Do you have a positive outlook on life? During the good times and the bad? My default outlook on life used to be quite negative. I have had to work hard at protecting my input so that my outlook is positive. Before I was aware of my thoughts, I would let my emotions lead the way. If I was “feeling” sad, I would let that dictate how my entire day went. If I was feeling “happy” it was usually because of some outside circumstances that “made” me happy and as soon as what made me happy was gone I sometimes went back to my default of being unhappy and pessimistic.
tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.
We choose whether to be positive or negative. I’ve learned that when a thought enters my mind, I can choose whether I keep that thought or if I quickly dispose of it. If I am finding it difficult to get rid of a negative thought, I will oftentimes turn on some positive worship music and usually during the first song, my thoughts will change direction. The positive will start to outweigh the negative. Other forms of input have helped me too; reading personal development books, listening to success audios, or surrounding myself with positive people.
INPUT > THOUGHTS > WORDS > ACTIONS > HABITS > CHARACTER
Your input (which you choose) leads to your thoughts. Your thoughts lead to what you talk about. This eventually leads to actions you take, which over time become habits. These habits eventually shape your character. Here are some input habits that I started to change:
- I stopped watching the news and instead watch positive stories about the good that is happening in the world today
- I stopped listening to negative music or radio and started listening to success audios or positive worship music.
- I stopped reading people’s negative opinions on social media and started reading successful books that helped me improve my life and others.
- I stopped associating with friends who had negative outlooks on life and I limited the time I spent with family who pushed their fear on me instead of pushing faith. I found a community of new friends who believed in me and my dreams and encouraged me to live with faith instead of fear.
Right now as we live through these uncertain times, my input has never been more important. I’ve caught myself listening to too much news and media and then find myself scared to leave our home. There is so much good happening in the world today but it takes effort to find the good and to live with faith.
Fear is often a seed that develops into worry. If I find myself worrying about something, I often turn to these scriptures that help me. Sometimes it helps me to think about the worst-case scenario of my fear or worry. Usually the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad and by accepting that, I can move forward confidently knowing I can handle anything that comes my way.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?Matthew 6:26-34 ESV
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Here are a few of my favorite books that have helped me have a more positive outlook on life, no matter what the situation.