Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action.
All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious. We are in control, whether we know it or not. We can be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive.
The biggest difference between people is their attitudes. For some, learning is enjoyable and exciting. For others, learning is a drudgery. For many, learning is just okay, something required on the road to a job.
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln
Our present attitudes are habits, built from the feedback of parents, friends, society and self, that form our self-image and our world-image. These attitudes are maintained by the inner conversations we constantly have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously.
The first step in changing our attitudes is to change our inner conversations.
What Should We Be Saying?
One approach is called the three C's: Commitment, Control and Challenge.
Commitment Make a positive commitment to yourself, to learning, work, family, friends, nature, and other worthwhile causes. Praise yourself and others. Dream of success. Be enthusiastic.
Control Keep your mind focused on important things. Set goals and priorities for what you think and do. Visualize to practice your actions. Develop a strategy for dealing with problems. Learn to relax. Enjoy successes. Be honest with yourself.
Challenge Be courageous. Change and improve each day. Do your best and don't look back. See learning and change as opportunities. Try new things. Consider several options. Meet new people. Ask lots of questions. Keep track of your mental and physical health. Be optimistic.
Studies show that people with these characteristics are winners in good times and survivors in hard times.
Research shows that, "... people who begin consciously to modify their inner conversations and assumptions report an almost immediate improvement in their performance. Their energy increases and things seem to go better ..."
Commitment, control and challenge help build self-esteem and promote positive thinking. Here are some other suggestions.
7 Suggestions for Building Positive Attitudes • In every class, look for positive people to associate with. • In every lecture, look for one more interesting idea. • In every chapter, find one more concept important to you. • With every friend, explain a new idea you've just learned. • With every teacher, ask a question. • With yourself, keep a list of your goals, positive thoughts and actions. • Remember, you are what you think, you feel what you want.
Copyright 1991 Donald Martin, How to be a Successful Student