Category Archives for "discipline"

It’s Been A Minute

“Time is the wisest counselor of all.”


I’m still alive!

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything here which means it has actually been quite a while. Life has jumped in the way which is mostly a great thing. I’ve prioritized other things over writing. And perhaps, I’ve even struggled with inspiration and motivation to write as well.

Over the past few months, I’ve celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary to my wonderful bride. We had the blessing of traveling to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for an unforgettable getaway where we renewed our vows as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. I went on a family vacation to the Poconos with my wife and two twenty-something kids. I went on an extended weekend “camping” trip with my buddies originally from the Mt. Holly, NJ area. And I’ve kept busy with the pressures and responsibilities of work and home life.

I’ve thought about writing, but it just hasn’t happened.

What happens in our lives is typically a result of what and how we prioritize.

For example, today marks 1,205 days in a row with 10,000 or more steps. Clearly, I’ve prioritized my walking. It has become a non-negotiable. This was very apparent a few weeks ago when I arrived home from Mexico with some sort of bug that left me feverish, weak, and lethargic. I thought for sure my step streak might be over. Nonetheless, I found just enough energy to slowly walk around my neighborhood until I reached my daily goal. Some might say this dedication to a goal is idiotic or over the top. I say it’s what I’ve prioritized.

Over the past several months, Leanne and I have prioritized working together on our finances. We went through Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class. We now meet weekly to plan our budget, discuss our financial goals, and go over our expenditures. We have made significant progress, because we’ve made this a priority.

When I released my first two books, On Track and Rooftop Reflections, the writing and release of these books became a priority for me.

When I ran three marathons and several half marathons, I prioritized training to prepare for these events.

What is it you want to achieve over the next few months? What is it you want to see happen in your life over the next few years? What are some of the things you want to experience in the remaining years of your life?

Seriously, stop for a long minute, and ponder your answers to these questions.

Now, what is it going to take to make these things happen? What are you going to do about it?

Don’t wait another minute. Take time to prioritize your time. Be intentional in how you live your life.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot….”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NIV)

7 Daily Affirmations to Help You Stretch Everyday

​The discipline of daily affirmations took a major hit in the early 1990’s when Saturday Night Live aired several episodes of “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” starring former SNL regular, Al Franken.  In each episode, Stuart Smalley offered self-talk in a way that came across as weird and even delusional.  Since then, many have shunned the practice of daily affirmations as unnecessary and crazy.

​Recently, the discipline of daily affirmations has gained traction as authors, speakers, and leaders have shared their affirmation success stories.  For example, Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answerman (now Mindset Answerman), has spoken qu​ite a bit about his own practice of daily affirmations on his weekly podcast, The Cliff Ravenscraft Show.  Episode 521 provides a small glimpse into his daily affirmations specifically related to money and wealth.  On his blog, leadership mentor, ​​Michael Hyatt, alludes to his use of daily affirmations to help train his brain in an article titled “How to Beat Your Brain and Succeed.”

​A couple of weeks ago at my Friday morning men’s group, the topic of daily affirmations came up.  Actually, the topic came up through a YouVersion study plan we were working through together (Crash the Chatterbox).  I had been thinking about incorporating daily affirmations into my morning routine, so I asked the group if any of them practice daily affirmations.  One of the guys in the group shared his daily affirmations with the group.  I promptly “stole” them and added my own to the list.

I printed them out and taped them into the front cover of my daily planner.  ​I’m still working on making this a regular discipline in my life, but I can already tell the positive self-talk is actually a real good thing for crushing my doubts and encouraging me to use my gifts.

​Today, I’m sharing seven of these affirmations.  These are affirmations specifically written to remind me to Stretch on a daily basis.  Here they are:

​7 Stretch Daily Affirmations

  • ​I take time to Still myself and take regular sabbaths.
  • I take time to Thank people and express my genuine appreciation.
  • I take time to Reflect praising God for His working in my life.
  • I take time to Engage in key relationships.
  • I take time to Try new things.
  • I take time for Community.
  • I take time to Help Others.

