10 Principles of Positive People

eduardo-dutra-620826-unsplash

How would you describe a truly positive person? My personal definition includes someone who is both realistic and optimistic – a person who is an encourager rather than a discourager. Positive people don’t ignore the frustrations and the downsides of life, they just choose to look at them in light of the possibilities, not the problems.

The question is, can anyone become a more optimistic thinker, even the cup-half-empty sort? Recent studies in neuroscience tell us yes, people can change the way they think. Often when we get in a rut of negative thinking, we continue to play the same patterns of thought over and over again, but it is possible to start new patterns. When we change our thinking habits and focus on what is good and hopeful, our brains create new neuropathways. We can develop a new pattern of looking toward the opportunities, rather than dwelling on the obstacles.

Generally speaking, there are a few common characteristics I have observed in those people who live with a sunny disposition. Positive people tend to:

  1. Focus on the potential in both people and circumstances.
  2. Consider the needs of others, looking for ways to bring joy into someone else’s life.
  3. Practice daily gratitude to God and to others.
  4. Let go of past hurts and bitterness, and live with a forgiving heart.
  5. Choose to learn from their mistakes and mishaps.
  6. Grieve when they need to.
  7. Smile and laugh often.
  8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, recognizing the benefit of exercise and eating well.
  9. Speak with love and kindness to everyone, no matter the position or role they play.
  10. Pray daily, giving cares and worries to God.

What about you? Are there any new habits you want to start forming?

 

Photo by Eduardo Dutra on Unsplash

Choosing Happy

nick-beswick-462784-unsplash

Have you ever considered the ingredients that tend to make people live with a negative and grumbly attitude? Not too long ago I discovered a humorous list of “The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life.” It serves as a reminder of the choices we face every single day: Will we embrace both the gifts and the challenges life brings, or will we complain and be miserable through the process? Will we be people with a purposeful and positive mindset or people with a “poor me” mentality? Here’s the list:

10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life

  1. Thou shalt hold onto bitterness, hatred and anger.
  2. Thou shalt never get too close to anybody. Keep all of thy relationships on the surface level.
  3. Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times, and guard against laughter.
  4. Thou shalt inflict blame and condemnation on all who disagree with thee.
  5. Thou shalt complain about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
  6. Thou shalt think of thy own needs and focus on thyself rather than thinking of the needs of others.
  7. Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to join thee.
  8. Thou shalt not take a break, exercise or relax. Never allow thyself to be still, pray or meditate on truth.
  9. Thou shalt expect the worst in all situations, shame those around you and dwell on the feebleness, faults and fears of others, while never seeing thine own.
  10. Thou shalt attempt to control every situation without flexibility. *

 

I don’t know about you, but in the great adventure of life, I want to experience joy in the journey – not misery in the muck! I want my life to move in a positive direction and bless others, and I think you do too. Let’s be honest, no matter what our circumstances or background look like, we can choose our attitude and outlook in life.

In the next few weeks on this blog, I plan to examine the principles of a positive person. Even if you are the “cup half empty” sort of person, you can begin to change your attitude and thought-life today. Let’s take some time to look over the “10 Commandments of an Unhappy Life” and consider any of the qualities that may apply to our own attitudes. Let’s also make a conscious decision to reverse our thinking and start a new pattern.

If you were to write, “10 Commandments for a Happy Life,” what would you include on the list? I’ll show you my list next week.

 

images

The positive message from this blogpost can be found in The Power of a Positive Woman.  To learn more about Karol’s encouraging books Click Here

 

*The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life” was adapted from Edward Rowell & Bonnie Steffen, Humor for Preaching and Teaching (1996)

Photo by nick beswick on Unsplash

New Arrival!

IMG_0091

In the past few days, I have had the privilege of welcoming Addison Ann Wright into our family. She is our third grandchild! With the birth of each child, I am amazed by the wonder of creation. I can’t help but see the handiwork of our glorious Designer as I look at Addison’s precious fingers, toes and facial features. Even her sweet eye lashes and fingernails make me realize how God cares for the minutest details. I relish the thought that God has a unique plan and a purpose for Addison, just as He does for each one of us.

It’s interesting to think that God compares the birth of a newborn baby, with the spiritual birth of believers into His family. In His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “ Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!.”

IMG_0102

God does a new work in us when we place our faith in Christ. We are no longer the same. He births in us a heart that has the potential to truly love and forgive. He transforms our old self, which was a slave to sin, into a new creation that has the power to overcome sin. He replaces our despair with hope, our worry with peace and our sorrow with joy. He gives us a rebirth from within – a spiritual transformation!

