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8 Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

For years I lived an uneventful existence. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy either. I was just sort of stuck.

I had a good career, earned lots of money, and I had great friends and a loving family. You would think that this doesn’t sound too bad, but I felt unfulfilled and unmotivated. I repeatedly lived each day like the one before.

I looked around me and saw that everybody within my own circle of friends, relatives, and immediate family were no different. They too seemed stuck. They seemed unmotivated—like they were living their lives on automatic pilot.

I began to question why this was. Why do so many people just accept this pattern as normal, as if this is the way it is supposed to be?

I read hundreds of books on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. I continued with this for a couple of years until I gradually I began to see things with greater clarity. I began to wake up. Then one day, out of the blue it just hit me, like a ton of bricks.

The key to unlocking my prison door was not contained in any books I read (although they did help me somewhat). It was in my ability to accept what “is” in this moment. So I now I make that choice.

Here are 8 tips to help you make that choice:

1. Remember that you are powerful.

Most of the time we have no idea what we are supposed to be doing, or who we are supposed to be imitating. I say “imitating” because this is what we do: We conform to the external environment.

We play roles and cover up our true selves by identifying with “things” that end up defining who we think we are. I’m a doctor, a salesperson, a secretary, a lawyer; I’m sad, happy, lonely, or miserable. I’m angry, jealous, afraid, and I can’t help it—it’s who I am.

The truth is, though, we are none of those things. They are symptoms of the sleepwalking disease. You are more important than any label. We are not our professions. We are not our feelings. We are not our circumstances. We are not even our mind.

What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are far more powerful than we think we are.

2. Choose to embrace life.

Let go and embrace the moment, whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you.

Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run.

Be bold and courageous, and make decisions that benefit your growth. Put yourself on your imaginary death-bed and realize that time stands still for no one. Start as soon as possible to make any necessary changes you may need to.

Take the first step before more time gradually passes by while you stand still stagnating. Your choice. Your life. Your responsibility. Your power.

3. Realize that you get to control your reactions.

We create our outside reality by the thoughts and beliefs we maintain about life in general. What we believe in our inner world, we see in our outer world—not the other way around.

We all have problems, and we’re often tested by circumstances outside of our control. Even though you may not be in control of what’s going on outside of you, you most definitely can control your reaction to those situations.

We have the power because our inner world (cause) affects the influence we allow the outer world (effect) to have on us. So next time you hear somebody mention that you have great personal power, know they are 100% correct. You have more control than you think.

4. Know that no one is better qualified.

We place far too much emphasis on other people’s opinions about us, often to the exclusion of our own. This takes away from our own personal power. No matter what anybody says about you, it doesn’t hold any significance to who you truly are unless you identify or agree with them.

Stop identifying with other people’s opinions and become aware of how you see yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do. Never accept another person’s reality as your own. Always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. And, most importantly, never let another person’s opinion of you affect what you believe about yourself.

5. Believe that you are more than enough.

If you have to compare yourself to someone else, let it be a person who is less fortunate, and let it be a lesson to learn just how abundant your life truly is. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You may find that you are not entirely grateful for what you possess. You may believe that you need more than you have right now to be happy. If this is the case, then you are absolutely right—you will need more, and you will continue to need more.

This cycle will perpetuate as long as your mind believes it to be true. If you focus on what you have, and not on what you lack, you will always have enough, because you will always be enough.

6. Love yourself.

You have arrived. Everything you need is right here. Cut out the distractions, open your eyes, and see that you already have everything in your possession to be happy, loved, and fulfilled.

It’s not out there. It never was out there. It’s in the same place it was since the day you were born. It’s just been covered up by all the external things you have identified with over the years.

Be yourself. Love yourself completely and accept everything that you are. You are beautiful. Believe it, and most importantly, remind yourself often.

7. Stay cool.

If someone cuts us off in traffic or skips the queue at our local cinema, we may feel our blood pressure begin to rise and feel the need to react in a negative manner. We get uptight with other people’s actions, and in the end we punish ourselves for their bad behavior.

