If we surveyed people who know you well, people who live with you or work with you, would they describe you as a positive person? Do you gripe and complain a lot? Do you imagine all the bad things that might happen, and focus on the dark side of life?

Staying positive in a negative world requires an attitude check-up. Are you mostly positive, mostly negative, or half and half? Be honest and evaluate your attitude.

What are the things in your world which tend to bring you down? I call them “negative pulls.” I think it’s very helpful if you make a list of those things. That list might include those co-workers who get to you, your manager, or if you’re a manager, employees. And then there’s all the other people in our world, whether customers or friends or family. People who we interact with regularly affect us directly.

Our environment can have a strong negative impact on us. That, in addition to a heavy workload or an impossible schedule, can start to ruin a good day. And then, of course, there are personal problems. Perhaps you don’t feel good or maybe you’re worried about a sick child. It could be financial worries.

When you identify the things in your world that tend to destroy your positive attitude, the next thing to do is to pray about each of those things, each of those people. You know, nothing is too big, too small, or too insignificant for God. He wants you to bring every detail of your life to him in prayer, confess how you feel about it, and ask him to give you his viewpoint.

Let me say again, I’m not talking about denial. Certainly it is often necessary to confront the negatives of your life, to embrace the pain and not run from it. But if you dwell on the negatives continually, you won’t be healed. Somewhere along the way you must learn to turn your thoughts and heart toward God’s goodness rather than living in the pain of the past.

Staying positive in a negative world means learning to accept what goes with your territory. There are some negatives inherent in any job or situation, and you should expect it and not take it personally. Staying positive means getting control of your self-talk and not allowing yourself to feed negative junk into your head. Staying positive takes the power of God’s Spirit within you, but if you’re a Christian, it is not mission impossible. And it will give you a strong testimony in your world if you are a positive person.