A positive attitude has only been around for about seven hundred years. According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the word positive was in the 14th century. That was about a hundred years before Columbus sailed to America.
Until then, people did not have a positive attitude, because the word positive did not exist in the English language. Before then they had to use other words to describe a positive attitude. Probably they simply said that someone had a good attitude.
For me, the word positive means congruent and non-ambivalent. It's an operational definition signifying that my mind, heart, and will are all congruent and committed to moving together in a non-ambivalent fashion to achieve a worthwhile purpose.
All three components of my personality (heart, mind, will) are heading in the same direction and working together to achieve the same objective.
Jesus said that no man putting his hand to the plow and looking back is worthy of the kingdom of God.
People who look back wistfully at their old life and at the past are looking in the wrong direction. They need to look forward in a non-ambivalent fashion into the future.
It is impossible to move into a positive future and in a positive direction if you are ambivalent. A positive life is a no looking back life.
Your attitude is your way of looking at things, and it's a choice.
I lived outside the United States for twenty-eight years in more than twenty countries. For sixteen years, I lived in Saudi Arabia.
As a result of living in so many dissimilar cultures, I can state beyond the shadow of a doubt that not everyone looks at things in the same way. In fact, cultures often look at the same thing in radically different ways.
Attitude is everything when you live in different cultures around the world. If you have the wrong attitude, you won't survive long in some countries. The wrong attitude makes your work difficult or impossible, and the right attitude makes it easy. The wrong attitude may result in deportation or even worse.
Attitude is a mind set. It's the way you choose to look at yourself and at the world.
Jesus said, "Set your mind on God's kingdom and His way of doing things before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well." Jesus made it clear that attitude is important, and that it is a choice. He told people to set their mind on the right things.
The single most important decision you will ever make is the set of your mind.
If you get it right, you have an awesome life. If your mind set is wrong, your destiny is failure, frustration, and self-destruction.
You must have the right attitude, and it must be positive. There is no other way to reach your potential and to live God's dream for your life.
God made positive thinking to be the natural software for your mind. He designed a positive software package that would permit your mind to function at full capacity and maximum efficiency. He created your mind to work best with a positive operating system.
Positive thinking is not just a good idea. It's the way God designed your mind to work. That's why a positive attitude is important. A positive attitude means that a positive operating system is up and running in your mind. It is controlling the way you think. You have a positive mind set.
Attitude is everything, and when that attitude is positive, it is exactly the way God means for it to be.
Gratitude is being thankful for and appreciating all of the good things in your life. It isn't something that happens. It's something you do, and it's a choice.
Gratitude is active. It involves effort on your part to think and say grateful things.
The grateful heart is the joyful heart. Gratitude and joy travel together. When gratitude knocks at the door of your mind, joy is always found by its side. When one comes into your heart and mind, the other comes as well. Being grateful fills your heart and mind with joy and makes life worth living.
Gratitude is hard for me. It's not that I am ungrateful on purpose. Ingratitude is just the by-product of a busy life. The reason is simple. Gratitude doesn't just happen. It's something that I must choose to do.
Gratitude doesn't magically appear in the corridors of my mind. I must continually put grateful thoughts into my mind for it to stay. Gratitude is something that I renew each day by thinking hundreds of grateful thoughts. If I don't do it, gratitude and joy will fade away until they are gone.
Gratitude is important because it recognizes that I am not the source of good things in my life.
Every good thing comes from God and from other people. God gave me my mind and body, and I am grateful for these gifts. Other people created a medical school so that I could become a physician. The Positive Thinking Network and Positive Buzz exist because other individuals created internet, created domains, wrote HTML, and maintain servers for all my websites.
I have lots to be thankful for. Without other people and God, I would be living in a jungle eating berries with the bears and cowering in caves hiding my family from mountain lions.
Gratitude is a statement of trust.
It isn't necessary to worry about the future. The God who supplied my needs in the past is dependable, and He will give me everything I need as long as I trust in Him.
Gratitude puts everything in its proper perspective and reminds me that God is the source for my life.
The best way to develop a positive attitude and positive gratitude is to make a list of the things for which I am grateful.
Gratitude is like reading the movie credits on a major motion picture called MY LIFE.
God and other people made MY LIFE happen, and if I am smart I will give them the credit and let them know how grateful I am.
It's time to roll the credits for my life.
Here is my partial list of credits:
First and foremost, I am grateful for God's love. Whatever good is in me, and whatever I accomplish is because of His love.
If I had choose a title for a movie about my life, I would call it "Sailing On The Ocean of God's Love", produced and directed by God.
If it wasn't for God's love, my life would have no meaning, and I would be adrift without a purpose or plan. Because of His love, I have direction and purpose. He is the source of my life and guides me through the storms. God supports and sustains me as I sail on the ocean of His love.
I am grateful that I have been transformed by God's love. Each day I jump into God's ocean of love and have a life transforming experience. I am born spiritually and become a new person. Old things pass away and all things become new. I look at the world through new eyes and listen with new ears. I think new thoughts, take new actions, and have a new life.