​My daily affirmation list will continue to grow and transform as I live my life and encounter new challenges and opportunities.  I’m thankful for this new discipline in my life.

Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.​Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn brings up a great point about daily affirmations.  Words are meaningless unless they cause real action and change in our lives.  I would encourage you to share your daily affirmations with someone, and ask them to hold you accountable to taking action on the words you say to yourself everyday.  Also, ask them to observe you and give you honest feedback on what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change when it comes to your daily affirmations.

​OK!  Now it’s your turn.  Stretch yourself today by creating your own list of daily affirmations.  When you’re creating this list, think about the things you want to keep doing, and think about the things you want to change or implement in your life.  You can do it!

​Do you practice the discipline of daily affirmations?  What affirmation ​do you need to add to your list?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

I’m Not Ignoring You


Every moment in our lives is a miracle we should enjoy instead of ignoring.

Yoko Ono

I’m not ignoring you.  I promise.

I’ve just been doing my best to pay attention to my wife this week.  We were in Vermont for the past week celebrating our 20th Anniversary (a few weeks early).

mt snow lift

It was a great week, and I did my best to unplug as much as possible and to practice the discipline of being present.

I’ll have some new posts this week.

Hope you are doing well!

What was one of your highlights from this past week?  Share your highlight in the comments.

I Resolve…


But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

Daniel 1:8

Read the above verse a couple of times.  What stands out to you?  What words pop out when you read the verse?

Does the word “resolved” stand out to you?

What does it mean to resolve?

Google second definition says to resolve is to “decide firmly on a course of action.”

Daniel firmly decided on a course of action, and he moved forward based on his decision.  Daniel committed to stay pure and to honor God with his eating and drinking.

My men’s group (DIBs – Dudes In the Basement) just started studying the book of Daniel, and we concentrated our discussion this week on this one verse.

Resolve is not passive.  It’s not by accident.  And it’s not half-hearted.  It’s not out of guilt.

Resolve is active.  It’s intentional.  It’s all-in.  It’s out of desire.

If you want to change the world – If you want to change your family – If you want to change you, you have to move forward with conviction – with resolve.

Take time today to ponder your purpose and to think about what you want to accomplish in your lifetime.  Resolve to make the changes today in order to move closer to these goals.  Finally, take action.  Don’t wait until tomorrow.

What resolution do you need to make today?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

4 Ways To Deal With Other People’s Bad Habits


I don’t have any bad habits. They might be bad habits for other people, but they’re all right for me.

Eubie Blake

We all have habits.  Some habits are good, and some habits are bad.

Do you chew your fingernails?  Do you chew with your mouth open?  Do you tap your fingers when you are nervous?  Do you smack your lips?  These are bad habits.

Maybe you have a bad habit and you don’t even know it.

My guess is others probably notice when you have a bad habit.

I have a bad habit (actually I have many bad habits).  I didn’t realize it until my wife and kids said something to me.  Apparently, I make a noise sometimes while I’m eating.  I don’t do it all the time, and I don’t think I do it most of the time, but I can see how it would be annoying (or at least amusing) to those around me.  It’s like a quiet “Hum”, and it seems to especially happen when I’m eating soup.  The first time my kids and wife said something to me about this bad habit, I had no idea I was making that noise while I was eating.

