Is your glass half full or half empty?
The answer is that your glass can absolutely runneth over… but not if you walk around complaining and being negative or doubtful all the time.
Negativity, like any other bad habit, needs to be broken and tossed in the garbage.
As a real estate investor and in life I’ve learned that you get further toward your goals when you maintain a positive mental outlook.
I talk about this in a recent podcast episode as part of a series of the 8 Things you Need to Give Up [to Be Successful]…
Being positive all the time is not to say you won’t encounter difficulties and challenges. You absolutely will. It’s how you respond to those negative or challenging events that defines you as a person and an entrepreneur. (Surprise! It’s not your intellect or all that knowledge you’ve gathered and haven’t put into action yet.)
As the very insightful Sir Walter Scott once said, “Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.”[tweet “Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.”]
As an entrepreneur, you have to develop the ability to shake off not-so-positive events and turn them around in your head.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, ask yourself what you learned from the event and how you will do things differently when faced with similar choices and circumstances in the future.
Truth is that we all have down days.[tweet “We all have down days; it’s how you respond that matters.”]
You can’t be positive 100% of the time. (But you sure can up your percentage.)
In truth, it’s far better for your health, for your mindset and for the people you work and live with when you keep an upbeat attitude even in the face of chaos, challenges and fears.
Regarding this topic, one of my favorite quotes comes from President Theodore Roosevelt who said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
So, do you think Roosevelt had a positive attitude? Absolutely.
Even though he couldn’t use his legs and had to be carried by staff into meetings, this man went down in history as a go-getter… a guy who set big goals and aimed for them with a vengeance. In my book, that shows an ability to keep a strong positive mental outlook.
Heck, this isn’t something I’m making up.
Hundreds of studies have been done on the power of positive thinking; famous gurus have based their entire speaking and coaching business around this stuff.
In fact, this week we shared a replay of a pretty cool Cash Flow Diary podcast episode wherein I interview the son of one of those very gurus… Tom Ziglar, proud son of none other than Zig Ziglar, a frontiersman in the area of the power of positive thinking!
With this episode in mind, I thought I’d shorten your learning curve on the benefits of positive thinking by doing a bit of research on this topic for you.
That way if you start heading toward the negative-thinking side of life you’ll know to stop… take a deep breath… give yourself a little positive pep talk… and know you can overcome.
Here are 4 great reasons why it’s important for you to combat the nasty Beast of Negativity and let positive thinking take up a whole lot more square footage in your mind and life…
1. You’ll feel better physically. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health links a more optimistic outlook to a lowered risk of heart disease in older men. University of Pittsburgh researchers report that optimistic women have less thickening of the carotid artery walls. This same Women's Health Initiative Study also suggests that a positive mental outlook is associated with reduced evidence of coronary heart disease and total deaths in postmenopausal women.
That’s just a couple of reports. Feel free to go online to search for more.
Countless studies tell us that positive thinking is a whole lot better than the alternative. Just as many studies indicate that those who let negative thinking take them are also at elevated risks for stress-related medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, nervous disorders and even early death.[tweet “Negative thinking is linked to heart disease and other major health concerns.”]
So… if you are prone to pessimism, it’s time to adjust your sails for happier waters or run the risk of crashing on the jagged rocks of despair and disease. (I know… pretty dramatic imagery, huh?)
2. You’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Since by definition a positive mental attitude encompasses the gamut of life's experiences, it behooves you to maintain positivity all the way through and no matter what you encounter along the way.
Again, I’ll defer to the experts on this one.
For example, Dr. Peter Norvid, a geriatric specialist who treats patients at Adventist Hinsdale and La Grange Memorial hospitals and medical director for Heartland Hospice says, “Optimistic people live longer, have closer personal relationships and are able to deal with the negative things that happen to them in a way that allows them to continue to be able to be there for others so that others can help them.”[tweet “Optimistic people live longer…”]
That means they have a better quality of life. But don’t think I’m just talking about the elderly here.
You will experience your day-to-day life at a higher level of joy and satisfaction if you practice positive thinking. No matter how young or old you are, you’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Period.
Like I said before, you can’t keep all bad events at bay; it’s how you deal with them that counts. You can’t let these events shut you down or stop you in your tracks. Use the negative events as learning experiences and keep moving forward.
I know a little something about negative life events…
Had I rolled up in a ball and just stopped going on my path as a real estate investor when I encountered some of a crazy things that happened to me – like someone stealing my floor or my apartment building catching fire more than once – you wouldn’t be reading this article now and you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of all the great education we’ve created here at Cash Flow Diary. In fact, there would be no Cash Flow Diary.
If you don’t already know my story, trip on over to www.cashflowdiary.com/about and then finish reading this article with new eyes. If that’s not enough, watch this cool Skype-to-Skype interview I did on the Year of Purpose podcast!