God's love changes the way I think and feel. His love washes the toxic waste out of my mind and gives me a clean mind and a pure heart. My old way of thinking and feeling is gone. My mistakes and failures are cast into His ocean of love. I dare to call God my Father, and I live as one of his children. God's love heals my damaged emotions, and my negative feelings and guilt are washed away in a tidal wave of love.
I am grateful that I live in a world created and sustained by love. The Creator of the universe surrounds me and fills my heart with love. His love is unconditional, and there is nothing I must do to earn it. It’s an eternal fact that sustains the world. It forms the foundation for my self-esteem, and His love makes me worthy. When my heart is full of God’s love, it’s full of His presence and power.
I am grateful that God loves and accepts me the way I am. I am also grateful that He loves me too much to let me stay that way. This is my ultimate reason for hope. God is on my side. He wants to fill my heart with his love, banish my limitations, and wash away the plague of negative thoughts from my mind. God’s love carries away my burden of guilt. His love not only wipes the slate clean, it also throws the slate away. God has a plan for my life that is better than anything I can imagine. There is no limit to how good my life can become when I max out on His love.
I am grateful that God takes all my choices, mistakes, and failures, and turns them into something good. My mistakes and failures are the launching pad for God's master plan.
I am grateful that God is the source of all good things. I don't need to figure everything out or worry about the future because my trust is in God.
I am grateful for good health. Healing is a gift from God and is an expression of His love. When God created me, He built healing into my body as a reminder of His love. Every time I am healed, I experience God's love. If God did not care about me, and I became sick, it would be the end of me. The world would throw me on the trash heap and let me die. But that isn't the way God made things work. God is in it with me for the long haul, and He will heal my body thousands of times until my work on planet earth is done. It won't be over until God says it's over.
I am grateful that I can walk. I was once in a car accident and broke both of my legs. It required three surgical procedures and six months of physical therapy to be able to walk with a limp. It required years to walk normally once again. Walking is an enormous blessing. Going up and down stairs is awesome. Skipping and jumping are a reason to celebrate.
I am grateful I can breathe comfortably without shortness of breath. I once fractured five ribs and punctured a lung. I learned for the first time what it's like to have difficulty breathing. If you want to experience how it feels to have breathing problems, try to breathe through a soda straw for a couple of minutes. You immediately discover that normal breathing is an uncounted blessing.
I am grateful that I can see. For my entire professional career, I have helped preserve and restore vision to patients who have ocular disease. I have seen the devastating effects of blindness in my travels around the world. I have also seen inner blindness where people cannot see the hand of God at work in their lives. I am committed to the restoration of vision so people can look at the world through eyes of possibility and love.
I am grateful that I can hear. One of the great joys of sailing in paradise is to hear the sound of the waves on shore and cries of sea birds in flight. The wind blows through palm trees and coconuts thump on the beach as they fall to the ground. Waves lap against the hull and gently rock me to sleep in the soft silence of the tropics. I listen to sails pulling in the breeze as I sail on the ocean of my dreams. Hearing is awesome.
I am grateful to have a job. Some jobs are more interesting than others. Climbing into a King Air 200 turboprop and flying to work at the Apache and Hopi Indian Reservations is more than a job. It's an adventure. I sit in the cockpit watching the instruments as the altitude reaches 14,000 feet and the speed hits 250 knots. Being a flying doctor rocks my world.
I am grateful when my plane lands safely on the runway. Flying to work would be a disaster if we landed in a canyon. When I land at Fort Apache, there is a gaping canyon at both ends of the runway. Landing in the canyon is bad form and is to be avoided. Landing on the runway is clearly superior to landing in a canyon.
I am grateful I survived my trip though pirate alley on my sailing voyage up the Red Sea. Not everyone was so lucky. Two yachts passing though the same area engaged pirates in a gun battle three days after we made our passage. Fighting with pirates is not in my skill set, and I am thankful that the pirates left us alone.
I am grateful that I sailed safely around the world in an eleven year voyage on my catamaran Exit Only. We had a few lumps and bumps along the way, but we survived. It was an excellent family adventure. SailingUni.com
I am grateful to the physical therapists who taught me to walk once again. After a car accident in which I broke two legs, I required six months of physical therapy to get back on my feet. My right knee would not bend and taking even small steps was a major ordeal. Hard working physical therapists made a major difference in my life.
I am grateful to the blood donors who saved my life. After a car accident I received seven units of blood because I had internal bleeding. Without out those blood donors I would not be here today, and the Positive Thinking Network and the Positive Buzz would never have happened. Because of blood donors, my message of hope goes around the world.
I am grateful to orthopedic surgeons who rebuilt my broken life. They put metal in two of my legs and cared for my broken ribs and fractured shoulder blade. Because of them I can walk, skip, run, jump rope, and go up and down the stairs. They gave me my life back and made it possible to continue my sailing voyage around the world. Totally awesome.
I am grateful to the nurses who cared for me when I had a broken body. The ICU nurses labored for nine days to keep me alive, and I can't even remember my time in the ICU. Ward nurses worked around the clock keeping me comfortable and administering the treatments ordered by my doctors. Because they did their job so well, I maintained a positive attitude while I was in the hospital.
