It’s supposed to be inspirational when people say to you "look on the bright side," but it usually comes at a time when it’s possibly the last thing you want to hear. However, beyond those times when it might seem a trite response to what may have been a disaster, it actually is an important tenet for the way you live your life. When you look on the bright side, you’ll find it easier to be happy with your life and also to be more positive about dealing with things that go wrong, or maybe didn’t turn out like you hoped they would. Here are the best ways to look on the bright side – every day.
1. Solutions Not Problems
Happy and successful people don’t see problems. They see challenges and look for the solutions. They look on the bright side of problems rather than obsess about them or worse, ignore them. Examine the problem, understand it and ask yourself what you can do to make the problem go away, or improve it. Solution-focused thinking is a positive response and a motivational way to deal with problems. Just remember how good it feels to have a resolution compared to how miserable it is to keep moaning about something.
2. Achievable Goals
No one ever ate an elephant in one go – ok, bear with! One of the fundamentals of the TMI system of time management is based on seeing a huge task or project as an elephant that has to be eaten. As you can’t possible eat an elephant as is, the idea is to make it into elephant burgers. As you consume the burgers, the elephant gets smaller. Finish the last burger and your project is complete. This is a roundabout way of saying, set yourself goals but make them achievable. Have discernible benchmarks in big ambitions that you can see and use to track your progress. A simple example is having the goal to lose 50lbs. You can break this down into 10 goals of 5lbs each (10 elephant burgers!). Isn’t it so much easier to aim to lose 5lbs? Then, when you’ve achieved it and are flush with success, you just move on to the next goal of 5lbs.
3. Reward Yourself
One of the ways to be more optimistic is to reaffirm your achievements. Every day, invest a few moments to ask yourself what you have achieved and what you have done well. It’s hard to be negative if you focus on all the positives of your day. The positives just continue to accumulate over time, which should result in a growth of self confidence, an important factor in achieving success.
4. Identify the Blockers
Being able to always look on the bright side means you need to be aware of the obstacles and distractions that get in your way and create negative thoughts and responses. These blockers can be anywhere in your life – at home, in the family, among friends, at school or at work. They might be your own actions, such as bad habits, or lack of awareness of ways you are unproductive, and they might also be negative people in your circle. These obstacles should be mere distractions that you overcome. With discipline and positivity, you can deal with these wasters of time and energy, ensuring you can remain optimistic.
5. Put the Optimism to Work
It’s all very well if you have a positive mental attitude and look on the bright side, but unless you put this optimism to use, not only does it go to waste, but you can also become resentful and bitter. Unless you have an outlet into which you can channel your optimism to realize some goals, it becomes very easy to fall into the “what’s the point” trap. Know what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them.
6. Be Your Number One Fan
This isn’t about being so full of yourself you become arrogant. Being your own cheering section is about positive self-affirmation. It is pretty much something you do for yourself by yourself. Keeping with the sports analogy, we know also that every athlete needs a coach. So, not only do you need to be your own fan, you also need to be your own coach. This makes you self aware and also makes you accountable to yourself. As your coach, you will examine what you do and how you do it. You will look for ways to improve and ways to do things better. You’ll review what you have done, and how you achieved it, or what it achieved.
7. Healthy Focus
One of the essential needs to be able to look on the bright side is to be healthy. To be mentally tough and to have happy thoughts are difficult if your body is weak and unhealthy. Good moods and positive energy are promoted by good physical health and a balanced lifestyle. To stand a good chance of being an optimistic person, you should eat a balanced diet, take regular exercise and get a good night’s sleep.
So, now, when you hear someone say – oh well, look on the bright side, you won’t need to be dismissive, tut or roll your eyes, because you’re already there. What tricks and tips to stay positive do you have?