Thank you, Lord for new life – both physically and spiritually. Thank you that every time we see a newborn baby, we can praise You for your handiwork and be reminded of the new work you have done in our lives. Thank you for caring for us and for being our wonderful and loving Heavenly Father. May we continue to grow and mature in godly wisdom.

IMG_2379

If you have a heart that values life, please join us for Council for Life’s north Dallas coffee – April 10 from 10 – 12 at the home of Carla Zeller. For more information email her at: zeller.carla@gmail.com

7 Positive Habits for the New Year

New Year

The start of a new year allows us to reset and rethink our actions and attitudes. It’s a great time to stop and consider our hopes and dreams, as well as what we may want to change or do differently in the coming year. Resolutions or setting goals may not be your thing, but a few positive habits added to your daily routine can potentially last a lifetime. Here are seven doable daily habits that will help your attitude and your overall well-being in 2018.

Focus – It’s easy to focus on the negatives in life, but it takes a deliberate effort to look at what is good, true and right. We can change our focus by creating new habits such as writing in a gratitude journal every morning as we enjoy our first cup of coffee. Another way to turn our thoughts toward the positive is to read and memorize scriptures from the Bible. Choose one Bible verse to memorize as your focal point for 2018 and review it every day.

Fuel – Consider the types of foods you are putting into your body – is it life-giving fuel or will it have a negative effect on your health? Food not only affects us physically, but it also has an impact on our mind and emotions.  Start a habit of a healthy breakfast to set your day in motion. Instead of strict diets plans that rarely work, think in terms of more and less. Determine this year that you will eat less of the unhealthy foods, like sugar, white flour or processed foods, and you will fuel your body with more of the healthy goods, like greens, whole grains or berries. Make your motto, “Eat clean in 2018.”

Fitness – Exercise is a stress reliever. A brisk walk or work-out can do wonders for you both physically and emotionally. Discover ways you can add exercise to you daily routine five to six days a week. Begin small with something that you enjoy and gradually increase your time and intensity. As your find a time and place each day that you can exercise, commit to it for at least 21 days to form the habit of fitness. Have an accountability partner to help you stay on target.

Faith – There is great comfort in knowing that we are not alone – that the Lord loves us and is with us. As we grow in our faith through prayer and reading the Bible, we begin to sense that there is a bigger picture, a more eternal one. Our faith gives us hope through trials and gives us strength through difficulties. Set aside some quiet time each day to spend alone with God, seeking His guidance and wisdom as well as giving Him your cares and worries.

Fun – All work and no play makes Jack or Jill a little dull and boring. Create opportunities for laughter in your life. Whether it is getting together with friends and laughing about old times or watching a funny video or doing something that generates a good chuckle. Every day you have the invitation to look for the sunny side of life and enjoy a bit of fun despite the challenges. Never laugh at the expense of another person, and also remember to not take yourself too seriously either. Certainly there is a time to laugh and a time to cry, but I think we miss a whole lot of opportunities for laughter. Allow it to be a part of your daily routine.

Forward – Pay it forward and look for ways to invest in the lives of other. Every morning, ask yourself a simple question, who can I bless today? When you turn your heart and thoughts to serving the people in your community, you move your focus off of your own challenges and begin to experience the joy that comes from contributing to something bigger than yourself. Serve one another through your kind actions and loving deeds and make the world a better place one day at a time.

Forgive – If you want to live a happier and healthier life, learn to let things go. Keep short accounts, do not hold grudges and learn to forgive those whom you feel have wronged you. Forgiveness is not an invitation for someone to hurt you again. You must set wise boundaries. Forgiveness is choosing to let go of the right to hold something over another person. Most likely, every day you will encounter situations that call for grace and forgiveness on your part. Make it a habit to continually live with forgiveness.

As you practice these seven simple daily habits , you will discover a fresh new joy and vitality for the year ahead. Make it a great 2018!

 

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

IMG_1481

As we enter the Christmas season, I am launching a fun new series called 25 Positive Words for the Holidays. It is meant to help us look at the brighter side and the bigger picture each day of December leading up to Christmas. So join me here at Positive Life Principles or on my author Facebook page to get a daily dose of positive starting Friday, Dec 1. Feel free to share the posts with your friends to uplift their hearts during the holidays. I love walking this journey together!

pursuing-god-in-the-quiet-places

If you are looking for a gift for the holidays, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places Devotional makes a great gift and stocking stuffer.