There are many things in our lives we don’t notice.  This is why it’s important to have people in our lives who will speak truth and who will call us onto the carpet when there are things in our lives that we need to adjust.  Telling other people about their bad habits is not an easy thing to do.  It takes thoughtfulness.  It takes tact, and it takes some courage to tell somebody they have a bad habit that needs to be addressed.  To help you address the bad habits of those around you, I have some ideas to make it a little easier:

4 Ways To Deal With Other People’s Bad Habits

  1. Look in the mirror.  Take time to analyze what habits you may have.  You may be surprised to learn that you have the same bad habit you are trying to address in someone else.  It’s important for you to address your own bad habits first before you work on someone’s bad habits.
  2. Be kind and thoughtful.  Make it your mission to be positively constructive.  Don’t destroy or rip apart someone when you address their bad habit.  You want to be honest, and you want to be kind.  Address others as you would want to be addressed.
  3. Offer to help.  Overcoming a bad habit is not easy.  A little help can go a long way in eliminating long-held patterns in our lives.  Ask if you can remind the person whenever you seem them falling into their old habits.  If the person is receptive, you can ask them how they are doing when it comes to breaking their bad habit.  Get involved in creating a reward of some sort that rewards the person as they reach milestones in overcoming their bad habit.  Be part of the solution.
  4. Remove yourself from the situation.  If the bad habit is irritating you so much and the person doesn’t seem receptive to change, you may need to remove yourself from the situation.  There’s a gentleman at the Starbucks where I go every Sunday morning to write who makes a loud coughing sound every couple of minutes.  I don’t know if he knows he’s doing it, but it drives me crazy.  I distracts my train of thought as I’m writing.  I don’t have a great platform for telling him about the habit, so I must learn to deal with it or move to another location for my writing.  (This week, I went to a different Starbucks, and my writing time was more productive.)

What is one of your bad habits?  What advice do you have for dealing with the bad habits other people have?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

For other interesting articles on habits, check out these links below:

6 Essential Steps To Live A More Balanced Life

balanced life

What is a “Balanced Life?”

People talk about wanting to live a balanced life.

There used to be a podcast called Pursuing A Balanced Life by my friend, Cliff Ravenscraft.

We all want balance in our lives, but is that really the right goal or are we really even defining a balanced life correctly?  This is something I’ve been thinking about lately.  I know for a fact that I am very busy.  I’m on the go all the time.  My calendar is full of things to do, and I’m always busy.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m living a balanced life.

I’m pretty sure we often get the whole definition of balance wrong.

When I think of balance I think of chemistry class in college.  In the lab portion of the class, we used to measure chemicals with a balance.  We put a desired weight on one side of the balance.  This weight was measured against a standard.  Then we put the chemical we were measuring on the other side of the balance.  We would add a little more chemical or remove a little of the chemical until we got the right amount of chemical.  We knew that we were right – that we had the right amount of chemical, because the balance was balanced.  One side wasn’t higher than the other.  One side wasn’t lower than the other.

This seems to be what people want to do with their schedules.  They want to put so many things into their life that they are well-rounded in every area, but sometimes I wonder if that’s really the correct approach.  My guess is that we are measuring the balance of our lives against an incorrect standard.

We all have different priorities, and we all have things that should be higher on our priority list.  If you make a list of how you spend your time and you compare it with your list of life priorities, I wonder if they would match.

I know that my work is one of my priorities.  I know that my fitness is one of my priorities.  I know my family is one of my priorities.  I know my friends are one of my priorities.  I know my writing and speaking are one of my priorities, and I know that serving others is one of my priorities.  I have a lot of priorities.  The question is which ones are the top ones and are they getting the attention – the time and energy – they deserve

My top priority is God and my faith, but the reality is I’m not sure I give Him the balance of time and energy that I should.   If God really is a priority in my life, you would think I would spend a lot of time working on this priority.  The reality is I get distracted, I get confused, and I get misdirected towards other things that are much lower on my priority list.  And I’m guessing I’m not alone.

