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 sweet 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.
Listen to the Good Christian Podcast episode about this post:
“How Positive Thinking Can Lead You to a Better Life”
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, I know you’re thinking, “I know where this is going.” But, you’re mistaken.
My boss explained that a much better position (higher salary and better title) had just become available in the company. He went on to tell me that the leadership team recommended me for the position.
Again, I know what you’re thinking again, “Alex got a sweet promotion and started living a better life through positive thinking, the end.” But, you’re mistaken again.
You see, the job that my boss was talking about had been offered to me one year prior to this conversation we were having. During the prior year’s meeting, 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 the offer for the new position. (He wasn’t leaving me a choice this time.)
So, after a moment of hesitation, I accepted the promotion that I never wanted.
Within just a few weeks, I had fully stepped into the new job. 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 ever to hold this title/position in company history.
That sounds like a fantastic outcome, right? Wrong again.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. I was not too fond of 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 regularly vocalized my negative thoughts that I had about where I was at professionally. It started affecting my personal life at all. I couldn’t stop thinking about work. Mentally, I had 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 workweek.
- I lived for the weekend.
- Once done with work for the day, I had no energy left for anything else.
- My goal was to make it to the next vacation.
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 single 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.
Here’s what God showed me at that moment:
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 positive mindset that God had called me to maintain as a Christian. But thankfully, after reading this Bible verse, everything began to change for me. Since that day, I have been on a journey to maintain and grow a positive mindset with a Biblical foundation. Today I am happy to report that 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 overcame the negativity.
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. God isn’t surprised by where you’re at, so ask him for help.
Guess what? When I got that promotion at my job, God wasn’t like, “Oh dang… Didn’t see that coming; that’s going to be TOUGH.” No! God knew I’d be in that position. He has still called me to maintain a positive attitude, no matter where I am. Remember, God is not surprised by your circumstances. He is still in control. Be thankful and positive no matter where you are, knowing that God is watching over you. Ask Him to help you gain the right perspective about where you are in life. Ask him to give you a positive mindset.
#3. Change starts with your mindset, 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 will have 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. I am saying 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 positive people. 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. Surround yourself with the right people.
Don’t spend too much time with people who are overly negative. The foundation of all friendship is positivity. Make sure you’re around people who understand this. Yes, have difficult conversations when you need to, but focus on staying positive. Speak life to the friends God has blessed you with. I can tell you from experience, being around the right people makes a huge difference.
Until December 7th, 2020, when I left the corporate world to focus on my SaaS startup, I remained in that job that I never wanted. But I ended up loving it. Not because of anything pertaining to the actual job, but due to the positive mindset that I developed. This was all thanks to the revelation God gave me from Philippians 4:8. That one Bible verse changed everything!
I encourage you to think about this short 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.