We’ve all heard about the “cup half full or empty” type of person. We all know we’re meant  to think positively, as the entire world tells us to do so… But who really does?

Have you ever really thought about what type of person you are and how others see us or feel about us? Do you “walk the talk” and say you’re a positive thinker, yet in your day to day situations and experiences not carry it through? It’s like a company advertising they’re service oriented yet having a really lousy (or non-existent) customer service department. Perhaps it’s not something of utmost importance to you. Perhaps you’re gliding along in life and feel it’s less relevant to your success. Well maybe it should be…

Ask a work colleague, partner, friend or family member to rate you on a scale of 1 to 10 whether they feel you display on average a positive, neutral or negative mindset. And that’s after you’ve rated yourself. Of course only bother asking someone who knows you relatively well or will feel comfortable enough to tell you the truth. Then analyze what you can do to improve your score. We all know who the complainers and negative people are. The question is… do they know it themselves?

Thinking positive is not just your mindset, but how you think, make decisions or carry through actions when life doesn’t always go smoothly. So you’re probably thinking, even a positive thinker can’t always think positively… The important thing about positive thinking, is that even if you’re having a bad day, a supplier lets you down, a friend or family member annoys or upsets you, or you’re caught in bad traffic – the speed at which you “catch” yourself the moment your mindset changes – will determine how quickly you bounce back from allowing your mood or mindset to spiral downwards. And when you’re feeling a little low, asking yourself and analyzing why you’re feeling like you are at any given moment, will often help you get more in touch with your feelings and return to your regular state of mind.

Now we’re all human… It’s natural to have a bad day – or is it? Let’s rather say it’s natural to have negative experiences in any given day. How we choose to label the day  – “it’s been a bad day” or “I had some negative experiences but my day turned out fine as I was able to bounce back” – is what’s it’s all about.

Many times in life when something negative happens we simply freeze and don’t see any way out of a situation, nor anything positive. Time after time, experience after experience, I began to realize that it’s not only that the situation turned out for the better in the long-run, but that my mindset – and focusing on the good that could come out  of the situation – is what enabled the situation to turn out better. By being proactive and allowing ourselves to control our response and attitude to situations – rather than being reactive and letting the situation control us – is what positive thinking is all about, and what will take you to new levels.

So the next time you’re having a negative thought or a “bad” day, get in touch with your feelings and ask yourself what the turning point was which made you feel the way you do, will it pass or be something you’ll remember one year from now, what good may come out of it or how can you rise to the challenge and actively turn the experience into something more positive.

© Lesley Kaplan is passionate about life and enhancing people & processes. She assists businesses, organizations & individuals with consulting, coaching, training & development, promotion, sales and branding. She is the Founder & CEO of “L.A.K. Creations & Consulting” and “Build Your Biz with Lesley Kaplan”. www.LesleyKaplan.com