How do I go about reshaping and re-evaluating my calendar and my life in light of my desired priorities, so I really can live a balanced life?  Here are some ideas:

6 Essential Steps To Live A More Balanced Life

  1. Determine the top 5-10 priorities in your life.  I think it starts by figuring out your priorities.  Spend time listing what really matters in your life.  Put them in order from highest priority to lowest priority.
  2. Look at your calendar as it exists today.  Take note of how you are spending your time right now.  Where do we spend the most time?  Where do you spend the least time?  What occupies your time?  We need to know how we’re spending our time and energy in order to determine what changes we might need to make.
  3. Compare your priorities to your calendar.  Do they match?  Where do they match?  Where are they missing the mark?
  4. Adjust your calendar to match your priority list.  What needs to stay?  What needs to go?  What needs more time and attention?  Do the work of adjusting your calendar to match your priority list.  If your family is one of your top priorities, schedule time in your calendar to be with your family.  If your marriage is one of your priorities, schedule a regular, weekly date night.  Cut of the things on your calendar that are unnecessary and don’t line up with your priority list.  Do the work if you’re serious about pursuing a balanced life.
  5. Get accountability to make sure these changes stick.  Share your priorities and calendar adjustments with somebody.  You don’t need to share them with everybody, but find one or two people who can hold you accountable to making the changes a reality.
  6. Take action.  Don’t be afraid to reevaluate from time to time.  Plan regular check-ins, and figure out what is working well, what is not working well, and what additional changes you need to make.  This is an ongoing process.  You are not going to fix it all at once, but I’m convinced that through diligent, intentional thought and action we can take steps to live a more balanced life.

Are you living a balanced life?  What action do you need to take to live a more balanced life?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you want additional help in this are, be sure to check out the 7 Week Stretch Challenge.  Sign up below.

The Best Way To Keep Your Best Employees


Why do you think employees leave?

More money?  A bigger, better title?  A more flexible schedule?

If you are a leader in your organization, this is a question you need to understand.  Employee turnover leads to additional hiring and training costs for the company and typically leads to a decline in overall team enthusiasm and productivity.

In his 2013 article (Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You), Louis Efron gives these six reasons your employees are leaving your company:

  1. No vision
  2. No connection to the big picture
  3. No empathy
  4. No (effective) motivation
  5. No future
  6. No fun

And in his 2005 article for The Center for Association Leadership, Leigh Branham lists seven reasons employees leave.  Two of these reasons include:

  • There is too little coaching and feedback.
  • Workers feel devalued and unrecognized.

As leaders, we have a challenge and responsibility to address these shortcomings.

Today, I will help you identify one of the key action steps you can take to positively change things.  By implementing my suggestion, your team members will get the coaching they desire, they will gain a greater feeling of value, they will feel like they are better understood, and they will experience a higher level of motivation.

Today, I challenge you to implement regular one-on-one meetings with your team members.  A regular one-on-one meeting will make all the difference in giving your team members just what they need to feel valued, appreciated, motivated, and excited for their future in your organization.

Here’s my story:

A few years ago, I started having monthly one-on-one meetings with my team members.

As an operations manager in the construction industry, I’m challenged to balance my time as I’m responsible to make sure my group is operating as planned. I meet with my team members monthly on an individual basis to review their projects from a financial, resource, risk, and customer perspective. These monthly meetings, which typically last about an hour, provide a pretty good snapshot of things from a business perspective, but they don’t provide a lot of time for diving deeper personally.

I’m also responsible for participating in other department and company meetings. Again, these meetings are important for certain aspects of our business success, but they typically don’t provide opportunity for connecting on a more personal level.

I’ve heard it said that “It’s business, it’s NOT personal.”  Well, I disagree.  As a leader in the workforce, I have a responsibility care for my team members.  For me, this means our relationships in the business world are meant to be personal.

How can we take time to connect with our team members with all the different demands on our time?

This is the question that rolled around in my head as first started considering the possibility of implementing regular one-on-one meetings.  I have so many things on my plate already.  One-on-one meetings just didn’t seem to fit into my already busy schedule.

But my friend, Matt McWilliams, challenged me with this question:

How can you NOT take time to connect with your team members?

And so…I took Matt’s challenge and encouragement to heart.  And I started holding monthly one-on-one meetings with my team members.

We talk about business and the challenges that they are facing on a project or assignment.  And we also talk about life outside of work.  I’ve learned about their interests, their passions, and their families.