We and up losing control over our own actions because of the way other people act. But we are responsible for our own action, regardless of how rude other people may act. If it’s hard to stay cool, remember: you are the one who loses in the end, if you lose the lesson.

8. Journey well.

We know life is about the journey and not the arrival. We don’t need to arrive if we accept that we are already here.

Be content with where you are today and don’t make the mistake of putting off being happy because you are waiting for the right moment to shine. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey.

Not everyone woke up this morning and not everyone will go to bed tonight. Life has no guarantees. Every minute you are living is a blessing that has to be experienced in the moment. It’s not always easy, but it’s always an option—a choice. Your choice.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

Avatar of Declan OFlaherty

About Declan OFlaherty

Declan lives in Dublin, Ireland. He is a plasterer, printer, and inventor but most importantly, a thinker. His passion is to constantly work on himself through meditations, mental exercises, visualizations, and affirmations.

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  • http://big-zen.blogspot.com/ Big zen

    I really enjoyed reading this.

     

    As you say in number 5 if you believe you need more than you have now in
    order to be happy you enter a never ending cycle. I recently read about a study
    with rats that was set up so they could obtain a pleasurable sensation whenever
    they pressed a bar. Eventually the rats gave up all other activities in favour
    of trying to get more pleasure until they died of exhaustion.

  • Cb

    wonderful post. at the right moment.. i was literally down today thanks….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allyn-Bankston/100001644544243 Allyn Bankston

    Amazing…thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you. I really like this post.

  • Lori S

    Once again, just what I needed right when I needed it!

  • Amitavo Barua

    6. Love yourself ~~  :) really wonderful ~~ :)

  • Mari37

    Thanks.  I needed that!

  • Rebekah

    Wow. Is all I can say! HUGE eye opener for me. Just what I needed today :)

  • http://livelovework.wordpress.com/ Chrysta Bairre

    Regarding keeping your cool, I like to ask myself “how important is it?” when someone cuts me off in traffic or cuts in line. The truth is most of the time these small events don’t effect the overall quality of my life unless I let them. Do I still have a good job? Yes. Do I still have a safe and comfortable home? Yes. Do I still have my health and happiness? Yes. Well then I guess it’s not that important after all!

    Great article! Thank you! I re-tweeted, stumbled and liked!

    Recently Posted: Stop Negative Thoughts, Encourage Positive Thinking: http://livelovework.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/stop-negative-thoughts-encourage-postive-thinking/

  • http://ponder-the-pre.posterous.com Kate Britt

    Thanks for your wise thoughts, Declan. I especially like your #2, much like a favorite quote I have posted everywhere, “Carpe Diem” i.e. Seize The Day. And your #7, stay cool. Like Chrysta, there’s a question I ask myself in situations like that. “Will this matter in 20 years?” Pick whatever number of years you like, but the point is to remind myself how truly unimportant some things are in the grand scheme of my life. That reminder reduces their power over me, reminds me to ask myself, Why waste any energy (or why produce negative energy) fussing over those little things?

  • http://twitter.com/sandraaa_xo Sandra NB

    Just the right thing for me at the moment. Thank you. 

  • http://lightninginastarrysky.wordpress.com/ Amy

    Thank you. You summarised what I’ve learned over the past year, and also worded perfectly something I’ve been trying to say to a friend at the moment.

    This bit: ‘Let go and embrace the moment,
    whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial
    matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you.Don’t go
    through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we
    decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves.
    Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run.’

    Sometimes you dont understand what ‘live in the moment’ means, thinking it’s like ‘oh sod it, i want the chocolate/top/coat/holiday/kiss/whatever’. Then it hits you.Appreciate what you have, and even what doesnt really belong to you. The birds in the trees. The sounds of children playing. The raindrops. The fact you have shelter. The fact your family is healthy. And live for yourself :) (in a nice way, of course :))

  • Nada Tuwaijri

    Fantastic !!

