A few days ago I had a particularly amazing day. I completed a lot of projects, some of them out of my comfort zone, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I ended up walking 11.4 miles on the day, had one of my favorite meals for lunch, got 3 loads of laundry done... one of my most productive days in a long time.

positive day

With all that going on, you'd think I had a perfect day... but I didn't. I was making hamburger for dinner, and changed up how I drain grease from the skillet before continuing to cook it. Instead of going to the sink, putting the meat in a colander and then going to the garbage can to pour out the grease, I skipped a step and went to the garbage can with my spatula to pour the grease in... and the hamburger went with it!

You can bet I felt pretty stupid at the time, and I was irked. There went dinner, and I had to scramble for something else to eat. However, that was after I'd completed a lot of tasks, and once I ate my little bit of something I completed 4 more tasks before the night was over.

Just like almost everyone I know, I'd love to be perfect. But perfection as a permanence in our lives is a myth. We can strive to be perfect, but very good isn't bad. When you weigh the good things you've done against the bad, I'll bet that you've had more positive than negative things happen throughout your life.

Yet I know a lot of people who don't see things that way. All they ever point out is the worst things that have happened to them. They'll dwell on that as if it's a sense of pride; if you have a negative thing you mentioned to them, they'll mention five.

That's a horrible place to live, and I hope it's not you. If it is or isn't, or you hope for better, here are 3 ways to see things in a more positive way.

1. Don't compare your bad luck to someone else's good luck.

Do you know someone who always seems lucky? They get the money they wanted, they have a great relationship... they have it all in your eyes.

The reality is that all of us have good and bad things happen to us, even those lucky people. Sometimes people we think are lucky see those things as unlucky. Think about how many successful people have tried or committed suicide when you thought they were living the good life; do you think they believed they were lucky?

Never look at someone else's life to make your look bad; we never really know what's going on in someone else's life, even if we know them personally.

2. Spend time to think about your successes

Our parents used to tell us not to brag about ourselves; they never told us not to be proud of the things we've accomplished. I don't know a single person who hasn't accomplished something positive in their lives. I've known a few who didn't see it until someone else helped them identify those things.

When you identify successes in your life, you realize that if you've accomplished something in your life you can accomplish something else. No one's a one trick pony; all it takes is encouragement, and the best encourager is you. It never hurt when others are willing to offer you motivation, but if you keep a belief in yourself, even when things aren't going well, you'll find a way to persevere.

3. Gauge your day on the good things that happened rather than the bad things.

Admittedly I'm not perfect at this one; all of us have a bad day every once in a while. Even Zig Ziglar once owned up to having a bad day here and there.

When I'm truthful with myself, I have to admit that I have overwhelmingly more good days than bad, even if a bad thing happened during a good day. The people who success and progress are those who know how to assess whether a negative thing happening is bad enough to overwhelm the rest of the day, no matter how good it is or was.

A better example of this is when I had a car accident earlier this year. It happened early in the morning when I got T-boned, and I had my mother in the car with me. I could have let that ruin the rest of the day, but instead I let the rest of the day play out and it was actually amazing. I did a video about it; let me share that with you:


I'm not saying any of this is easy. I'm saying if you can take these suggestions and use them to better your perspective you'll not only be a happier person but a more productive one. Going back to something Zig said, and I paraphrase: "You might not be able to do everything if you're always positive, but you'll always do things better if you're positive than negative."