I’ll give you only two habits that will make you more positive, but they are immensely powerful and yet easy to implement at the same time. And they will provide 80% of results, so you can bother with chasing the remaining 20% after you have them firmly in place.
1. Gratitude Journal.
Shawn Achor, a guy who researched happiness for over a decade at scholar levels claims that:
Gratitude rewires your brain into positivity.
He instanced numerous research when scientists were able to turn around individual’s thinking from pessimistic into optimistic within a mere 30 days. One example was a child with pessimism gene. Another was an 80-year old guy with the same gene who had eight long decades to cultivate his doom & gloom outlook on life.
The specific exercise Achor prescribes is writing down three new things (events, people, etc.) you are grateful for every morning.
Why in the morning?
It will frame your whole day. Or at least several first hours.
It will activate all different associations because writing is a complex operation that involves literally hundreds of muscles. You simply put more attention to this kind of journaling and it is better imprinted in your memory.
Why three new things?
Because your brain is a search engine, not a hard drive. You don’t pick gratitude items stored in your disk. Each time you come up with a new thing you are grateful for, you build a new query searching among zillions associations your memory consists of.
In the long run, you remodel the default set of queries your brain operates. And it rewires into positivity looking for positive things all the time.
It works on autopilot. It works subconsciously.
And when it works, everything in your life becomes better. No exaggeration. Every single thing- fitness performance, savings, health, career, longevity, relationships – everything you can think of.
“When the brain is positive every possible outcome we know how to test for raises dramatically.” – Shawn Achor
I started my first gratitude journal in September 2012 and my whole life changed dramatically. It took a few years, but the longer I keep with my small daily changes and with a positive outlook, the faster everything changes for better.
Just a handful of examples: I was sick only 3 times since July 2013, I beat over 200 personal fitness records, my income more than doubled, I wrote over 1.7 million words, I bought the first house for our family, I generated four new sources of income and I published 15 books.
2. Spend Time with Positive People.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
This is the ultimate shortcut for everything in life. If you want to earn more, spend time with rich people. If you want to be healthy, spend time with fit people. If you want to be happy, spend time with happy people.
You will rub off qualities, knowledge, attitudes and skills from them. What is more, you will do it even if you won’t try. We are social mimicking machines. You absorb everything from people you interact with. It’s most noticeable in case of gestures and vocabulary, but it applies to everything else.
Things like outlook on life are simply not measurable enough to put your finger on, but it changes as well.
Thus, make a habit of spending time with positive people. The exact setup is almost irrelevant. You may sign up for classes of a positive teacher or spend more time with your friend who oozes positivity.
Whatever you choose, make it habitual. Attend the classes regularly. Play a tennis match with your friend twice a week.
Bonus: Shortcut of the Shortcut
British anthropologist, Dr. Dunbar, discovered that we include in our internal social circles even artificial creatures, like brands. So, you can “interact” with people through their content- videos, audio recordings, articles and books and your subconscious may treat them as real people you have relationships with.
You can “make friends” with Anthony Robbins or Socrates and rub their qualities off them.
One of the most influential people in my life is Jim Rohn whom I discovered only three years after his death. I listened to his audio programs hundreds times.
Two simple habits that will make you more positive, or rather effortlessly ooze positivity. Keep a gratitude journal. Interact with positive people. Do it regularly and your positive brain will increase every possible outcome in your life.