What does having a positive mental attitude mean to you?

Do the people you know have a positive mental attitude or a negative mental attitude?  Is there a difference between a positive mental attitude and positive thinking.  I think so!!

   So what are the characteristics of a Positive Mental Attitude.

In the book “Success through a Positive Mental Attitude” written by Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone the characteristics of a Positive Mental Attitude are listed as follows:

  • Faith
  •  Integrity
  •  Hope
  • Optimism
  • Courage
  • Initiative
  • Generosity
  • Tolerance
  • Tact
  • Kindliness and
  • Good common sense.

How strong and developed is your Positive Mental Attitude?

Do you have positive thoughts or negative thoughts?  Are you aware of how you are thinking – or reacting to situations.

Being Negative didn’t work for Henny Penny!.

You know Henny Penney don't you – , how one day Henny Penny gets hit on the head and immediately assumes that the sky is falling.    Based on an assumption – conjured up from who knows where or why – she sets off to tell the King the sky is falling, the world is ending.   Its all doom and gloom.    In my opinion, no Positive Mental Attitude here.

Perhaps you can relate – or you know your own Henny Penny.

Someone who jumps to conclusions – usually the worst, and only sees the down side of any event.

Henney Penney set off on a journey and along the way, she met others and told her story.. they all agreed with her viewpoint – and were attracted to hang with her.  Its an interesting story of how doom and gloom and negativity lead you down the garden path to being manipulated and eventually destroyed by negative thoughts instead of positive thoughts.


It has been my experience, in my most negative of times – , that my non positive thinking came from a deep dark place – called previous experience.

At the time I was not aware that these negative thoughts existed.  I did not even consider my thinking at all – let alone whether where they were conjured up from or if  it was positive thinking or not.   After all, it was how I had been thinking my whole life.  It has only been with continuous personal development that I have been introduced to the world of positive thinking, positive thinking exercises and the power of a positive mental attitude.

I believe you have to be in a ready state of mind to delve into positive thinking or having a positive mental attitude.  It is not necessarily something that we are instinctively tuned to.

Repeated lessons from my life, taught me to expect the worst outcome every time.  There were no positive thoughts in my mind.     I was able to find like minds who had experienced similar events and this reinforced what I believed – hence imbedding the tradition of non positive thinking – or negative thinking.

What I have discovered is that my attitude – or whether I am happy or sad, focused or unfocused,  is all related to how I react to certain situations and experiences.


Recently I read a report on Change and Motivation detailing some findings in Neuroscience.  There has been a framework developed that identifies 5 primary social dimensions which trigger our brains to react to perceived threats and situations.

You may be wondering what this has to do with being negative.   Well the whole thing about being negative or having a positive mental attitude is that we want to minimize the threats or (bad events) in our lives and create the best rewards.

Your experiences depict your reactions, (often subconsciously)  – and generally your experiences define how you see yourself.  – Your “Status” as a person.       Status applies to all walks of life, even though it probably is more related to "upper class" – or those with more than others.

Regardless of where you are in life, your status is linked to how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.    If you are not happy with your status – or your situation, perhaps your attitude can be negative – more often than not it certainly isn't abounding in positive thinking or a positive mental attitude.

You know that saying "Every cloud has a silver lining" – bit hard to believe when you don't have a positive mental attitude.

This is the thing, whilst you are experiencing some negative impact on your life – you may well not see the positive in it.   It takes practice to turn something negative into a positive.  Changing your outlook from negative thinking to positive thinking doesnt happen over night.

When a negative event occurs – you may think or believe that you are deserving of this situation – it depicts your status in life.    The event reaffirms that you are were you are meant to be and you remain – fearful of changing or considering different ways to see things.  Your attitude remains – until one day somehow – you can relate to someone or you are introduced to life with a different certainty – and then you being to change your thinking to that of positive thinking and you begin to maintain a positive mental outlook.I’d like to share a personal story to illustrate turning a negative situation into a positive outcome – simply by changing how you see things – and creating a positive mental attitude..


A few years back, my Mum was diagnosed with Cancer – Lymphoma.   It was diagnosed early thankfully – however she still had to endure six months chemo therapy treatment, during which she lost weight, her sense of taste, her hair, her dignity and more.

My family are not a typical hang out together, stay in touch kind of family.  We all have different interests, and are busy – don’t get me wrong – when we need to be together or there for each other – we are.  Each of us has had different times when we have called on each other.  So whilst we aren’t in constant contact – we know we can count on each other.

Mum is doing well by the way, in remission.  However during that 6 months time frame, as a family we had to pull together, as Dad stayed by mum’s side.  Literally – whilst he was caring for her, he had a heart attack – triple bypass.  Plenty of reasons to do some non positive thinking during that time frame.

So here’s the positive to come out of that whole experience

  • We now know that as a family we can rely on each other to pull together and get along to work out solutions to problems in an amicable way.
  • We know that our parents love each other – a lot.
  • We know that my parents, and each and everyone of us, have a lot of support should something go wrong in our lives.
  • We got a few things sorted out financially.
  • All of the children, at different times, got to say the things that they may not of otherwise said to my parents.
  • We know that Mum is tough – and can be positive when she needs to be.

You may be thinking – ah well, you can do that, but our family couldn’t.  I say that no matter what happens – there is always a silver lining.  You just have to choose to see and experience things differently.

This is the thing, whilst you are experiencing some negative impact on your life – you may well not see the positive in it.   It takes practice to turn something negative into a positive.  Changing your outlook from negative thinking to positive thinking doesnt happen over night.


Here’s another example..

10 years ago, my Grandmother passed away.   She was 80 something, and as a grown family, her grandchildren didnt see her as often as they should – only Christmas.    Grandma, had 7 children – 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren when she passed.   We were scattered all over the place and didn’t really get together in a large group regularly.  In fact – hardly ever.

Funerals are pretty negative times.   I mean, generally you aren’t going to find a bunch of happy people at a funeral.  Not straight away anyway.   Yes it was painful, yes if was upsetting, distressing and all those things that go with funerals.

However, I chose to see positives in this event.  Yes it is sad to not have my grandmother around,  however we had many happy christmases, many happy memories.  Her funeral was a time when, as a family – we were reunited… I had not seen some of my cousins for a long time – they had kids of their own…    So a tragic upsetting time, taught us lessons in appreciation and expressing your thoughts – particularly positive thoughts – when you had the opportunity.

Perhaps having a positive mental attitude is something that comes with time and experience… just as having a negative mental attitude does.  It takes practice being aware of your whether you are thinking positive thoughts or negative thoughts.