3. You’ll experience decreased stress. This one’s a no-brainer. Think about it. When you’re worried and wringing your hands about this, that or the other thing you are not at peace. You’re in a stressed-out frame of mind where it’s like a looping video… a never-ending loop of bad scenes playing in your head. In short, you’ve allowed the worry to steal your peace. (Guess whose fault that is?)[tweet “Giving yourself over to worry and stress robs you of peace.”]
There is another way. You can take a deep breath and know that nothing bad lasts forever. (I just heard that in a movie and thought it was pretty cool.)
For me, prayer works.
I walk and I pray. In that way I can put the concerns in someone’s hands that are a whole lot larger than my own. Then I can get back to the business of real estate investing and solving other people’s problems through my real estate transactions.
Living in our world today, it’s awfully hard to avoid stress. But we can all learn coping strategies.
The good people at the Mayo Clinic have put a lot of time and effort into studying the stress-reduction effects of positive thinking. They’ve found that it helps us cope better with stressful situations, which aides in reducing the harmful effects stress can have on our bodies.
Researchers think that optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles. For example, they tend to stay more physically active, have a healthier diet and don’t overdo it with smoking or alcohol consumption.
I could go on and on with this part, but maybe it’s better to give you a link to a really interesting article I found on the subject. Take at the last page of this article, because it shows the difference between negative and positive self-talk, and how to turn negatives into positives.
4. You’ll develop better, stronger relationships. This is another no-brainer, but if you don’t believe me, think back to a time when you’ve been sitting with a friend, a loved one or a work associate and you wanted to run from the room because this individual wouldn’t stop complaining.
Why is that?
The short answer is that it isn’t any fun to be around negative people. You know the type… those who focus on the weak points, the cracks, the worst parts of whatever they are talking about. What’s worse is that these same people can poke holes in your dreams… but only if you let them.
In a recent podcast series I address complaining and criticizing as a bad habit to be dropped like a hot coal. If you haven’t listened yet, it’s time…
Here’s the deal…
You have a choice to NOT interact with negative individuals. You have a choice NOT to be one of those individuals yourself.
Now that I’ve opened that sticky can of words, let me ask you a couple of potentially painful questions. In my best patented Carefrontation™ approach, let me ask you…
- Do people act like they’re in a hurry to end conversations with you?
- Do they engage with you in a way that shows you they are enjoying the interaction or do they sit silently as if waiting for you to stop talking?
- Do you listen to your tone of voice as you speak and find it lacks enthusiasm and passion? (Tone counts for a lot.)
- Do you complain about things… even when others find positives about those very same things?
- Do you have a lot of negative self-talk going on in your head?
- Do you exude a happy exterior or something that’s, well, a bit darker?
The sad thing is that you can get stuck in a pattern of complaining and criticizing and not even realize that you’re doing it. That takes some introspection, which is something we all should do every day. (It’s okay to admit that you’re not perfect. None of us are.)
I have to chuckle, because some of the most negative people I’ve met tell me they are “realists” or that they are “just shining a light on potential issues that may have to be addressed.”[tweet “You can get stuck in a pattern of complaining and criticizing and not even know it!”]
Hey, I’m all for planning and being aware of potential issues, but not at the expense of my goals. I can run formulas to decide quickly if a deal is a go or no-go. I can gather information. I can do my homework. But being critical and finding every single negative isn’t going to help me do deals.
Oh, and BTW, I know plenty of positive people who have very realistic outlooks. They simply don’t dwell on the negatives; they know they can handle any issues that may pop up.
The positive person knows that others have come before him/her and have done what he/she is attempting now, which means he/she can probably do it, too. That’s especially true in real estate investing. (Or do you think you’re the first person who has ever become a real estate investor?)[tweet “The positive person know that others have come before him/her.”]
As an investor you can take yourself off track real fast by focusing on the potential problems (a.k.a., all those reasons your brain can come up with to stop you from learning and doing something new or taking a risk or two).
In my experience, those who tend to over-analyze deals are typically pretty busy distracting themselves from taking action by looking for the negatives instead of focusing on their short- and long-term goals, taking action steps no matter how they FEEL, and maintaining an air of positivity.
How well you do in real estate investing boils down to your ability to develop relationships and building your leads lists. These go hand in hand. You can be an introvert and do just fine, but you cannot be a Negative Nelly. That doesn’t work at all.
You want to draw people to you like flies to honey?Slip into your best positive-thinking boots and stay there!
Simply put, positive people attract and negative people repel. When developing all-important relationships with sellers, buyers and investors (not to mention loved ones, associates, business partners and friends) which one will you CHOOSE to be?[tweet “Positive people attract; negative people repel!”]
A lot of your success as a real estate investor comes from your ability to talk to strangers. While you hone your networking skills you also need to always bring your most positive attitude to the table while delivering your message and goals.
If you wonder where you can find all these good strangers, check out the 39 Perfect Places to Find Investors. Core Members of Cash Flow Diary education have access to this any time they want inside the Tools and Resources area of the training site.
If you’re not already a Cashflow Core Member, you can download this helpful tool for free right now.