By: Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.

Having an optimistic/positive mindset is, absolutely, a great way to live in the world. It works much better than a negative one. Is there any doubt about that?

Maybe you have tried a positive mindset, but things still don’t seem to get any better. There are reasons for this less-than-spectacular result. If your underlying messages are negative, a topping of whipped up positive attitude and a dusting of chocolate won’t be very effective. The core of who you are needs to shift.

Pure optimism is free of the past and fully engaged in the now.

A positive attitude piled on top of old, stuck ideas and limiting beliefs rarely is able to lift you beyond the ordinary life of struggle and fear. Beliefs, such as you are “not enough” or “not loveable,” anchor you down even when you fill your mind with uplifting thoughts.

If you claim a positive attitude about life and then share a long list of people and situations to blame and complain about, something is amiss. If your energy is low and you lack motivation, your body is speaking louder than your attitude. If you lack patience and compassion, your heart has closed down, and all the positives you throw at it won’t work.

Another barrier to real optimism is the ego mind, which too often refuses to give up its addictions to fear, anger, and the need for power and control. The ego is only positive when you are fearfully in obedience.

When Optimism Is Fully Integrated, You Have:

1. A higher mind’s positive sense of the world of possibilities
2. An open, kind, and loving heart
3. A body that is alive, vibrant, and full of energy
4. A deep connection with your soul

Real life-changing optimism arises from your soul. This is the part of you that is infinite and directly connected to the Universal Mind—the Source of all creation. Maybe “god” really stands for the “Great Optimizing Divine” mind.

If You Want the Full Benefits of a Positive Mind:

1. Release your Limiting Thoughts and Beliefs

Everyone has old thoughts and beliefs that need to be questioned. Each day, make a commitment to actively listen to your inner dialogue. When you hear these old, false ideas and beliefs, push the erase button in your mind.

2. Put the Past Behind

You don’t have to carry the burdens of the past with you. The past is gone. Forgive and let it go. If you carry it with you, realize you are choosing to cause yourself suffering. It is time to make another choice.

3. Quiet the Ego Mind

The ego mind is the voice inside you that says, “Worry and be afraid.” It believes having power and control is the best way to be in the world. Your ego mind is wrong, but it will fight you to prove it isn’t. Search inside yourself for the voice of your higher mind, heart, and soul. This is where you find your true knowing which will guide your way.

4. Live in the Now

Living in the here and now means you are free to be fully present to all this moment has to offer. This moment is filled with joy, love, awareness, insight, light, peace, hope, healing, beauty, and freedom. When you find what you appreciate, the now comes to you quickly.

5. Build a Lively Connection with your Soul

This knowing part of you is waiting patiently to be filled with the wisdom of the universe. All you have to do is be open and listen inward. The voice of the soul is always supportive, wise, and enlightening. Who doesn’t appreciate that?

Now you can enjoy the benefits of a truly positive way of being in the world. How does it look and feel?

Joseph Bernard, Ph.D. lives on the Oregon coast and, after spending thirty-five years as a mental health professional, is now a wake-up artist, mind trainer, practical philosopher, and change agent/difference maker. His goal is to help you find your bigger story and develop powerful ways to bust out of old patterns and rewire your mind and heart for creating the life you desire. Check out his website and sign up for his free e-book Spirited Living, which will put the spunk back into everything you do, and follow him on Twitter.

*Photo by The World According To Marty.