So, there I was, sitting in my office working my 9-to-5 job in Corporate America. I remember looking out of my window and thinking, “I’ve got a pretty good setup here.” The job wasn’t my favorite, I wasn’t overly ecstatic about my work – but it was paying the bills, and I had a good title. But at that very moment, something changed.
My boss walked into my office and said, “Alex, we have to talk.” I quickly glanced up and gave him my full attention. He proceeded to close the door as he walked in and sat down in the chair across from my desk.
Now, you may be saying, “Ah man! I know where this is going.” But, you’re wrong.
My boss explained to me that a much better position (better title and higher pay) had just become available in the company and that he, and the rest of the leadership team, expected me to take the promotion.
Again, I know what you’re thinking, “Alex got a sweet promotion and started living a better life through positive thinking, the end.” But, you’re wrong again.
You see, the job that my boss was talking about had been offered to me before. It was about a year before this situation I was now in. At that time, I verbalized my feelings while in a meeting with the leadership team, “That’s the only job in the company I never want to have.” However, there I was, sitting across from my boss, knowing that I had to accept this new position.
So, of course, I accepted my bosses offer.
Before I knew it, I was in the new position full force! Over the next few months, I learned the job and became very good at it. Within six months, I began receiving recognition for my performance. I was considered the most successful person to ever hold this title/position.
Sounds like a fantastic outcome, right? Wrong again.
I hated the job. I was always stressed about it, and I went to bed every night dreading waking up the next morning having to go back. My life no longer seemed enjoyable. I thought and spoke negatively about where I was both personally and professionally at this point in life. Mentally, I entered a very dangerous place.
I fit all of the Corporate America stereotypes:
- Monday’s were the worst.
- Friday’s were the only good day of the work week.
- I lived for the weekend.
- Once done with work for the day, I had no energy left for anything else.
There was no hiding the way I felt. To make matters worse, I began rubbing off on my entire staff. Negativity was everywhere; all because of the way I carried myself.
Then one day, things changed; I had a paradigm shift! It all came from a revelation I received from a Bible verse.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 NIV
Although I have read this Bible verse many times before, this was the first time that I really understood what it was saying.
We should not focus on the negativity that surrounding our lives. Don’t focus on what we don’t like or what we don’t have. Philippians 4:8 is saying that we need to focus on the positive parts of our individual lives. For far too long I lived contrary to this. I was oblivious to the way that God had called me to live as a Christian. But thankfully, everything changed for me from a mental perspective, although, physically nothing was different.
Over the past few years, I have drastically changed my mindset. Positive thinking is now a big part of who I am. Today, I want to share the five main ways I was able to overcome the negativity of life.
Five Ways to Live a Better Life Through Positive Thinking:
#1. Positive thinking never comes naturally. It’s always a conscious decision.
Positive thinking is always a choice that you have to make. You’re never just going to wake up and start thinking positively. You have to make a conscious decision. Here are some practical ways to make this decision:
- Before going to bed, thank God for ten specific things that happened to you that day. (If you can’t think of ten, start with five.)
- Set reminders during the day to stop what you’re doing and praise God for your life. (You’re breathing, that’s something to be thankful about.)
- Intentionally seek to encourage others. (Encouraging others leads to the refreshing of ones-self. Seriously, give this a shot.)
- Stop taking life so seriously. (Joke around and remember to smile and laugh every chance you get.)
#2. Christians are called to be positive.
As believers, followers of Christ, our focus should be on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Why do we give our focus and attention to the exact opposite? If we would start thinking and acting upon this principle; we would begin to experience a better quality of life. If we stop speaking negatively and removed all negative things from our lives; how different would our daily lives be? What if everyone you encountered in a day was happy and friendly? Just imagine how different the world would be right now.
#3. Change starts with you, not your circumstances.
That’s right. It starts with you, not what’s happening around you. This is unpopular in today’s world. The world says everyone else is responsible for how you feel. That is a flat out lie. Positive thinking starts with an inward change. Shifting from a negative mindset to a positive mindset can completely change your life. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks within himself, so he is.” If you are always thinking negatively and are surrounded by and hearing negative things; you are going to end up with a negative life. However, if you begin thinking positively, you will find your situations in life change as well.
Related Post: How to Live a Life That is Proactive Instead of Reactive
#4. Avoid negativity.
My 4th point is simple. Avoid negativity. This doesn’t mean run from it or quit your job because everyone is negative. What I am saying is that you should avoid watching the news and TV shows that are focused on negativity. Also, stop spending time with that friend/acquaintance in your life that are always negative. Instead, spend time with people who are positive. Avoid the news. Period. It’s 100% poison. If you watch shows on Netflix (who doesn’t?), make sure they contain a positive or educational message. Negativity is contagious; you’ll catch it quicker than you think. Avoid it.
#5. Maintain a posture of positive thinking no matter what.
Here’s the deal, your circumstances may never get better. You may never get that big break you’re waiting on. Positive thinking isn’t a magic key that causes everything to get better in your life. It changes you from the inside. The idea is to reach a place where you say, “I’m okay with whatever happens around me.”
I don’t want to leave you hanging, so, let me tell you the rest of my story.
A few years after starting this new position at work, I received another promotion — this time into a job that I loved – one that I was passionate about. However, I don’t credit getting this new job to my performance in the previous one. It was my positive thinking and attitude that brought me to my new position. I give God-centered positive thinking 100% of the credit for where I’m at today.
I encourage you to think about this small passage of scripture in Philippians. Think about how your mindset and actions compare. I’m telling you now if you can gain this positive mindset, you will live a fulfilled life of influence and satisfaction that others will want to follow.