I am grateful to cricket players and to the eternally long game of cricket. I didn't know anything about cricket until I was hospitalized for two months in New Zealand. Cricket came to my rescue during the long nights in the hospital. Being in the hospital is easier in the daylight hours. Bright light streams through windows as visitors and staff pop in and out of the room. Nights are dark, gloomy, and stretch on for hours with no end in sight. During my hospital stay, the Cricket World Cup started at midnight and continued to three or four o'clock in the morning. Although I didn't know anything about cricket, I quickly learned the rules as I watched during those long night hours. Cricket taught me an important lesson. Small things can have big effects. Even a simple game of cricket can get people through their hard times. You never know when you are making a difference in someone's life.
I am grateful for my wife. How many wives would hop on a thirty-nine foot sailboat for an eleven year sailing voyage around the world? How many wives would be willing to camp for two to three months a year in the deserts of Arabia and Australia? How many wives would allow their husband to create more than 100 positive thinking websites after they came home from work? How many wives would accompany their husband down into the Grand Canyon two weeks a year to treat Native American patients? How many wives don't use drugs or alcohol? How many wives stick by your side when you have been run over by the Mac Truck of Life? My wife does all those things and more. I am grateful for my wife.
I am grateful for my children. Sometimes they seem like prickly cactuses, but usually they are more like fragrant flowers. My children taught me much about God. Until I had children, I never understood a father's love. I did not know that a father would do nearly anything to see that his children receive love and that good things happen in their lives. I have invested more time, money, and effort in my children than in anything else in my life. In return, I now understand more completely how God loves and cares for me. God is my Heavenly Father, and God doesn't hold anything back if it is good for me. God is in it with me for the long haul, and His love and help never fails. Jesus said that even as an earthly father loves his own children, our Heavenly Father loves us even more and wants good things to happen in our lives. If we get out of the way and suspend our disbelief, He will work miracles in our lives. And to top it all off, God gave me two great children to teach me those lessons. I am a lucky man.
I am grateful that I survived the global tsunami. My catamaran, Exit Only, was in Thailand at the time of the tsunami. We pulled up our anchor and sailed out of the bay just minutes before the tsunami struck with horrific force and devastating results. About an hour after the tsunami, we sailed back into Nai Harn Bay and surveyed the destruction. If we had been on the beach or in our dingy close to shore when the giant wave struck, we would have been killed. Fortunately we were in deep water beyond the reach of the tsunami's destructive grip. That was too close for comfort. I am grateful we are still alive.
I am grateful for each new sunrise. It means God has given me one more day to live my dreams. I made it safely through the night, and today there is no limit to how good my life can become.
I am grateful for each sunset. I have been sailing all day on the ocean of God's love, and the God who cared for me during the day will sail with me into the night. I made it through another day and lived God's dream for my life.
I am grateful for my sailing dreams. For more than ten years I had Bora Bora on my mind. Putting my anchor down in French Polynesia was a major life goal. I wanted to swim in turquoise waters and feel the trade winds blowing on my face. I wanted to hike to giant waterfalls in the Nuku Hiva jungle. I wanted to bask on the beach in the Isle of Pines. I sailed on the ocean of my dreams, and there was no limit to how good my life could become.
I am grateful for flowers because they remind me that God created a beautiful world. God doesn't do ugly. Beauty is God's fingerprint. Every time I see something beautiful, I know that God cares about his world.
I am grateful for rainbows because they mean the storm is over and better weather is on the way. I've been through hundreds of squalls and more than a few gales sailing offshore. It's never fun to be in a storm at sea. At the same time, it's always a joy to see a rainbow; it means there is hope, and better things are on the way.
I am grateful for my websites. They allow me to send a message of hope around the world in a cost effective way. For a few thousand dollars a year, I can publish my books and thoughts on the world wide web. I can also use color graphics that would be prohibitively expensive if I published the same material on glossy paper with four color printing. There aren't any distributing or printing costs to complicate my life when I publish on the web. I can reach my arms around the world with hundreds of websites found in the Positive Thinking Network and Positive Buzz.
I am grateful for helicopters. They are an awesome way to see the Grand Canyon. Twice a year I spend a week in the Grand Canyon examining the eyes of Native Americans who live there. I have a choice. I can make an eight mile hike to the village at the bottom of the canyon, or I can take an eight minute flight in a helicopter and enjoy spectacular views during the trip. I choose the flight because I have to carry supplies with me for my week in the canyon. The other option is to ride a horse, but to do that I would have to learn how to ride. Such is my dilemma. If you have to have problems, that's the type of problems you want to have.
I am grateful that I have two Land Rover Defenders kitted out and ready for a driving trip around the world. I have the Defenders parked in Australia and New Zealand ready for the trip. It's never over in a Rover.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to become an eye surgeon. For more than thirty-five years I have helped protect and restore vision in curably blind patients around the world. Now I am focusing on inner vision as I teach people to look at the world through eyes of possibility and love.
I am grateful that I live in a place and time where I am free. I have the personal freedom to live my life as I please. I don't need to ask the king, the sheriff of Nottingham, the local warlord, or the dictator of the decade for permission to live my dreams.