Nelsen Mandela, Albert Einstein, Maya Angelou and Thomas Edison.
These individuals all have one characteristic in common.
Yes, they are all well known for their works and contributions to society, but they are also known for their outpouring of positivity and will to better society.
Dictionary.com defines positivity as “the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.”
Is this all positivity means, though?
Based on dictionary.com’s definition, Mandela, Einstein, Angelou and Edison all had optimistic attitudes, but deep down, their positivity led to much more.
Take Maya Angelou, for example. This is a woman who overcame great adversity. As a young girl, Angelou spent the majority of her early life in Arkansas, where she experienced poverty, racism and personal setbacks.
These less-than-ideal situations did not die with her youth but persisted into adulthood.
Throughout these adversities, Angelou showed a persistent attitude of positivity. She was willing to look past all of the negativity and still rise to the possibility of a different life.
It is my belief that the positive attitude she possessed is the reason she became the woman and writer we associate with.
Adversity transforms into just another bridge that needs crossed in order to get to your destination.
Positivity can change everything.
Keeping a positive attitude can be a difficult task, especially when it seems like all of the cards are stacked against you.
But, keeping that positive attitude not only affects the way you think, it also affects the way those around you think.
For example, my speech communications professor shows a great deal of positivity.
She has shared multiple stories with us about her teaching career and situations she has experienced. She speaks with a great deal of positivity and optimism when she tells each and every one of these stories.
She describes a teacher as someone who has unconditional and never-ending love for each and every student, including the ones that give you “trouble.”
The more I think about this, the more I agree.
If you have an unconditional love for your students and for what you do, you are bound to display positivity.
Then, that positivity becomes contagious between students and throughout the building. This creates an infectious chain of moral support and encouragement.
When people start to think positively, it affects their choices and behavior.
You are, more than likely, going to react to situations better and create a better future for yourself.
In the end, what is thinking positive going to hurt; give it a shot.
The worst thing that can happen is changing those around you.