I don’t know about you, but I remember when I was younger, starting a family, working at a corporation, and thinking about launching my own business. At that time, there was very little guidance available in terms of written material, life coaches, or business mentors to help me achieve success. Mostly, I had to figure it out on my own.
For sales people, Dale Carnegie published his excellent book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I believe every single company with a sales department offered it as a required course. There was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, a classic little gem, as relevant now as when it was first published in 1937. The essence of the book is Hill’s famous statement: “Everything your mind can conceive, you can achieve.” Many think that’s a modern concept. After all, that’s what many life coaches now teach. It isn’t a modern concept and life coaches didn’t even exist 40 years ago.
Today, bookstore and library shelves are groaning under the weight of self-help books. I think a new one arrives every minute. Think Brene’ Brown, Mark Victor Hanson, Jack Canfield, Jen Sincero, Anthony De Mello, Eckhart Tolle, Brendon Burchard, and on and on and on. Pick one, move to the next. Some are about business, some about personal development, some I have yet to figure out. Many offer excellent, thought provoking insights. Some don’t.
There is one book that stands out for me. It offers an overall viewpoint one may consider adopting to live a more joyful, successful, personally worthwhile and fulfilling life. It was published in 1952. It’s called “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.
What we think in our minds will eventually become what we believe. This is why it is so important that we start saying positive things about ourselves many times each and every day.
Why is being positive so important as we age?
When we’re young, our lives are typically occupied with family, work, extra-curricular activities, obligations. I know when I try to get the attention of my family, I sometimes get . . . “Sorry Mom, I’m really busy right now.” I was the same way when I was younger. My kids are terrific. I’m so very grateful for them, but they lead challenging lives with lots of responsibilities. I absolutely know, though, if I ever have an emergency, they’ll be right there.
Here’s the reality of aging and why having a positive attitude is more important than ever. As we age, we’re alone more. Many of my female friends are widowed or divorced. Everything falls on our shoulders. We may not be as healthy as we used to be. In most cases, we don’t have the income we used to. Many of us haven’t prepared well for retirement. One unexpected bill can wipe out our savings. We worry. We get depressed or anxious. We tend to need more medication. My friend and I were on the phone the other day and all we talked about for an entire hour was our respective aches and pains. Gag me.
As I said in my last newsletter, Ageism in America overlooks us. Respect for us decreases. Jobs are almost nonexistent. We’ve all heard the phrase “Grumpy old men.” There are some grumpy old women, too! (Although not as many as grumpy old men.) Why? Studies show that women have more friends than men. Women are happier single. . . not men.
Who wants to live that way? I don’t. It’s up to each of us individually to do something about it. Make it a priority to be more positive, laugh more, call friends, do a little exercise, stand in the sunshine. (Be happy you don’t live in Seattle.) You’ll feel much better.
It’s not easy to change a paradigm, but SOOOOO worth it. You may want to read “The Power of Positive Thinking” or another book on positivity. There’s also counseling, and we all know there are enough life coaches around to talk to.
I have created a list of things to try which may help you stay positive:
- Focus on the good things. Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. …can’t get around that!
- Practice gratitude.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Open yourself up to humor.
- Spend time with positive people.
- Practice positive self-talk.
- Identify your areas of negativity.
- Start every day on a positive note.
- Live simply.
- Stay physically active.
- Smile more. You can trick your mind into thinking it’s happy.
- Share your feelings with a trusted, joyful friend.
- Stop the negative self-talk.
- Get better sleep . . . the great rejuvenator.
- Build your own “positivity” list.
As far as I know, we only get one life. Make it a FABULOUS one. It really is UP TO YOU!
Yours in health,
Quote of the month:
“A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” ~ Herm Albright