By Rich Lindblom, YSN

Earlier this year I shared some thoughts about staying positive in these unprecedented times, but I’ve been preaching about the power of positive thinking long before that. I have always believed that your attitude has a lot to do with your success in life, or lack thereof. 

For anyone who doubts my longstanding position on this, let me tell you a quick story …

Way back in 1980, during my senior year of high school, I was asked to mentor a junior named was Roger. He was a really good kid, and smart too. But Roger was also overweight, unathletic, a redhead, wore glasses, and had a bad complexion. Thing was, he’d been picked on so much during his first couple of years of high school that he developed a real negative attitude.

But as I said, he was a good kid and I really wanted to help him, so I spent my entire senior year trying to teach him to stay positive.  I called it P.P.T. (the Power of Positive Thinking). I don’t recall if the acronym came from me or Norman Vincent Peale, but the point is that over 40 years ago I was already trying to teach people to maintain a positive attitude.  And I’ll be darned if Roger didn’t take to it like a fish to water.

By the end of the school year Roger was like a new man: Happy, friendly, outgoing, and smiling a whole lot more. He signed my yearbook (something the younger generation wouldn’t understand), thanked me for helping him, and even referenced P.P.T.  It was really gratifying knowing that perhaps I had made a lasting difference in his life.

Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not one of those people who believe you can make things simply happen with your mind.  Case in point, “The Secret.” While it’s probably not the only one of its kind out there, the gist of this belief is that if you envision something long enough and wish for it hard enough, it will happen.

I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that. And trust me, I’m not selling it either. What I am saying is that good things are more likely to happen when you stay positive.  Maintaining a positive attitude has many benefits, including health, happiness and success.

It is a fact that when you stay positive you reduce stress, and when you remove stress from your life you reduce stress-related ailments. What’s more, positive people are just plain happier, which attracts other happy, healthy, positive people.  Let’s face it, no one wants to hang around with a Debby Downer or a Negative Nelly.

When it comes to your business, a positive state of mind spreads around you like water poured on the floor. It flows in all directions, touching everyone around, and creates a happier, healthier, more productive, and more profitable workplace.  

But it goes well beyond that. Being a positive person affects every other aspect of your life as well.  I believe that every success story starts with a vision of success.  That vision leads to a plan, which ultimately leads to achievement. Whether it’s dropping some weight, losing a bad habit or growing your business, it all starts with the mindset of staying positive and believing you can succeed at whatever it is you’re aiming for.

It’s pretty simple actually; if you cannot see yourself succeeding at a task, then you won’t. And if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

The bottom line? Maintaining a positive outlook can be immensely powerful in both your personal and professional life, so why not give it a try?  As for me, I should probably track down Roger and see how he is doing these days.

I have three goals in mind with my columns: To motivate, educate and entertain.  If I have achieved at least one of them, then I’ve done my job. Don’t be shy about letting me know if you agree — write me at egvrich@gmail.com.