For the most part, these meetings have been 30-40 minutes each.  I use a one-page outline to guide our discussion and to take notes which helps me capture details of our discussion.  I first ask my team member for an update on how they are doing and what has them busy.  After 15-20 minutes of catching up, I typically have 5-10 minutes of items I want to cover with them.  We finish our meeting with an opportunity for them to ask for help.  With 10 direct reports, these notes have been essential to helping me remember our conversations.  And it helps with my follow through on any action items that I have taken from our meeting.  (NOTE: You can download Matt McWilliam’s one-on-one meeting template here.)

What difference does it make if you know your team members?

It makes all the difference in the world.

The average working person spends 9-10 hours of their days at work – every day. (That’s two-thirds or more of their waking hours).  Most people work over 2100 hours every year.  If my math is correct, most people work about 80,000 hours in their life time.  However you do the math, we spend a lot of time at work.

We are relational beings.  We are made to connect with others and to be in community with others.

We are missing a huge opportunity to connect with others if we go to work, come home, get our paycheck, but fail to connect with our co-workers.

Intentional connections

My one-on-one meetings have helped me be intentional in connecting with my team.  It’s helped my team to feel more connected to me.  And it’s also helped my team succeed from a business perspective.

I’m so thankful I listened to Matt and started having one-on-one meetings with my team.

Regular one-on-one meetings with our team members leads to reduced employee turnover, more satisfied employees, a better culture in your business, and greater business success.  I have also discovered that one-on-one meetings provide an excellent place to discuss employee development.  My team members have pursued advanced educational opportunities as a result of our discussions during our one-on-one meetings.  They’ve also taken steps to advance further on the road to achieving their career goals.

Call to Action:

  • If you are leading a team, it’s time for you to implement regular one-on-one meetings (if you’re not doing this already).
  • If you are not leading a team but you feel disconnected from your boss or your organization, it’s time for you to ask your boss to start having one-on-one meetings with you.

Do you have one-on-one meetings with your team?  If so, how have they made a difference?  If not, what are you waiting for?

Do you have one-on-one meetings with your boss?  How have these meetings helped you?

Looking to STRETCH yourself?  Sign-up today for the 7 Week Stretch Challenge:

How to Respond When You Feel Buried



Blizzard of 2016 – Snow Storm Jonas

I live right in the path of the major snow fall that took place along the east coast this weekend.  I don’t know the exact number, but I’m fairly certain we had over 2 feet of snow fall in our area.

We have a long driveway.

How will I move all that snow?

This is the thought that went through my head when I woke up to the reality of the work ahead of me.  I felt overwhelmed.

How often do you have this feeling – the feeling of being buried?

We add too many things to our responsibility list.  We start out with the best intentions, but we get behind.  Before we know it, we are buried by a long list of things we need to address.  We quickly move to a level of paralysis that is the result of not knowing where to start.

What should we do when we get to this point – when we feel buried?

Today, I want to help you answer this question.  I’ve identified seven essentials to moving ahead when you feel buried.  Here they are:

