Most people think it’s pretty obvious that successful people have a positive mindset. They have everything, right? Money, a great spouse, wonderful kids, and can get anything they want whenever they want.
But, if you sat down with 100 successful people, you may find that a large percentage of them don’t view life with as much positivity as you and the rest of the world thinks they should be. Why?
Success does not fuel a productive or positive mindset – mindset fuels success. Why?
1. Positive Mindset Increases Productivity
Consider for a moment when you’re most productive. Is it when you focus on each tedious step in folding the laundry or when you fold the laundry grateful you have a family who is clothed and safe? Probably the latter.
When you choose to look for joy in mundane tasks, you’ll have a more positive mindset. Entering into tasks, at work or at home, with a mindset of growth and gratitude increases the odds you’ll be willing to do the work more frequently, increasing productivity.
Try changing your mindset with small, tedious tasks. Rather than focusing on the task at hand, try focusing on what nuggets of joy there are in the task, as well as the outcome. Observe what you notice about your desire to finish and your productivity.
2. Respectful Mindset Generates Better Outcomes
Work environments that fuel success are based in respect and appreciation. Think about it – if you feel appreciated, challenged, and respected, you’re going to be more likely to work hard, regardless of how difficult the task at hand.
If you feel respected, you’re more likely to work with other members of your team.
If you feel appreciated, you’re more likely to go the extra mile when asked.
If you feel challenged, you’re more likely to produce stellar work.
Teamwork, willingness to work, and quality work equate to quality outcomes.
Focus on showing respect to those around you and notice the results. What happens when you show appreciation to your co-workers? How do you respond when you’re challenged? How do your kids respond when you communicate with them respectfully?
3. Appreciative Mindset Promotes Stability
People want to stay where they feel appreciated. When people feel appreciated, they tend to be more stable, stick with tasks longer, and complete assignments.
In the work environment, this means work environments that foster appreciation have less turnover. At home, this means home environments that focus on what has gone well are homes where the family wants to be.
What does this mean for you? Try looking for three things someone does well for every one thing you notice they do a bit subpar. Share it with them and notice: how does it impact your interactions with them? How does it change their work ethic? How does it color the lens through which you see them?
4. Growth Mindset Improves Work Ethic
Work ethic and productivity go hand-in-hand with mindset. When you focus on the process as a learning opportunity, you’re more likely to have increased energy around a task and envision more positive outcomes.
Everyone faces challenges, but how do you view them – as setbacks or as moments of growth? This simple switch in mindset can change your willingness to tackle a project.
Simply notice how you respond when a challenge arises. Do you immediately enter into negative self-talk or do you start problem-solving? Do you give in and give up or do you dig deep and try again?
Start with just observing, being kind to yourself regardless of your reaction.
5. Mindset Is Not About Wealth
You’ve probably met a few wealthy people in your life and found that some of them don’t have an incredibly positive outlook on life. They seem to have everything but still can only talk about what they don’t have.
Why? Circumstances, even financial circumstances, don’t magically create a positive mindset. In fact, the opposite is true. A more positive, productive mindset creates more manageable and lucrative circumstances.
Regardless of your bank account balance, you can still focus on making productive choices. In doing so, you will probably find your work more satisfying, your interactions more positive, and your productivity improved.
6. Productive Mindset Changes the Lens through Which You See Life
The truth is, maintaining a productive mindset is a practice, just like mindfulness. It doesn’t happen overnight. It isn’t going to make challenges disappear. It isn’t going to make life perfect.
To be clear, a productive mindset doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy, challenges, sadness, or reality. It means you have a new filter through which you view reality. Instead of immediately honing in on what is wrong, you start searching for what is right.
Instead of getting stuck in the sensations of overwhelm and helplessness, you formulate your first step towards ownership and hope.
Instead of thinking about situations as positive or negative, you begin to ask yourself what is productive for you and what is counterproductive for you in the given moment. And you choose to focus on what is productive.
Start small. In just one moment of challenge, overwhelm, or negativity, try shifting your mindset to one of possibility, ownership, or productivity.
7. Positive Mindset is About the Present Moment
A positive mindset is really all about right now. This moment. Not the next one or the one that just passed, but the one you are sitting in currently.
If you can find one productive thought or one nugget of joy at this moment, you’re more likely to eat right, move more, increase your productivity, and do everything well. It then becomes a snowball effect.
One moment with a positive mindset leads to the next moment with a growth mindset and to the next with a respectful mindset, and so on.
Give yourself permission to lay down what’s next and focus on what is. Just for this one moment (and maybe the next).
8. Gratitude is a Mindset
It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Gratitude is about your mindset, not about your circumstances. Gratitude is less about everything in life being perfect and more about what you choose to look for in life.
Thankfully, you can train your brain to have a more grateful, productive mindset. It takes time, patience, practice, and a lot of grace! But, every time you notice, practice, and wear a mindset of gratitude, you are actually rewiring pathways in your brain and it will eventually become your automatic train of thought.
Be patient with yourself, and again, start small. A gratitude journal is a great way to start rewiring those neuropathways. Or consider a photo journal where you take a picture of one moment each day that filled you with gratitude or joy.
You’d be surprised what the intention of tracking a moment of gratitude does to the lens with which you view your day – and how that shift can increase your productivity and impact your interactions with everyone around you.
While no one is exempt from difficult situations or challenging seasons, a productive and grateful mindset can help us navigate the most challenging times and find success on the other side.
It takes time. It takes patience. But it doesn’t take perfection. Choose a time, a moment, or a day to try on a new mindset and just have fun noticing!