All my life I’ve heard about the importance of having a positive attitude. My mom ingrained it in me from the time I could toddle … I have friends who write on the subject … And I’ve done my share of preaching to my kids and the leaders I work with on the power of positivity.
On Tuesday I helped one of my daughters move out of her dorm room. She is one of the most positive people I know. On our ride home we had a great conversation about the things she has learned this past year. One of her observations centered around how so many people are negative. She said her positive attitude had allowed her to meet new people, land an awesome job, and encourage several of her teachers. Before we left campus she even made time to drop a note and a gift by for one of her professors. I think I would have left the gift before the grades came out, but I digress.
I have good news for my daughter. The research shows there are four things she can look forward to down the road. The same benefits are available for you and me if we will choose positive over cynical.
- Positive people are happier. Most of us go through life thinking that better circumstances or more money will make us happier. Studies show that our circumstances have little to do with our level of happiness. Nor does money for that matter. A 2010 WSJ study found that once a persons income is 75K or greater there is absolutely no correlation between income and day to day happiness. However, according to a Forbes article positivity causes happiness to continually rise.
- Positive people are healthier. Studies also show that a positive attitude leads to better health. On the other hand, those who are cynical have a greater risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression. If you want to feel better make a decision to be more positive.
- Positive people make more money. While 75k is enough to relieve the stress of where your next meal will come from, there is nothing wrong with making a lot more. Positive people are promoted faster and compensated better than their negative coworkers. If you are interested in a better income, perhaps the best way to land a raise is to raise your level of positivity.
- Positive people create happiness for others. If your heart is right, this one might be the best one. For a leader, there is nothing better than adding value to others. If you want to know real joy then bring joy to someone else. Being positive in a negative world is one of your greatest opportunities for influence.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.