  • Kandice Smith

    Thank you for sharing this! I also needed to read these words today. I’m just getting back from lunch  @ The White House park. After I finished eating I took a nice resting pose on my blanket and meditated on experiencing life as if I have just be granted a second chance at life. I said to myself, “you have been blinded for so long, wandering aimlessly through life and not living authentically. When you open your eyes, see things as if you were seeing them for the first time. Be responsible for your own life experience.”. I’m feeling great right now! I understand that there is no auto pilot. It’s going to take work everyday. We all have to be willing to put the work in.
    I Love your Blog! Keep Writing, Living and Loving!
    Light , Love and Peace to us all,
    Kandice

  • Francinemc28

    Thank you for such a brilliant post. I’m going to print it now and put it in my gratitude journal and revisit it again if I feel like life is dull or flat or monotonous. As you rightly said, Life’s to short to worry about labels or comparisons with others. All we can really do is strive to live in the present moment, whatever that may be. Thanks again.

  • Nick Bryant

    Karma?

  • http://www.facebook.com/EthicNick Nick Bryant

    The full article is, I believe, very interesting and timely because it raises the question as to what the unpleasant circumstances or people are that have encouraged Declan to have such an angry and unbalanced attitude towards everyone else?

  • http://www.facebook.com/EthicNick Nick Bryant

    The full article is, I believe, very interesting, and timely, because it raises the question as to what the unpleasant circumstances, or people, are that have encouraged Declan to have such an angry and unbalanced attitude towards everyone else?

  • http://www.facebook.com/EthicNick Nick Bryant

    Hi Lori,
    As I’m concerned that Declan’s just living in the moment, living just for now, whilst ignoring other people philosophy could unfortunately have a negative impact on his ability to earn the respect of publishers with a lead time of months or weeks before one of Declan’s now moments, because the publisher prefers carefully researched and well argued articles, could you do me a favour please and pass on the following links to Declan please?
    Anger: http://viewonbuddhism.org/anger.html
    Compassion: http://viewonbuddhism.org/compassion.html
    Karma: http://viewonbuddhism.org/karma.html
    Many thanks.
    Namaskar.

  • http://big-zen.blogspot.com/ Big Zen

    Am I missing something here? Declan’s article seems to be the epitome of calm and balance.

  • Declan

    Hello Kandice,

    It’s true, we must make the effort to consciously work at being present (in the moment) so often it’s easy to just coast along on automatic pilot. Thank you for sharing…

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    What an interesting study. When we need more than we have now, it becomes a never ending cycle as you say Big Zen. I suppose it’s about enjoying the journey and appreciating every step along the way. 

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you so much Francinemc, i believe life is far too short to be identifying with labels and comparing ourselves to others. Thanks for sharing and have yourself a wonderful day.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Cheers Chrysta, when we appreciate what we have right now, then we can let go of the non trivial things and focus on what’s truly important in our lives. Thank you for retweeting, much appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Glad to hear it Rebeka, have a great day..

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Hello Nick, thanks for your comments and i will definitely take it on board and read the links you posted, have a good one my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    I’m a bit confused with your statement here Nick, but we all have our own opinions. Just try to not make too many assumptions when it comes to judging others. You are way off the mark here but entitled to your opinion all the same.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    I think we both are Big Zen :)

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you Nada :)

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    wow! thank you for sharing that with us Amy, i think you summed it up perfectly.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you Sandra, i’m so glad to hear that.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    This is so true Kate and very important to be reminded of it often. In the grand scheme of things i think there’s only a few things that are truly important and whatever those things are must be really cherished. have a wonderful day.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you Mari

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Love yourself Amitavo :)

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    good to hear Lori, have a great day.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    So glad you liked the post Elizabeth

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    That’s fantastic Cb, not that you were down today, but that this post came at the right moment. Have a wonderful day.

