I haven't always been a believer in the power of positive thinking.
In fact, up until not so long ago, I believed our entire lives were ruled by a combination of luck and circumstance.
I would have insisted that some people simply have better luck than others and whilst it isn't necessarily fair, there isn't much we can do about it.
So, what changed?
I was standing outside of my previous place of employment when a stranger on the street came up to me, apparently offended by the fact my face wasn't radiating happiness on the sunniest day of the year.
He gave me his phone which had a video running on the power of positive thinking. Then, he walked off.
Intrigued (and in no rush to get back to work) I watched the entire 25-minute video.
To be clear, the video was not the turning point in my life. It was simply the catalyst.
My interest was sparked, and a lot more videos on positive thinking (out of working hours, this time) were to follow.
I didn't necessarily believe anything that was being said, but I was willing to give positive thinking a try.
And what I noticed was the more positive my thoughts were, the luckier I seemed to become. I have no doubt the state of our minds play a significant role in moulding our day-to-day lives.
It's as simple as this: Changing your attitude can change your entire life.
While I'm no expert, this is what I've learned:
1. You can't have a positive life without a positive mind.
Happiness is a choice. When you wake up each day, your attitude determines how that day will pan out.
Your negative thoughts will trigger a different set of actions and a new set of circumstances.
Imagine you could duplicate yourself, then program one of you to have a positive attitude and one of you to have a negative one.
It would be safe to assume the outcome of each of your lives would be drastically different.
2. Happiness is all about perspective.
Abraham Lincoln once said most people "are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Well, the man had a point.
Perspective is everything.
While a negative person might think, "I hate my job," a positive one would say, "I'm grateful I have a job so I can afford the things I want."
Therein lies the difference between the happy and the unhappy.
3. Change your inner voice.
If you genuinely believed your thoughts can become a reality, I am certain you would make a conscious effort to think more positively.
You would walk around thinking, "I will get that promotion," or, "I will meet the love of my life" because thinking otherwise would be catastrophic.
Well, here's the thing: While I can't guarantee your thoughts will manifest into reality, I can say with some certainty that thinking negative thoughts makes reaching your goals that little bit harder.
After all, day-to-day decisions are based around our mindsets.
You'll be surprised how much easier it is facing certain obstacles when you tackle them with a can-do attitude.
Choose your thoughts wisely.
Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, push it out of your mind and replace it with a positive one.
That positive thought might just drive you to try a little harder or work a little longer, and in turn, be the difference between failure and success.
4. Learn to be happy in the current moment.
We all have goals and dreams. Sometimes, it's easy to think, "I'll be happy when I get the job of my dreams" or "I'll be happy when I reach my goal weight."
But here's the thing: Once you attain those things, there will be new goals and dreams that consume your thoughts.
You have to learn to be happy exactly where you are, or you'll spend your entire life thinking "I'll be happy when..." and never actually enjoying the things you have now.
Where you are is not an accident — it's where you're meant to be in this moment in time.
So enjoy it before it's gone.