Positive Thinking: Your 7 Step Action Plan

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Maybe when you think of positive thinking, you think about the Pollyanna kind of positive thinking where you put a positive spin on everything, regardless of the situation and no matter how bad it is. That's not the kind of positive thinking I'm talking about. Positive thinking, as defined by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, is more about a change of attitude. It's about taking your situation and looking for the "seed" of change that can allow you to turn the situation around. I'm sure you have a lot of dreams, ideas, and goals for your life. We all have things we want to change and want to achieve. Your first step here should be a change of attitude. With a change of attitude, then you need to translate your goals into something quantifiable. A goal is no good unless it's something definite. Then, it's time to take action. Now, if you want to change your attitude, you'll need to change the way you think.

Below are seven tips you can use to change the way you think and find those "seeds" of solution in your life. Positive thinking can help you see solutions you might otherwise not have considered.

1. Stop talking about your problems, dreams, and goals. Write them down. Look for the seed of change within your problem and see if you can use this to solve your problem. You need to believe that you can change. You need to believe that you can grow and become better.

2. Commit yourself to thinking about the life you actually want. Can you visualize in detail your new life? The more clearly you can see exactly what you want, the easier it will be to visualize the steps you need to take to achieve what you want. Again, this is about belief. This should include thinking about your life from different perspectives. You may want to change your financial situation, but what about your health, your relationships, your spiritual life? You really need to consider these things too when visualizing your ideal life. Norman Vincent Peale always said, "Believe, achieve, receive." It's really that simple.

3. Remember that you will only be in this particular moment in time one time. You will never have this moment again because each moment in your life is different. Savor each moment. Get the most out of each moment of your life. It's been said that "life is too short." It really is. Get a grip on your time and learn how to manage it effectively. Don't waste your time on thoughts that will diminish your opportunity to be everything you want to be. What I mean by this is don't waste your time dwelling on anger, hatred, revenge, or the past. These things only hold you back, and it's unnecessary baggage you simply don't need.

4. Exercise gratitude. Be grateful for every good thing in your life. The truth is, if you dwell on negative things, you will only attract more negative things. In my life I've noticed that when my thinking is negative, it shuts down the opportunity to find the solution to a problem. If you're a writer, like me, then it can certainly effect your ability to get new ideas, as well as write. Stay positive. You will certainly see a difference in what you can accomplish.

5. Don't waste your time dwelling on the past. We can all do this Shoulda/Coulda/ Woulda mode where we regret how we handled a situation or didn't take action when we should have. The problem here is that you can't change the past. Occasionally you might be able to change the situation. More often than not though, it isn't possible. Better to move on and quit beating yourself up. Live in the now because the now is all you have. Make it the best now you can.

6. Keep a sense of humor. It's been estimated that about seven out of 10 American adults are angry about something. Anger, in the right situation is actually a positive emotion. It can help us see where we're going wrong in our lives. It's not anger that's the problem; it's how we deal with it. Deal with your anger in a positive way. Solve the problem because anger will only turn to resentment if you don't deal with it. In the long run, unresolved anger will only hold you back. Why not just deal with it and get rid of it?

7. Believe that you can change your life. Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right." Positive belief is crucial. Otherwise, when you finally do get what you want in life, you won't be happy with it. In fact, you won't be happy at all. Get honest, get rid of your baggage, and live honestly. You can't take the next step, which is action, if you're not honest about why you want what you want. If you want to enjoy what you receive, and be happy, then you need to be honest about your reasons for wanting something. Take that first step towards positive thinking. Change what you believe. Then it will become easier for you to effect lasting change in your life.

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