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose Alannah Rose

    There is so much truth in this article that I can’t even pick out just one part of it to comment on, or I’d be writing an essay.  What a great way to start my Friday–so much here to remind me of what’s important and how to stay focused.  I’m going to print this out to reread every so often.  Thank you so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/EthicNick Nick Bryant

    Valium can make you calmer.Tiny Buddha can help your karma.

  • Nick Bryant

    Valium can make you calmer.
    Tiny Buddha can help your karma.

  • http://www.wiseatwork.net Susie @ WiseAtWork

    Greetings Declan.

    Thanks for the inspiring post. I’m always refreshed to be reminded to accept and love oneself because I really believe that when we are able to fully do this (and I’m not referencing indulgence!), we are able to connect up with life so much more. Stay in the present moment. Offer kindness to others. Live creatively yet calmly. And journey well.

    May we all be in closer touch with the best parts of ourselves.
    Susie

  • Ppelayo

    I love and relate to this article!! all of it I’ve experienced in my life.  Thank you for such a well written piece.  Thank YOU!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you for reading Ppelayo, it’s a pleasure to write posts for people like your good self, have a wonderful day.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Hi Susie,

    I love your words and they are so apt for this post, thank you very much for sharing your wisdom with us, have a great day.

  • http://twitter.com/taught2think Declan O Flaherty

    Thank you Allyn, glad you enjoyed this post.

  • Winsom21

    These were the words I was looking for today.  It was like looking in the mirror and having someone reach through and shore you up! 

  • Dopico

    very helpful to me.Thanks a lot.

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  • http://backpackish.tumblr.com Quill

    Synchronicity put this in my inbox exactly when I needed it. Thank you.

  • Declan

    Hello Alannah,

    I could have sworn i replied to your comment sooner (must have not gone through)

    I’m really glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for your kind words.

  • Dec_of

    Hello Quill,

    That’s the way it goes sometimes :) Glad you liked the post.

  • Declan

    You’re welcome Dopico.

  • Declan

    Good to hear you liked the post Winsom, thank you for commenting.

  • Ringlets79

    Thank you so much for writing this. It sounds so much like myself. I just could not figure this out on my own. My eyes are wide open now! Keep up your good work. 

  • Declan

    Hello Ringlets79,

    Thank you for commenting and you are welcome, glad to hear you found something in this post that helps.

  • fragile

    i’ve recently gone thru some major trials in my life and feeling extremely low and beaten at the moment. i can’t explain how uplifting your article has been. its come at a moment when it was really needed. thank you from the bottom of my heart…….

  • Jeevanm_36

    I absoloutley loved reading through this. I am going through a change in my life right now and reading this helped me a lot on what I need to succeed in my life. You have included everything on how we can change ourselves to live a better life and embracing it. Thank you for sharing this!!

  • Steve

    Awesome  Declan   Thanks for sharing these wisdoms  …

  • Felicia

    Dear Declan,

    Thank you for such a wonderful story. I feel like I am talking to a dear friend who can really open up my heart, my mind and my soul. Today is a Monday. Declan, you really take away my blues. thanks……

  • Hestah

    Thanks for sharing your words. I lost control today over nothing and finally realised that all my so called issues are in my head. Becoming more positive is the answer and your words are helping me start the journey. I can’t always be happy but I can happier in my life. Thanks for your blog and thanks for sharing..Love, Light and Happiness to you.

