Positivity: Displaying a positive and/or “can do” attitude in all circumstances.
One person can go through chemotherapy with a smile and a positive attitude. Another person can hit a traffic jam and turn a small moment into a full day of whining and negativity. Neither of these responses make sense based on the circumstances. But, both people have something in common—they chose their attitude.
What is clear about each of these scenarios is each person had a choice to make. Circumstances don’t choose our attitudes, we do. Just like the other Habits of Character we’ve discussed (Courage, Humility, Integrity, Selflessness and Duty), each time we make a choice, it makes it easier to make that same choice again.
Back when I was in High School, my father, The General, always told me, “Hey bud! Your attitude is a choice. Make a different choice.” This is why some people fill you up and other people suck you dry. They are in a habit of choosing their attitudes—Positivity versus negativity.
Exercising Positivity in all circumstances doesn’t mean we ignore the reality of our circumstances. It simply means we decide to be in control of our behaviors instead of letting the circumstances decide it for us. When we lead our teams or our families, do we want them to be attracted or repelled by our response to a difficult circumstance? Do we want them to see hope or despair?
If when you walk into a party, you see two people—one who fills you up and the other who sucks you dry—who would you choose to spend time with? The only people who choose to spend time with “Joy Suckers” are other Joy Suckers. Positivity attracts and negativity repels. Ask yourself, “What is the role of a leader? Do I want to be someone who attracts people or repels others?"
Our attitudes are our choice—no matter the circumstance. When we allow our circumstances to determine our attitude, we find ourselves isolated and feel powerless. When we choose Positivity, in spite of our circumstances— we find ourselves surrounded by hopeful people who inspire us.
This is the power we hold over our attitudes when we choose Positivity. This is the power each person reading today has in the face of every circumstance—both large and small. This is the power other people are attracted to and want to follow. The question remains, “Would you follow you?”
Dig Deep Questions:
How does Positivity grant perspective, no matter the circumstance?
What opportunities might occur this week in which you will have an ability to exercise Positivity?
Exercising Positivity takes work and is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Positivity daily, which is why we have created FREE tools and resources to guide your journey.
To make it easy to keep the definition of Positivity visible on your screens and devices, we would like to share our FREE Positivity backgrounds for desktop and mobile available for download at: https://www.becomingaleaderofcharacter.com/tools-resources