We all know that person who claims, “I’m not a pessimist, I’m just a realist.”
They use the dire state of society, the economy, the environment and the world at large to justify a series of endless gripes. They do seem to truly believe that the realistic state of things justifies their stream of unquenchable negativity. But what they fail to acknowledge is the fact that we’re all living in the same world – and yet some people are coping with it significantly better than others.
Realist, idealist and everything in between, many of us are coping with similar day to day problems. We face concerns over finances, companionship, employment, security and health. But while some people are preoccupied with calling a spade a spade, others are busy playing the hell out of whatever hand they’ve been dealt. Here are a few things positive people are doing differently on a day to day basis that sets them apart from the rest.
1. Instead of agonizing over the job they don’t have, they get excited about the job they do have.
Even if the job they have is job-seeking. Positive people know that the amount of effort you put into any job is the amount of effort you put into every job – and that you’re never going to be successful at the top if you can’t be hardworking at the bottom. Rather than sulking over jobs they consider to be “beneath” them, positive people recognize each employment opportunity as a chance to develop, grow and shine in the workplace.
2. Instead of freaking out over debt, they look at budgeting as a challenge to rise to.
Positive people know that most people have debt – and that it’s not a life sentence. They get realistic about managing their money and approach budgeting as a challenge to rise to, rather than a constraint to be limited by.
3. Instead of hating the people who treat them badly, they learn lessons about how to treat others.
Positive people get duped, lied to, flaked on and rejected, just like everyone else. The difference is that they don’t let those instances make them bitter – they simply let their memory serve as a reminder of how not to treat people in the future. They treat others the way they’d like to be treated, rather than perpetuating the problem.
4. Instead of criticizing how their body looks, they celebrate all their body does for them.
Nobody is ever one hundred percent satisfied with the way they look. But positive people know that their body isn’t just there for aesthetics. They take advantage of the fact that their bodies are vessels for climbing mountains, swimming in oceans, hugging their loved ones, ingesting delicious foods, making love, making art, transporting themselves from place to place and experiencing life in full force. Bodies are a positive person’s medium for exploring life, not just their aesthetic fixation.
5. Instead of staying trapped inside routine, they mix things up.
Positive people recognize feelings of restlessness but they don’t let them fester. They take responsibility to explore new interests, travel to new places or take on new, stimulating challenges. They know that a bored person is a boring person – and that’s definitely not them.
6. Instead of wallowing over their breakups, they appreciate the lessons they learned from the relationship.
Heartbreak hurts everyone – but positive people know that there’s a silver lining to every cloud and the end of a relationship often doubles as a point of reflection. Rather than directing hate toward their exes, they appreciate all that they learned from them and they move on with grace.
7. Instead of getting worked up over a change in plans, they get excited about new opportunities.
When one door closes, another one always opens and positive people are the first to walk through that new door. They may feel disappointed when things don’t work out the way they’d planned but they don’t see that disappointment as a factor that limits them from exploring what else is possible.
8. Instead of blaming their problems on others, they focus on self-improvement.
There’s always someone to blame for our troubles – but positive people know that pointing fingers isn’t going to get them anywhere. When they find themselves up against a challenge they aren’t ready for, they find a way to make themselves into the kind of person who can overcome it – rather than blaming external factors for preventing them from succeeding.
9. Instead of getting frustrated with themselves, they laugh at themselves.
Everyone messes up and plays their cards wrong sometimes. But while negative people are busy berating themselves for their mistakes, positive people are busy learning their lessons, forgiving themselves and then laughing the whole thing off. They know that they aren’t above making mistakes and they can take themselves lightly when they need to.
10. Instead of agonizing over what they haven’t accomplished yet, they get to work on whatever they’re still capable of achieving.
Positive people know that it’s never too late to accomplish what they want out of life. Rather than obsessing over what they should have gotten started on sooner, they look at all the time they have left, and get started on whatever they plan to accomplish next.
11. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves for being single, they take advantage of their freedom.
Even if they love being in love, positive people don’t stress out about being single. They see aloneness as an opportunity to grow and expand their lives in an unconstrained fashion – they appreciate the freedom and relish in all that they can do to advance their own lives.
12. Instead of feeling lonely, they reach out to others.
Everyone occasionally feel lonely – but positive people don’t blame other people for that state of loneliness. They reach out to those around them to form new connections and reinvest in old ones. They take ownership over their social lives – they don’t sit around and wait for other people to come to them.
13. Instead of worrying about how they’re coming across, they stand behind their choices with confidence.
Positive people know that they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But they don’t alter their actions or apologize for their personality if someone else doesn’t like it. They accept that as a natural part of life and continue on doing them – they’re happy with the way they live, which means they don’t need everyone else to be.
14. Instead of being overwhelmed by change, they create their own sense of stability.
Change affects all of us, sometimes in uncomfortable ways. Positive people aren’t immune to this, but they do have strategies for dealing with it. They know how to remain personally consistent throughout external changes and this skill allows them to ride out those changes with resilience.
15. Instead of criticizing others, they admire them for their differences.
Positive people know that those who are critical of others are also direly critical of themselves – and they don’t have time for that noise. Positive people praise others for being strange, courageous and different from the crowd – they commend their courage and harness it in themselves.
16. Instead of fearing what lies ahead, they get excited about what they’ll do next.
The future isn’t clear to any of us – and positive people are no exception to this. But they do know that there’s no sense worrying about what they can’t control, when they could be focusing on everything they can control. While the Negative Nancys are catastrophizing, the Positive Pattys are planning for a brighter future – and as a result, they usually achieve one.