  • Curtis Carpenter

    no one has more control over your life then you and only you and you alone make the choice towards what you do or dont do only you can ever truley choose to live whatever saught of life you want. its only becuase of other actions you dont getting trapped in their dogma consumed by their problems that you stop yourself from living your life. whichever is stronger will only be determind by your ambition and their ignornance and yours will be the strongest if you belieave as well as willing it through that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katiemeeks702 Katie Meeks

    would you be interested in sharing this on our site? You can post it here (or partial with a link) your choice! Awesome inspiration!

    http://womenreachingwomen.com/post/

  • Danitza

    .hay ppl idk……………….. I agree on what this is saying its todaly true for me and my family u should see.
    ps: I have a blog u should read it sometime im barely started

  • Rajat Khadka

    heres a way easy method, listen to easycore / poppunk

  • Vishesh Parmar

    What an article sir! Feeling great that I got through this. Its something that I shall never ever forget in life. Your thoughts will help me grow myself. In Past two years of failure, I had been searching something unknown, something that I haven’t understood while growing in life.Here I got to understand and realise many things I needed to. Now I will grow a better way while making up for the past mistakes. I would like to share with you that I’m 17 and reside in India. Best of luck for your coming future and THANKS for inspiring and igniting my spirit… :)

  • anonymous

    What a lie about people punishing themselves for being uptight about other people’s actions. Rude people are the ones who deserve to be punished for all the bad things they’ve done. Sometimes people have to be uptight, especially since there’s a lot of misbehavior in this world.

    I should know because I’ve also been a misbehaver until I realized that I alienated other people. It was then that I saw the error of my ways and made up for them by becoming more strict and uptight. After all, there’s such a thing as tough love.

    Besides, I’m tired of all the misbehaviors in this world enough to want them gone forever.

  • ami vaghela

    i hav one question..
    i love sm1 nd he also love me..
    but his family is joint family…so they have some rules
    he cant marry with any othr girl xcept his “samaj”
    he told me that we cant be life partner
    still i want him i love him i need him
    can i keep positive thinking nd can i get marry with him
    most of the time i think about it
    i realyy love him n he also love me
    but he respects his family so he cant say them about our situation
    plz give me some suggestion
    i need help

  • Lalit pathak

    I like it each line is energetic to became power full men.
    I in all filed
    here real wisdom..!!!

  • Amruta

    Hi… This is very beautiful, simple but deep article. Everyone can make their life a paradise by following the above.
    Thanks
    http://www.know2live.com

  • Nistho

    Thank You

  • Collin L. Drake

    Thank you for this! It is a big help for me at the moment.

  • Sunny

    Yes your right after lot searching and searching and searching I have reached same conclusion

  • Jonathan

    Thank you Brother!

  • Nishaira

    Its lovely. I eel much lighter:)

  • Nishaira

    I meant I feel much lighter

  • vijaya nirmala

    Wow…I’m glad that i read ur post…it was simply amazing…thank u so much for such a great lecture…

  • Deepika

    Dear don’t worry everything will be fine n if u both have love truly each other Dan god definitely help u BT remember 1thng don’t change ur decision wat ever problems CME face it strongly 1day u I’ll b together… god bless u dear

  • putta

    Hi Declan,

    First of all i read your article for the first time.

    I is truly realistic.

    I have one concern:-
    I know her from school days. Noe it is 11 year we know each other and a good friend.
    After
    schooling till education completes i started thinking of her and felt i
    have some feeling for her, but i never expressed to her. We were
    contact with each other till education completes. Noe i am in job, life
    is good, but whenever i think of her it disturbs me. I never expressed
    my feelings to her till today. we talk with each other shares even
    today, i am not sure whether she has the same feelings for me. sometimes
    i thought that i should express lets whatever will happen, but it wont
    happens. It always threatens me that if expressed she will break
    relation ship and i don’t want to loose her.

    i tried many times
    to stop thinking of her too much and be a as a good friend of her.
    still somewhere it wont happen. I don’t know is this love or a feeling
    type. one thing i always tries that no one should hurt because of me.
    especially i ever don’t want to hurt her and loose her.

    i dont know what to do ans how to come out of this.

  • Dominic Millerick

    This is very cheesy and number 5 is telling you to be a narcissist.

  • James P

    Declan, this is beautiful and just read it at the right time. Thanks for posting.

  • optimist

    thanks alot….these are all motivating……….

  • Max

    Damn dude…thanks I need this to get me back on track..Peace Brother.