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What would happen if you switched your thinking to a radically positive outlook, no matter what?

I survived a decade of bad luck and a string of life lessons, so I know a thing or two about overcoming adversity. An ugly divorce, life as an immigrant, my business destroyed not once—but three times due to untrustworthy partners, a big earthquake, the impact of 9/11, a chronic illness, AND life as a single mom. You can imagine I have more than a few stories to tell.

The secret to my success is perseverance and the unwavering belief that there is something better coming.

We have a million reasons why our lives are not coming together. Your boss doesn’t give you a chance, the economy is not as strong as we are lead to believe, you’re young and over-educated and can’t find work, or you’re 45+ and have recently been replaced. I hear you—life is expensive, raising kids is tough and uncertain, and (insert your worry here).

We have to make a choice.

Either we join the chorus and focus on the media-worthy realities of our joint negativity OR we recklessly believe we are here for a reason and we act with purpose.

How does this work?

You have to make a choice about how you want to be defined. Are you a person of tribulations or of victories?

Start by counting all small wins as victories. We usually think of victories as big accomplishments or life altering—and this is the reason why I believe so many of us find it hard to claim our successes. What if a victory could be simpler, like leaving work on time, a day without the expected traffic jam, a parking spot at a crowded mall, or a pat on the shoulder for your contributions in a meeting?

One of my favorite self-esteem boosters came in the form of a little three-year-old girl who walked over to me in a mall. I crouched down to say hello and, to my astonishment as well as her parents’, she threw her arms around me and said she loved me! It is five years later and I still remember it.

Everything is energy, either positive or negative. We get to choose where we pull our energy from. You can focus on “I can’t believe this happened” (wearing a frown of disappointment) OR you can choose “I CAN’T believe this happened” (screaming in happiness). Two versions of the same sentence will bring decidedly different outcomes. Personally, I choose to focus on the positive.

My encouragement to you is to grab hold of all the small, wonderful things happening to you that you’ve been wiping off the table until now. How about you start right now? What are today’s small wins?

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