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How to Exercise Positivity - Leading in Your Twenties Series

Who wants to spend time with Eeyore? Answer: Only other Eeyores.

"Your attitude is a choice. Make a different choice!" My dad, The General, always had a way with words. No matter how big my pity party was, he could cut right through it with that statement. Telling me I could change my attitude was teaching me to exercise Positivity.

Editor’s note: This is the eleventh in a series of 12 blogs written directly to the Twenty-Somethings. This is about you and your future. As you read these blogs, please share them with other people who want ideas on how to lead now and how to develop the Twenty-Something Leaders of our future.

Leaders lift others up. They don't drag them down. You may not be a leader at work - yet! But, your attitude determines your ability to influence people around you.

If you are negative, you will drag others into your sphere of doubt, worry, and complaining. You will become Eeyore to those around you. Who wants to spend time with Eeyore? Answer: Only other Eeyores.

If you choose to exercise Positivity, you become that person who lifts others up and inspires them. Who do you think will be considered a leader by their peers and by upper management? I hope the answer is obvious. It isn't Eeyore!

Your Circumstances May Stink

There is no doubt that life throws obstacles in our way. Bosses, peers, and family can all create problems. Regulations, weather, and traffic can mess up your day or your week. But everybody has to deal with these issues. So why, in the midst of those circumstances, are some people able to smile and inspire, while some grumble and drag others down?

Circumstances don't determine your attitude - you do!

The people who have a glass half-full attitude, understand that the attitude they choose when they face an obstacle, is a window into their character. And, they believe they are in charge of their character, not the outside world.

Three Examples to Emulate:

  • The cancer patient that cheers you up about him/her having cancer.

  • The amputee veteran who overcomes his/her limitations and laughs about it.

  • The "Gold Star Mom" who volunteers to counsel other families in similar situations.

Their circumstances are out of their control. Their attitudes are not. These are the people who truly demonstrate that "Your attitude is a choice."

How to Exercise Positivity in Your Life

Whatever attitude you walk through life with is a result of your choices. Positivity and negativity are both habits. Each time you make a choice, it makes it easier to make that same choice again. All of your Habits of Character are formed by your individual choices.

Just like a muscle, when you exercise Positivity, that part of your character becomes stronger. Here are some simple exercises you can do whether you are in school, at work, or dealing with friends or family.

  • Leave everyone you meet in a better place than when you found them.

  • Find a reason a new idea could work before shooting holes in it.

  • For one week, write down 3 things each day for which you are thankful.

  • Leave your bad mood in the car before walking into work.

  • Compliment one stranger a day.

  • Smile and don't complain while you do the parts of your job you don't like.

Your attitude will either attract people or repel them. When you exercise Positivity, people see what type of leader you are and the leader you will become. They can determine that when you exercise negativity as well.

Your attitude is on display in your words, your actions, and even your body language. Whatever attitude you choose today, is going to impact the person you are tomorrow. If you want to be a Leader of Character and be someone people want to follow today, or when you are old and gray, choose to exercise Positivity daily.

Your attitude is a choice. Make a different choice from everyone else and you will become the Leader of Character people need and want to follow. Positivity is one of the best ways to lead and influence others when you are in your twenties.


  • What does a person with a negative attitude do to the effectiveness of a team?


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Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

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