Cultivating a Positive Attitude


English heart surgeon Martyn Lloyd-Jones asserted, “Most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.” What kind of voices do you hear? When you face new experiences, does a voice in your head say you’re going to fail? If you’re hearing negative messages, you need to learn to give yourself positive mental pep talks. The best way to retrain your attitude is to prevent your mind from going down any negative forks in the road.

To improve your attitude, do the following:

Feed yourself the right “food.” If you’ve been starved of anything positive, then you need to start feeding yourself a regular diet of motivational material. Read books that encourage a positive attitude. The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around. But if you consume a steady diet of the right “food,” you can become a positive thinker.

Achieve a goal every day. Some people get into a rut of negativity because they feel they’re not making progress. If that describes you, then begin setting achievable daily goals for yourself. A pattern of positive achievement will help you develop a pattern of positive thinking.

Write it on your wall. We all need reminders to help us keep thinking right. Alex Haley used to keep a picture in his office of a turtle on a fencepost, to remind him that everybody needed the help of others. As incentive, people put up awards they’ve won, inspirational posters, or letters they’ve received. Find something that will work for you and put it on your wall.

Allow yourself to dwell only on the positive
and not the negative today.

From The Maxwell Daily Reader

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  1. 1
    Terry Smith says:

    Love it! This is so true for me, whatever I feed my mind with books, TV, etc. determines what I focus on and what I focus on gets bigger in my life. Thanks for sharing that John, I appreciate you and your leadership!

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I needed that today!

  3. 3
    Gustino Kachingwe says:

    I’ve loved it John.!

  4. 4
    Tom Bolton says:

    Norman Vincent Peale, whom I still read regularly, would have loved this. Thanks John!

  5. 5
    Douglas says:

    Great post! There is nothing more important than I positive attitude!

  6. 6
    Lorrie says:

    Thanks for the post, John. There is not substitute for a positive attitude. What we think is what we become.

  7. 7
    Joshua Robbins says:

    Thank you John and The John Maxwell Team! You are effecting lives over here in California in a positive way.

  8. 8

    I love this post. It’s awesome.

  9. 9

    […] Follow JohnCMaxwell on Twitter. Or visit John’s Facebook page. Introducing a new daily video program, A Minute with Maxwell. Sign up here. It’s free! Cultivating a Positive Attitude […]

  10. 10
    Chadwick Damons says:

    Thanks for the reminder John. I have been unfairly dismissed from work and am struggling to find alternative employment. Remaining positive and continuing the search will reap rewards.
    Thanks and God bless you.

  11. 11
    Niki says:

    This article is great! It’s very important to keep a positive attitude.

  12. 12

    I consistently struggle with that negative internal voice. I get frustrated and overwhelmed when I don’t see all my wildest dreams coming true….maybe I’m not very realistic. Just taking it one step at a time – focusing on small goals – always helps me stay positive.

  13. 13
    Ulla says:

    Great post, I needed that today! Too much negativity in the office, never underestimate the power of positive thoughts!

  14. 14
    Melisa says:

    Every leader should posses positive attitude so he can handle any problem without being disrupted with negativity.

  15. 15
    John viktor says:

    Tanx GOD bles

  16. 16
    Carlos Marin says:

    The concept of maintaining a positive mental attitude (as first introduced to me through Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich) has dramatically changed my life. What we think about – we bring about. We are ultimately the creators of the life that we desire. In essence, we are made in the image and likeness of God, meaning we are extensions (or projections) of Infinite Mind and even our bodies are made from this one substance, which is intelligent energy. Therefore, we human beings create using the same process and power through our own minds, by our own thoughts.

  17. 17
    John viktor says:

    Tanx john! Truly as a man tinkz in hiz hart so iz he

  18. 18

    […] improve your attitude, Maxwell recommends the following: 1. Get the right mental food. 2. Achieve something every day. 3. Put reminders […]

  19. 19

    Great post, I liked it!

    Everybody, we need to have a positive attitude.

    Thanx GOD bles John

  20. 20
    Rob Moore says:


    Thanks for these great reminders! Something that I have gotten in the habit of doing that works for me is to write down at least 5 successes in my journal for the day before I go to sleep. I love it!