10 years ago this month, in a humble basement, a small business was launched. The idea was to provide a one-stop-location for affordable resources that would help people improve their personal and business lives: a place where individuals could perk up their minds and where organizations could find the best materials to perk up and train their team members. The world is filled with so much negativism that we wanted to create a place where people could access life-changing materials, and thereby make the world a better place for all of us. That was the beginning of MindPerk, a small company with audacious goals.
Since that time, MindPerk has grown into one of the largest self-improvement and business training companies on the web. Our product selection has grown from 5 items to include over 800 top training programs and our free resources include hundreds of unique articles, video clips, motivational quotes and tips.
Over the years we have made a major impact. But, on the other hand, our resources are needed today more than ever as society continues to become more negative, crass, and filled with hopelessness. One of the first articles that I wrote in those early days was titled: How to Get Up When You’re Feeling Down: 5 Steps to a Better Attitude. These 5 simple steps to perk up your mind have been viewed online over 70,836 times. I hope they have helped a lot of those people. But, as I learned earlier this month, we still have a long way to go. On April 6, a reader named Sofia from Australia wrote the following comment about this article. She said, “No one says good things about me so why should I feel so good. That’s a load of crap.”
This comment made me sad for two reasons. First, what a terrible society we have become when someone can go through their life, day after day, year after year, without a single word of encouragement or positive feedback. Second, I was sad because Sofia missed the whole point of the article which is about what each of us can do to help our own attitude; independent of that others do to us.
So, today, for Sofia, and anyone else who can use a boost, here are 5 sure-fire steps, that you can add to the original 5, to perk up your mind and your life.
- Take Responsibility – Whose job is it to make you feel good about yourself? Ultimately, who decides what your attitude will be? The answer is: YOU. Sure, it’s nice when others build you up and encourage you. But, as Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” You get to decide what your attitude will be. I encourage you to decide now to make it a good one. Don’t wait for someone else to cheer you up. Take responsibility for your own attitude.
- Talk to Yourself – There is a conversation going on in your mind right now: you talking to you. What are you saying to yourself as you read this article? Are you saying, “this will never work!” or “he doesn’t understand my situation” or “that may work for other people, but I’ve never been able to control my attitude” or “will it really work for me?” Do you constantly berate yourself for past mistakes, or do you, instead, regularly tell yourself how well you are doing and remind yourself that things are going to get even better? Shad Helmstetter wrote a ground-breaking book years ago titled, What to Say When you Talk To Yourself, in which he compared our self-talk to computer input. If we tell our computer brains that we “can’t do it” enough times, pretty soon, we really can’t do it. But if we limit our internal communication to positive, upbeat messages, our reality will improve as well.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People and Messages – I realize that we can’t control our environment every minute of the day. We don’t always get to choose who we work with, and we certainly can’t dump family members just because their attitude is a little off. But, we can choose whose messages we will listen to. We can make it a point to spend our discretionary time with those who will build us up and encourage us. When we have moments to ourselves such as commuting to work or exercising, we can choose to listen to motivational audio books instead of the radio. The more we can control our environment, the easier it will be to control our attitude.
- Spread Only Good News – The way people treat you is often a reflection of how you treat others. What do you say when you talk to people? Do you complain about things that have happened to you? Do you talk about what others did wrong? Do you repeat depressing news stories? A focus on the negative aspects of life has become so ingrained in our society, pushed largely by the news media, that some doubt whether there is any good news to share. Here’s a news flash for you. You find what you’re looking for. So, seek for the positive. Some might argue that this is an unrealistic approach to life–figuratively burying our head in the sand by ignoring bad news. On the contrary, you’ll still hear plenty of bad news and you’ll still have to deal with the challenges of life. But you can choose not to pass it along to others. There will always be plenty of people who think it’s their job to find and spread as much negative news as they can. I urge you to choose a different path. If you will make it a point to seek out and spread only good news—only positive messages and encouragement—you will find that there is plenty to share. And the more good news you spread around, the better you will feel and the more positive messages you will receive back from those around you.
- Give Yourself the Gift of Accomplishment – Few things improve your sense of well-being more than the joy of accomplishing something well. If you haven’t had much of that in your life lately, I challenge you to make it happen. Find something that you truly want to excel at, it could be your profession, a new hobby, playing a musical instrument, art, sports, writing, or anything else that you enjoy. Begin now to learn everything you can about it and practice until you are accomplished. It won’t happen overnight. It may take years of patient practice and work. But, you will find that with every step of progress, your confidence will grow, and your outlook will improve.
Success Tip: Boosting your attitude is not easy. It takes work. But, it can completely change your life. I challenge you to make it a priority to perk up your mind.