Jay Menes 

Filipino Storyteller, Actor, Facilitator, Adventurer

Life is Simple; Live Simple Life


How To Be More Positive

Posted by Jay Menes on September 22, 2010 at 11:10 PM


1.  Stop comparing yourself to others


Stop comparing yourself to other people. Until you stop doing this, it will be very hard for you to feel grateful about what you already have. And if you always think other people are better off than you are even though you are the one who deserves more, it's going to turn you cynical and bitter over time.


- Stop comparing your career success with other people's. There's always going to be someone richer than you.

- Stop seeking approval from other people

- Compare yourself to yourself. See how much you've grown and how far you've come. Compete against yourself, but not with other people.

- Understand that everyone has different strengths and priorities


2) Consciously look for something good in everyone you meet

This will probably sound cheesy, but I strongly encourage you to try to lookfor something good in everyone you meet. It will help you act more positivetowards them.


- Think about "why" someone would do something rude and excuse their behavior the best way you can

- Do not make the assumption that everyone is against you

- Just set a good example yourself rather than trying to change people

- Think about what lessons you have learned from the encounter, even if it is "this is why I don't want to be like them



- Focus on the things they are good at rather than the things they are bad at

- Identify one or two things they can do better than you


3) Detach yourself from "fairness" or justice

I don't think it's a coincidence that most of bitter or less positive people usually have a strong sense of fairness or justice. Specifically, they tend to think the world has done them wrong or that "the world isn't fair". The world has never been fair and never will be.

Here are a few tips on how to dealwith it:


- Understand that fairness is subjective. What's fair to you may not feel fair to other people.

- Learn to deal with uncertainties and random events

- Tolerate and forgive

- Help people when you can, but don't get angry

- Do things because you ENJOY doing them, not because you expect anything in return

- Realize that no system or rules can benefit everyone all the time

- Adapt to the world rather than forcing the world to adapt to you.


4) Stop Thinking It's Either All Their Fault or All Your Fault

This is an extension of the last point about fairness. Stop seeing the world in black and white. It is hard to stay positive when there's always a blame game or negative self-talk going on.  Accept responsibility for your own actions - nothing less, nothing more. Do not blame others, but do not carry someone else's burden on your shoulders either.


- Stop thinking about things in termsof black and white. Accept the fact that sometimes both parties should take responsibility.

- If you're always blaming yourself, chances are, you should not be taking responsibility for everything.

- If you're always blaming other people, chances are, you should start looking internally as well


5) Focus on what you want instead of the problem

There's an old saying, "Focus on the solution, not the problem."Unfortunately, thinking about solutions often lead to other problems. People often think of solutions that are polar opposites and "get stuck" weighing the pro's and con's of each one. This gets them stuck in a loop that they can't get out of and they become bitter, negative, and angry. (It's hard to remain positive when all solutions seem to bring you additional problems!)


- Think about what you want rather than what your problems are

- Build an action plan that will help you get what you want

- REMEMBER what you want so that you can focus on your long term objective and ignore the short term pain when things get tough.


6) Improve your social skills

Many people feel angry and bitter because they feel disconnected from the world. They do not trust other people, but at the same time they don't understand why other people don't like them. If you belong in such a category, I'd recommend you:


- Learn to interpret body language and non verbal signals

- Make eye contact and smile

- Learn to be an active listener

- Learn to give compliments rather than criticism

- Take a few acting classes

- Volunteer and join a few hobby clubs

- Learn how to have fun with people

- Improve your own body language


7) Learn to manage your behavior

Learn to manage your behavior so that you can actively choose what you say and what you do. This will help you become a more effective communicator and people will see you as a more positive person as a result.


- Observe the effects your words and actions have on people

- Revisit your values and make sure they are congruent with your actions

- Take a few communication classes and get some third party feedback

- Avoid criticizing things and people in public

- Try not to say anything if you don't have anything nice to say.

- Get to know yourself under stress


8) Read Biographies

Read biographies of successful people and see how many normal, everyday people like you and me have accomplished the "impossible" by staying positive during tough times.


- Focus on their attitudes

- See their strengths and weaknesses

- Ask yourself what you could accomplish if you had the same spark or passion


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