. Do not be dismayed! As you go about your assistant or intern duties in an office where you wish you had a higher position, think of the job as an awesome opportunity to network. Working face to face with professionals in your desired field of work is a great way to gain experience. Even if you're working in a place where you know you have no future, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. The important thing is to never give up. And hey, there's never anything wrong with adding a line to your resumé.
2. Remember the good people in the world
The other day, I was pulling out of my driveway (or at least attempting to) in the midst of traffic, and I didn't think I was ever going to get out because most people don't care to let you in front of them. Right when I was close to giving up, a woman stopped for me and let me pull in front of her and join the traffic. I remember thinking, “There are still some good people in the world,” a thought that put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. As we go about our daily lives, it isn't uncommon to come across people who are just plain rude, especially while driving. It is also not uncommon for us to react to those rude people using an aggressive approach, which brings me to my next tip.
3. Recognize silliness (use that logical brain)
Half of the quarrels people face, scratch that, most of the quarrels people face are just silly. This means that most of the time we get angry and react to others' silliness for no reason. We must pick and choose our battles. Not everything deserves our complete energy. I used to be someone who only used the aggressive approach when it came to conflict. I would talk at people, cut them off, the whole nine yards. This side of me has simmered down greatly and now, when a conflict does arise, I am able to recognize how silly it is and how silly the other person is for being so upset. In addition, you have to keep in mind that people will always talk. Their mouths will not cease movement until the day you die, and even then the blabber will continue on. Once you fully understand this for yourself, life will become a bit easier to take in.
4. “Don't take yourself too seriously.”
I learned this concept this past spring semester in a conflict management course I took (and aced by the way). Needless to say, I have learned so much useful information on the topic and this is one of the many ideas I took with me. This idea of not taking yourself too seriously connects to stress. Our text told us that a person is more prone to conflict when their stress levels are high. A reason why our stress levels can rise may stem from our lack of seeing the joy or humor in our everyday lives. The text encouraged us to develop a playful spirit and lighten up about life. Don't be afraid to laugh when the unexpected happens.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
Self-explanatory, but I will explain. When you have positive people in your life who are willing to push you to be the best you can be and who are willing to support your dreams, then you're in good company. These people are the very factors you need to continue on in this life successfully. Every successful person has someone who was backing them every step of the way. These people may be hard to come by for some, but when you are given the blessing, seize it! They, too, can give you pointers on gaining a positive outlook on life.
6. Embrace your identity
I cannot stress this enough! When you are happy with yourself and satisfied with where you are in life, everything else around you becomes a walk in the park, almost. Of course you will still experience trying times, but then again that's what life entails. Being happy with who you are gives you confidence, and that confidence mixed together with positivity attracts the right people. Not only does it attract the right people, it can also be used in the job market. Employers know how to spot a confident potential employee when they see one. When you view yourself in a positive light, it will force you to view many other things in this same way.
These are tips that have helped me and I hope they will help you as well.