Be a victor, not a victim

Coping with challenges: Part 2

IN PART 1 of this article yesterday, we looked at the first eight of 15 tips on how to become more optimistic, a key to overcoming difficulties and the challenges life throws at us.

Today’s article continues with the next seven tips on the art of becoming more positive:

9 Reframe difficulties into strategic opportunities

Optimists persevere even in the presence of obstacles and negative outcomes. They perceive failures as temporary setbacks, rather than final verdicts.

What you think when things go wrong determines whether you give up or you get busy overcoming the problem.

Victors say to themselves: “I’m going to figure out how to become successful one way or another.”

Victims say: “I’ll never be able to succeed.”

10 Build an expectation of success through hard work

Invest your worry time in constructive action. Hunt for the silver lining. A crisis can be a time to reinvent a business, cut costs that are not adding value and reinforce and strengthen customer ties.

11 Relationships are critical in times of crisis

Learn to accept support from others; you don’t have to go it alone.

The tragedy of life is that the people you most want to spend time with have to schedule time to even see you. The people you least want to be with will find you wherever you are.

Spend time with other optimistic and resourceful friends.

Mark Twain said it well: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

The company you keep can take you up or bring you down. Pick your friends and associates wisely.

12 Balance working and living

Make time for your family. Research shows that time spent with supportive families, friends and faith communities can help people find strength and comfort.

People look at their priorities differently after a personal crisis.

Make dates and buy a few tickets. When you have paid for theatre tickets or a sporting event, you will find a way to get everything done so that you can go no matter what work demands appear.

Be willing to give them up only when unexpected job or life demands require it.

13 Take your health habits seriously in difficult times

They will help you keep a positive attitude. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and include daily stress breaks in your day.

Maintaining your health habits can do wonders to help you sustain your optimism and manage your increased stress levels.

14 Find the power of purpose and serving others

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “The one who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”

There is passion in being fully engaged in a meaningful mission and in doing your share of random acts of kindness.

You make a difference for yourself when you make a difference for others.

Faith, values and integrity are always in fashion. People of faith tend not to live in fear, but find peace in faith.

Core values help to direct your choices. They are both your anchor in the rough sea and the lighthouse that helps illuminate a positive and principled course in uncertain times. Honour is a gift you give yourself.

15 Use your sense of humour to regain perspective

Don’t go through your life with your face in stationary mode.

Humour provides perspective that breaks the stress cycle and invites a more positive attitude. If you know that some day you will laugh at a problem, don’t wait - laugh as quickly as you can!

Take your job and life seriously, but yourself lightly.

Never forget that some days you’re the bug, and some days you’re the windshield. That’s a perspective worth remembering in these challenging times.

Finally, experience the power of gratitude. Unrealistic expectations are a sure road to disappointment. Optimists hope for more, but are not thrown by less.

Start counting your blessings instead of your problems.

Choose to be happy unless something happens to change that feeling, instead of being unhappy until something makes you happy.

End the day by identifying five things for which you are grateful. You will feel better immediately. - Source: ST/ANN

* Article by Terry Paulson, PhD, a professional motivational speaker.