There are many concerns today that can significantly affect our thoughts, actions and quality of life. Fires out west. A devastating hurricane in the south. Afghanistan. COVID. The list could go on and on.
There are many things that are beyond our control in life. However, we can choose to focus on those things we have control over.
This is a great time to create a virtuous cycle to help us remain focused and become our best selves. Creating a virtuous cycle is empowering and enduring. It often results in greater contentment and success in our lives. It is an upward spiral of potential and progress.
A virtuous cycle is a product of our choices. It is not dependent on good luck nor avoiding bad outcomes. The following three tips can help you create your own virtuous cycle:
- Surround Yourself with Great People. We tend to take on attributes of those we associate with. These social connections influence how we think, feel and behave. It’s easy to be negative and a cynic; much more difficult these days to be an optimist – that is a gift. Choose to be around positive people and allow their perspectives and disposition to rub off on you.
- Praise Others. Be liberal with complimenting others and slow to criticize. In our day this is much easier said than done. Direct praise (you are a great friend) is much better than comparison praise (you are a better friend than Linda). Combine gratitude with praise for the optimal effect (I appreciate how you listen and give me good advice). Direct praise increases another’s self-worth and your individual potential.
- Avoid Negativity. We don’t always agree with others. Everyone has virtue and shortcomings. We can choose to focus on positive qualities of others (and ourselves) rather than their flaws.
Circumstances may influence us, but they don’t have to compel us. We can choose to act positively, rather than be acted upon by negative externalities.