7 Ways to Respond When You Feel Buried

  1. Take a deep breath.  Actually, you may need to take many deep breaths.  Studies show that deep breathing actually helps to alleviate feelings of stress.  I recently downloaded a new application to my phone called Calm that helps users learn the deep breathing and meditation techniques.  Taking a deep breath gives you the opportunity to re-center yourself.  Before I went out to shovel, I took a deep breath.
  2. Do a brain dump.  When you feel buried, you need to get all that stuff out of your head.  Take time to write down the list of things that are causing you to feel buried.  Keep the list handy, so you can add to it later.  I use Wunderlist and Notability to help get the stuff out of my head.  You don’t need a fancy software application to make this work.  Go get a piece of paper and a pen, and get that stuff out of your head.
  3. Prioritize your list.  Look at the list you created when you did your brain dump.  Prioritize this list.  What things are important?  What things aren’t so important?  What things are urgent?  What things aren’t so urgent?  Determine which things really need to be addressed, and determine what things can wait or be forgotten all together.  You may want to assign a number to each item on your list – a 1 for the most important things and a 5 for the things that can wait.
  4. Schedule your list.  Use the list you created and assign a deadline for each item.  Plan out your days over the next week or two or three to tackle your list.  I’d recommend spending 15 minutes each day to plan your day.  Obviously, you have things you need to address for your work and for your family.  When you plan your day, you can see the gaps in your schedule.  Use these gaps to intentionally tackle the items on your list.
  5. Focus on one thing at a time.  Don’t try to do it all at once.  John Lee Dumas uses tells the listeners of his podcast to F.O.C.U.S. – Focus on One Course Until Success.  When you focus on too many things, you end up focusing on nothing.  The feeling of being buried returns, and you settle back into paralysis.  Get more traction on your list by focusing on one thing at a time.  Shoveling out from the storm, I had to focus on one area of snow at a time.  Once I completed that area, I could move to the next.  Overtime, my driveway was cleared.
  6. Get ‘er done.  Just do it!  You can’t accomplish anything on your list by sitting around.  You have to get up and get moving.  Decide today to tackle your list, and take action today.
  7. Get help.  Help comes in many forms.  My kids helped me shovel the snow, and I hired someone to run their snow plow up the driveway.  The snow plow couldn’t get everything, but this was a huge help.  Get someone to hold you accountable to take the above steps.  You don’t need to tell the world, but you may need a friend or two to check in with you to make sure you are making progress.  If you need help prioritizing your list and scheduling your list, I’d love to help.  Don’t be too proud to get the help you need to dig yourself out!

How do you respond when you are overwhelmed, buried, or stressed?  When was the last time you experienced this feeling?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sign up for the 7 Week Stretch Challenge.  You can sign up right here:

The Discipline of Asking Questions

So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Jesus Christ

Can I ask you a question?

To late, I just did.

Learning to ask questions is the key to opening the door to countless opportunities, experiences, and relationships.  Kids typically do a great job asking questions.  If you have ever been with a young child, you’ve heard this question over and over again:  “Why?”

Kids are curious.  They want to learn.  They want to grow.  They want to try new things.  And they seem to know that asking questions is the key to getting what they want.  Kids also don’t let the fear of sounding stupid stop them from asking questions.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, most of us forget the power of asking questions.  We lose our curiosity.  We don’t want to appear like we don’t know all the answers.  And we’re afraid we might be told “No” when we ask for something.

I’ve learned something recently:

The answer will always be “No” if we don’t ask.

This is why we must learn the discipline of asking questions.

In the writing and speaking world, there are many opportunities available to those who ask.

If I want to speak, I have to ask.  If I want to write on someone’s blog or platform, I have to ask.  If I want to be on someone’s podcast, I have to ask.  Sure I may get an invitation from time to time without asking, but this is not the norm.  In the last few weeks, I made three asks I want to share with you:

  1. I asked to be a guest on Rocco DeLeo‘s podcast, And Dad Makes 7.  Tonight, we’ll be recording the interview for his podcast.
  2. A couple week’s ago, I asked if I could speak at the 2016 Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers Conference in September.  I have been in touch with the person coordinating these opportunities, and the conference committee in charge of selecting presenters is meeting next week.  My proposed presentation is one of the things they will be considering.
  3. Two week’s ago, I filled out an application to write an article for  I haven’t receive a response yet, but I’m not losing hope.

You may not be a writer or a speaker, but you still have a lot to gain by asking questions.  When you practice the discipline of asking questions, many things happen.

