11 Jul 2015 17:18 IST

The importance of being positive

Not only is it necessary for a happy life, it’s even more crucial in your career

Be positive is a phrase most of us would have heard some time or the other, particularly when we were feeling dispirited and dull about something. At that moment it would be perfectly natural to think of retorting: “Let me see you go through what I am feeling now, and we’ll see how positive you can be” or a milder version: “That’s easy for you to say”.

This response is quite natural but definitely not correct. A better response would be to ask for a list of things to be positive about and actually try to be more cheerful.

At a very basic level, a person’s response depends on whether they are inherently positive or negative in their orientation. When one is negative, solutions seem to be impossible and irrelevant; when positive, one is eager to look for the smallest of opportunities.

Effectiveness

Although being positive is very important for a happy and fulfilling life, it is even more crucial for a successful career. The reason for this is more about the effectiveness and results that a positive person can deliver as compared to someone who is negative.

Once, during the run-up to a store launch, the project team tasked with planning it encountered a major roadblock. A few days before the opening, there was a problem with the building permission and the local authorities came to demolish a part of it because it was not approved. It would have been quite natural for the team to become discouraged, dispirited and negative as a result of the several problems that ensued.

Thankfully, the team was led by a very positive person and the team members themselves were also positive by nature. They sat down to brainstorm and ended up turning the very possible negative outcome of this event into something positive. The launch went on to become a massive success.

That is an instructive example of why being positive is important from a professional and career perspective.

Solutions

The second reason why this is very important is because of the nature of employment, especially at managerial levels. People are hired to manage situations successfully and handle problems by coming up with solutions. This is the inherent basis of any job.

If a person is to successfully deliver this inherent basic requirement, he needs to be able to explore solutions for every situation, especially problematic ones. In that context, a negative orientation is definitely not going to help and will only end up becoming a huge handicap for their career progression.

Being positive is a habit. One should work on being positive consciously, to the extent that it comes to them unconsciously. Be aware of your moods, and whenever there is even the tiniest hint of any negative emotion or thought, consciously focus on something good. Work to change your mood to one of positivity. If done consistently, this practice will become a habit and you will soon realise that your mood tends to remain positive and therefore opens your mind to opportunities and solutions.

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