Photo taken from Pixabay

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”

                                                                                                                                       – Robert Kiyosaki

How would you feel if you could guarantee better mental health, less stress, and ultimately happiness with a slight change in your own attitude? While having a positive mindset won’t eliminate the challenges life might throw your way, it is the best tool to cope with obstacles that feel like the end of the world. Learning how to manage stress is a fantastic method to a brighter, positive perspective before any crisis arises.

In Beautiful Day, the legendary vocalist Bono tells the story of “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.” What better way to live life? Worrying less about what is lacking and focusing more on what is already there is the key for a happier way of living.

It is far too easy to get caught up in seemingly constant negative chatter about what’s going on in the world. Acquiring a habit of noticing the positive side of all situations is the best solution to transforming your mental perspective.

To start, keep in mind that optimism is a leadership competency – so learn to identify the trap of negative thinking. Here are a few examples:

  1. Feeling you are a total failure if you don’t do something perfectly.
  2. Dwelling on the negative aspects of a situation and forgetting the positive ones.
  3. Automatically anticipating the worst.  
  4. Blaming yourself for any challenge or obstacle that occurs.

Since optimism and positivity are leadership qualities, keep in mind it’s not about being oblivious about struggles, but rather looking for constructive solutions. Here are some ways you can shift away from a pessimistic attitude to gratitude:

  1. Give yourself the right to laugh and smile during hard times. Making others smile and laugh too.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people. Negative thoughts are contagious, never forget that.
  3. Maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a “happiness hormone.”
  4. Find at least 3 things to celebrate every day – or at least one!
  5. See challenges for the growing experiences they are, not as failures.

Maintaining a positive attitude provides resources needed to face and overcome day-to-day challenges. Rather than seeing complications as tragedies, strive to perceive them as the best opportunities to learn and grow.

“Life is a Reflection of your thoughts. If you change your thinking, you change your life”

                                                                                     -Brian Tracy



Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Sophie Echeverry is the corporate marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.