Let’s face it, the world around feels pretty uncertain right now, and there’s a fair bit of worry around the place. Most people I speak to are experiencing an overwhelming sense of tiredness or fatigue. I think some of that is down to the constant bombardment of messages, predictions or stats around what what’s happening around us – and there’s a lot going on.
It can be difficult being constantly exposed to all of this information and still find the inner resources stay positive, let alone feel like you’re on track! So, how do we get ourselves into a strong, productive headspace to do the work that needs to be done? It may sound a little trite, but Positivity (yep, capital ‘P’) goes a long, long way.
In a study conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine, researchers found that individuals who show greater levels optimism are more likely to live longer and to achieve “exceptional longevity,” that is, they’re likely to 85 or beyond.
Optimism refers to a general expectation that good things will happen, or believing that the future will be favourable because we can control important outcomes.
So, how do we, through it all, develop and maintain a positive inner monologue? How do we tactically take on the challenges of business and life while staying positive and constructive when, at times, it might feel as if the world is deconstructing you?
- Control your story. It’s easy to think negative thoughts or talk yourself into an unforgiving rut. It doesn’t help though! Be kind to yourself. Control your inner voice by reminding yourself regularly about what you’ve done well, and the positive things around you. This can be as simple as getting out for a walk during the day or finishing a task (even if you wanted to complete it last week). Generosity of spirit toward yourself and others go a long way through uncertain times.
- Take a deep breath, and pause. Is there a reason you need to travel 100kms along the highway of life? Or, is now a good time to sit back and contemplate, perhaps redefining the way you look at your journey for this new chapter of life. Consider, do I still need to travel at the same pace? Do I need to change gears or speed? What do I need to do to cope within this current paradigm?
- Redefine success. Lastly, but probably most importantly, redefine the objectives and goals that you’ve set yourself. Burning out emotionally or physically as you work toward unachievable targets won’t help you build the well of positivity you’ll need to draw on, and while this might temporarily feel like a defeat – we need to acknowledge the rules of the game have changed, and that could help you define your new playing field, or even the game you want to be playing.
If optimism is really one of the tools for a longer life, as Boston University claims, we should all take a moment to consider the ways in which we can sow the seeds of optimism in our own lives. Feeding your generosity of spirit and taking time to check on others can be a way to start to understand more deeply what’s important to you, and what you need to do to power on with confidence and joy.
After all, a long, happy and healthy life is a goal we all share.