Why a Negative Attitude is Such a Waste of Time

Ditch the Negative Attitude

All too often, people say that we have to have an open mind, be positive, grab life by the short and curlies and make it ours in reference to the kind of attitude that we have to take in life. OK, there are far more metaphors and analogies that people use – especially in the self-help industry that pervades so much of our modern life, but you get the idea. The main one is that you shouldn’t have a negative attitude.

But Does it Mean Anything?

Does possessing these traits and personal characteristics really make life that much more productive and fulfilling? Do these attitudes help you get the kind of life that you desire and help you learn to build your dreams, really? If so then what is it about being open-minded that makes success far more achievable than not?

Well, I’m not a psychologist or a sociologist, but I’ll tell you what I know, garnered from some personal experience. Despite what people who know me may tell you, for quite a long time now I’ve not been always the most positive of people.

Though I generally appear happy and positive, I’ve held such a cynical and down-beat perspective about so many things. This could be just in a moment here and there or come up very quickly and last for some time.

I’m not sure whether it was a fear of success or a fear of failure that led me to choose this underlying attitude. You could argue that it may have been a perceived security blanket or a proverbial comfort zone as well. But for whatever reason, for a long time now, it’s been there.

But Life Starts To Change

But toward the end of last year, life started changing for a variety of reasons, so I felt it high time to let go of this cynical approach to life. I decided that it was well past time to really start a fresh and try on something new.

So, before New Years day had rolled around (I’m not one for New Years resolutions), I set myself the main task of really living in the moment wherever I am, whenever I’m there and not being half-hearted about things that I don’t want to do or spend time on.

When I say living in the moment, I don’t mean, living only for now, or taking a very short-term attitude about things, I mean making the most when you have it, which is now and appreciating the opportunities that you have there and then.

I vowed to take the attitude that no matter what it was that I had to do or what it was that I was tasked with doing, I do freelance software development part of the time, that I was going to take it on with as much vigour, gusto and enthusiasm that I could muster and do the absolute best at it that I could.

NB: If you ever catch me being a winger or complaining, you have the right to call me on it.

And you know what, it’s only been a month or two now, but the results have been truly amazing. Now I’m speaking mainly from a technical perspective here, but I’ve learned so much.

Whether I have been learning about new database or web development technologies or whether it was travelling the London Tube, through having this new attitude, I’ve felt that passion has come alive again.

I’ve also discovered that what I once thought I was likely only going to be mediocre at, has really begun to turn around and the productivity that I’ve gained has been going up and up and up.

Do I clock watch any more? Hell No! Do i turn up just itching to be out the door at the end of the day? Hell No! Do I dream, from when I arrive to when I finish, about what I’ll do when the working day’s over? Super Hell No!

I’m here to work whether I like it or not and if I’m going to spend a part of my life here, then I’ll damn well be here and make the most of it and do the damn best I can at it. Otherwise, I’m going to leave and go do something else where I’m truly going to live and produce to my best during the time when I’m there.

What a Change

It was the best discovery of the change so far. It’s not the improvement in productivity, it’s not the joy of learning and discovery that’s come alive again, though that is amazingly satisfying – it’s the satisfaction and joy that I’m living my life, not just existing from day to day.

I feel so satisfied that my life has purpose because I’m not “waiting till some point” to decide to be happy, to decide to relax, to decide to enjoy. And after all, that’s what it is – it’s a decision.

We can choose to be happy on rainy day, just as much as when the sun’s shining; we can choose to not be upset when someone hands us grief or leaves us; we can choose to take the constructive, meaningful attitude – accepting that the responsibility and choice is ours and largely not the domain of anyone else.

Now this is very easy to say when opportunity abounds all around and when I live in such a rich and wealthy country, but it’s definitely made a massive difference. So here’s a few questions for you. Do you think that this can work for you? Do you believe that this could help you enjoy what you do more. I’m not suggesting that you have to love what you do, but do you feel that it will help you make the most of where you are, when you’re there?

Please retweet.

image copyright Leonard John Matthews

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      thanks very kindly. it’s lovely to get such positive feedback. I agree that if you can smile irrespective of what happens to you, you’re doing well. People can give you negativity but if you don’t accept it, then it only hurts them not you.

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