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The Two Keys to Staying Positive in Your 20s

The desire to change the world is admirable. For multiple generations, the desire to change the status quo inspired many twenty-somethings to say something and do something new. The younger generations led us towards positive changes in our culture and led us to develop innovative technologies. Looking at the history of the last 50 years. Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg were in their twenties when they started changing the world of technology. It was not a bunch of people with gray hair who were leading us to change.

The recent generations believe things need to change as well. If you are in your twenties and feel that way, I want to encourage you to stay positive even as you face long standing societal obstacles. Some of the issues you see today were brought up before, yet nothing changed. The change you are calling for won’t happen without a group of leaders exercising Positivity in the face of the challenges ahead.

Isaac Newton’s First Law had to do with inertia. Remember: A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion – unless acted upon by an outside force. You will be working against societal and technological inertia. But like past generations in their twenties, you can be that outside force.

Don’t let the discouragement that often accompanies the inertia stop you. Your Positivity will fuel the people around you. Leaders truly prove themselves when they exercise Positivity in the face of big obstacles or overwhelming resistance to change.

To exercise Positivity in the big moments, you have to prepare yourself in the small ones. Our attitudes are like a muscle, the more we exercise them the stronger they get. If you allow yourself to fall into negativity based on smaller disappointments, it would be naïve to believe you’d be prepared for the difficulties you’ll face later in life.

To develop Positivity, there are two keys:

1. Thankfulness: The best antidote to negativity is beginning each day with a dose of thankfulness. Most of us have things we can and should be thankful for. They don’t have to be big. A comfortable bed. Running water. A short drive to work. A text from a loved one. I start each day writing down 3 things I am thankful for each day. I started that in 2017. That is over 1000 blessings I remind myself of each year. I have people with whom I do one on one mentoring that do this as well. We all agree. This exercise has made us more positive and prepared us to handle the challenges life throws in our path.

2. Relationships: The old saying is true: You become like the people with whom you spend the most time. Attitudes are contagious. Look at the people in your relationships. Do these people exercise Positivity or negativity? Whichever it is, you will become more like those people. Those people are either going to help you change the status quo or hold you back – because their attitudes will influence yours.

When you look at the major changes in society or technology over the last 50 years, those changes happened because people leading those movements did not give up when facing an obstacle or fighting inertia. They had developed the Habit of CharacterPositivity – ahead of those challenges. Thankfulness will help you focus on what you have instead of what you are missing. And surrounding yourself with people who display a positive or “can do” attitude in all circumstances will strengthen your resolve to see things through in the small challenges of life.


  • What are you thankful for today?

  • Who are the positive people in your life? Are you spending time with them?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

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

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