  1. You get to know people better when you ask questions.  Where were you born?  What do you like to do in your spare time?  What do you want to accomplish in the next five to ten years?  What’s your favorite color?  How did you get to where you are today?  When you ask questions, you get to know people.
  2. You come across as more interesting when you ask questions.  Questions are the gateway to great conversations.  And when you have conversations, you automatically increase your “I’m interesting” factor.
  3. You show people they matter when you ask questions.  When people ask me questions, I feel valued.  When you ask questions, you show others they are valued.  By asking questions, you have the opportunity to show people they matter.
  4. You learn new things when you ask questions.  Be curious.  Questions will take you to all kinds of new places and new information.  I’ve learned a lot about blogging as a result of the questions I have asked other bloggers.  In my career, I grown a lot and seen new opportunities as a result of asking “How can I do this better next time?”
  5. You clarify your path forward when you ask questions.  Sometimes we get stuck.  We develop a type of paralysis, because we aren’t sure how to proceed.  Asking the right questions can give us clarity on the direction we should be taking.
  6. You can move more quickly when you ask questions.
  7. You become a better leader when you ask questions.

One thing worth noting, once you’ve asked your question(s) make sure you stop to listen.  The real learning happens when we listen to what others have to say in response to our questions.  And if you’re asking yourself the question(s), make sure you take time to reflect and process your responses to your own questions.

10 Ways to Develop a Positive Attitude


A positive attitude is something everyone can work on, and everyone can learn how to employ it.

Joan Lunden

“Always look on the bright side of life….”  If you are a fan of Monty Python, you may remember this line from the closing song in The Life of Brian.  The song is sung by Brian and several others who are hanging on crosses as they sing the song.  Some may consider the movie to be sacrilegious, and they are probably right.  But the song from this movie reminds me to find the bright side to the challenges that life throws are way.

Last week, we spent time talking about negative attitudes and positive attitudes.  Understanding the benefits of a positive attitude and the downsides of a negative attitude is great, but it doesn’t mean much if we don’t take steps to improve our attitude.  Here are several tips that will help you become more positive.

10 Ways to Develop a Positive Attitude

  1. Turn away from the negative.  Becoming a more positive person starts with a decision.  Decide today to be more positive and less negative.  Stop reading and watching things that cause you to have a negative attitude.
  2. Fight the power of negativity.  Despite your decision to be more positive, you will run into people who will drag you down with their negativity.  Stand up to the people who are negative in your life.
  3. Look for the silver lining.  In life, we will experience difficult circumstances.  Intentionally, look for the blessings in these circumstances.
  4. Practice positivity.  In Philippians 4:4, Paul challenges readers to be positive again and again, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Becoming more positive is not a once and done event.  Becoming more positive requires practice over and over and over again.
  5. Fill your mind with positive.  In Philippians 4:8, Paul continues to instruct readers on the topic of becoming more positive, “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.”  Read things that are positive.  Watch things that are positive.
  6. Surround yourself with positive people.  Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  If you want to develop a positive attitude, hang out with positive people.
  7. Practice positive activities.  Exercise.  Get outside.  Write thank you notes.  Hold the door open for people.  The more time you spend on positive activities the less time you will have for negativity to creep into your life.
  8. Get help if necessary.  Some of us are predisposed to negativity, and sometimes life circumstances make it very challenging for us to become positive.  You may need some outside help.  I few years ago, I was going through some really big challenges.  I sought out a trained counselor to help me work through my challenges.  My counselor was instrumental in me developing a more positive attitude.  Help may also come in the form of a close friend or accountability partner.  If you’re struggling with a negative attitude, get help!
  9. Encourage others to be positive.  I try to be positive here on my blog.  I try to be positive at work.  If you want to make the world a more positive place, you must first lead by example.  Then you can speak into the lives of others.
  10. Serve others.  Serving others has the amazing ability to put things in the proper perspective.  Whenever I serve others, I naturally become more positive about my current situation.  I feel better about myself.  And I want to keep serving.  Serving others has the potential of perpetually pumping up your positivity.

What helps you overcome a negative attitude?  What tips do you have for developing a positive attitude?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

For more great tips on becoming a more positive person, check out my post – How I Maintain A Positive Attitude (When Negativity Surrounds Me).

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