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Grow up with a positive attitude

It’s the state of our mind that determines our progress, says Jitendra Nagpal

education Updated: Aug 29, 2009 11:11 IST
Jitendra Nagpal
Jitendra Nagpal
Hindustan Times

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind”
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

You are what your attitude is. The term “attitude” refers to our disposition or state of mind, whether to a specific event or to life in general. Is attitude the result of one’s perceptions? Yes, how we perceive an event or experience will largely determine the attitude we develop about future events and experiences. A positive attitude can help us journey through the rough patches in life. When an event affects us, it is we who give it the power to control the way we think. The event itself has no strength. Its strength comes from the way you interpret the event for yourself.

Perspective is simply an expression of how much we like or dislike various things. They represent our evaluations or preferences towards a wide variety of “objects”. For example a young boy dislikes math as he thinks that it is too tough and complicated and hates to practice it; as a result of this he fails in the exam.

Thus the attitude we formulate regulates not only our behaviour but also our life and decision-making. Our attitudes are determined by our thoughts, and our thoughts are going to be determined by our intellect, because our intellect determines who we are, and we decide what it is that we are going to think.

Also, the most remarkable and amazing thing about human beings is the ability to choose our reactions in any given circumstances. Positive attitude leads to happiness and success and can change our whole life. If we look at the bright side of life, our whole life becomes filled with light. This can help students tremendously to perform work or tasks competently and to utilise their knowledge to the fullest. If positivity is strong enough, it becomes contagious.

Now, we must acknowledge that negative attitude is also natural. The pattern of negative attitudes decides the darker side of life and leads us to pessimistic thinking. It disrupts our mental balance and causes depression, anxiety, loneliness, guilt and anger or medical diseases such as cardiovascular disease, migraine etc. John Milton, an English poet had said, “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.”

So, to walk under the bright light in life we can keep in mind a collection of attitudes:

n Follow the principles of holistic health: body, mind and spirit harmonisation. Maintain a balance as better nutrition and exercise can help to improve mood and attitude.
n Listen to your inner voice: do not formulate judgement on the basis of others’ perception about the world. Construct your own experiences.
n Learn to communicate: your opinions and feelings freely instead of your anger and frustrations during demanding situations.
n Love to live: Develop an empathy towards others around you. The ability to love and be loved is the most basic human trait.
n Engage your body and mind: Participate in physical and mental activities to improve confidence levels and mechanisms that will help you cope.
n Smile: Allow yourself to laugh and find humour in the simplest of things. Laughter is a powerful mood elevator and it awakens the child inside us.

Sometimes mountains can turn out to be a molehill if you simply put it on paper. Different spheres of life such as work, family, health, friends and spirit are like different shades of colours and positive attitude is like water, essential to bind all these together in harmonious relation with one another on the canvas of life.

It is the quality of these relationships that gives meaning to our life and contributes to our well being. Thus a beautiful picture is created! So move on with great positive attitude and scale the attitudes. Sky is the limit!

The author is a senior consultant psychiatrist with Moolchand Medcity & Vimhans, New Delhi. Send him an email at, marked ‘Dr Nagpal’.