How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

Last Updated: August 8, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Sandra Possing. Sandra Possing is a life coach, speaker, and entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sandra specializes in one-on-one coaching with a focus on mindset and leadership transformation. Sandra received her coaching training from The Coaches Training Institute and has seven years of life coaching experience. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

There are 22 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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A can-do attitude can help you in work, school, and social situations. If you look at situations in a positive light, you can open yourself up to new opportunities and challenges. Develop a sense of motivation by looking at every situation with a sense of enthusiasm. Keep your thoughts positive by using positive language and challenging negativity. Work on tweaking your lifestyle habits. Daily practices like meditation can help keep you grounded, granting you the energy to have a can-do attitude.

How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

Sandra Possing
Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 July 2020. Remind yourself one small misfire in an otherwise successful life is not worth beating yourself up.

  • See if there’s anything to be learned. Sometimes, setbacks are beyond your control. However, review how you acted in the situation. Is there anything you could have done differently? If so, try to see this as a learning opportunity rather than a waste of time and effort.
  • How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Sandra Possing
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 July 2020.

  • When you think poorly of yourself or a situation, pause. Think to yourself, “What is a better way to view this situation?”
  • For example, you have a lot of deadlines coming up at work. You think to yourself, “I can’t do this. It’s too much.” Pause and think, “What’s a better way to look at this?”
  • Figure out a better way to view this situation. Instead, think something like, “This will be a challenge, but I know I’m a capable person.”
  • How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Sandra Possing
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 July 2020. Gratitude is key to maintaining the positivity necessary for a can-do attitude. Gratitude can help with your overall life view, giving you the energy you need to say “yes” to more opportunities. [17] X Research source

      Start each morning silently saying “thank you” to yourself. You don’t need to have anything in particular to be grateful about, but practicing this mantra will put you in a positive mindset. [18] X Expert Source

    Sandra Possing
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 15 July 2020.

  • Keep a gratitude journal where you write down the specific things you’re thankful for. Remember to avoid generalizations. Do not say, “I’m grateful for my friends.” Instead say, “I’m grateful for how caring and supporting my friends are.” [19] X Research source
  • Try to even be grateful for negative situations. For example, think something like, “It’s too bad Claire and I broke up, but I’m grateful I got out of a relationship that wasn’t working.”
  • How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    People are attracted to other people who “feel good” to them. The people you most likely feel great around are the people who are easy to be with, who make you feel good about yourself, and who encourage you to be your best self. This “beingness” creates a positive environment in which you can excel.

    Without question, one of the most important elements in determining one’s success is his or her attitude. I’ve noticed it’s really easy to have a great attitude when things are going great. What about when you’re experiencing challenges? Your potentially positive attitude comes from controlling your mental real estate: your most valuable property is that which lies between your two ears.

    When you’re on top of the world, it seems as though everything goes right. This state of flow can be attributed to “like attracts like.” You may have heard the saying, “The best time to close a deal is when you’ve just closed a deal.” You’ve reached a high vibration or have gotten in a flow state that seemingly makes things happen. The opposite also seems to be true: you lose a client, then another, and then another. What you’re focusing on, you’re getting . positive or negative.

    If you want to begin to or continue to “trend up,” here are five excellent action steps to get you started:

    • Remember, “be, do, and have.” You must be positive and then do the right things to have (get) what you want. To be enthusiastic, you must decide to be enthusiastic and fake it ’til you make it.

    • Shift and the world shifts with you. Decide today is going to be an awesome day. Expect it to be awesome. Sit in a field of positive expectation and wonder what great thing is going to happen next.

    • When something less-than-fantastic happens, you can respond or react. Choose to respond in whatever way is appropriate and then press the reset button on your attitude.

    • Dedicate yourself daily (hourly if necessary) to expanding the scope of your positive attitude.

    • Daily: Think positive. Read positive. Listen positive. Talk positive. Affirm positive. Watch positive. Practice positive. Make yourself positive.

    To ensure your beingness and attitude are at their best, I suggest you read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hal emphasizes the importance of a morning routine that sets you up for success each and every day. Left to chance, perhaps you will have a good day, perhaps not. By creating a morning routine, you can set the odds heavily in your favor of having an epically fabulous day. Why not increase the odds you will have a fantastic day, full of energy, hope and enthusiasm?

    Success starts with attitude. Make sure yours is positive, expectant, upbeat, and infectious . and pretty much at all times.

    What success in life all boils down to is that it is “who you be” that factors more heavily into your success than “what you do.” Keep a keen eye on your being-ness, and you will find it easier to do the things you know you need to do, and as a result amazing things will show up in your life and business.

    “Thinking you can achieve something
    unleashes the force that allows it to

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Make Yourself Happy

    Your mind is a powerful thing. If you allow yourself to keep a positive state of mind, your attitude will follow.

    There are many ways to develop your positive attitude. Here are a few to help you get started.

    • Listen to your internal dialogue. When faced with a negative thought, turn it around to make it into a positive thought. (For example, “I am no good at this!” could be changed to, “Maybe this is not one of my strengths, but I’ve tried my hardest, and I am skilled in many other things.”)
    • Interact within positive environments and with positive people. Do things with people who reinforce you in a positive way. Go places that have special meanings and positive memories or associations.
    • Volunteer. Do something that will help others. This will give you a sense of fulfillment and make you feel happy inside.
    • Get pleasure out of the simple things in life. Laughter is one of the most powerful mood enhancers. Allow yourself to laugh.
    • Permit yourself to be loved. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone is loved.

    Your actions and reactions toward other individuals can determine the end result of the interaction. For example, if you are receptive and respectful to individuals’ opinions, they in return could be more open to what it is you have to say.

    Take responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings. No one can make you feel any way that you do not want to feel.

    Accept that no one is perfect and that includes you. Be proud of your accomplishments and the hard work you’ve done. Use the moments when you think you have not succeeded as learning experiences.

    Take a close look at your life. Examine your daily routine and the effects it has on your life and most importantly your attitude. Ask yourself these questions:

    • Do I have beneficial, positive relationships?
    • How do I start my day? Do I have a routine that promotes positive energy to keep a positive attitude all day long?
    • Am I aware of my state of mind and its changes? If I am in a negative state of mind, am I able to change it?
    • Is my living space a positive environment? If not, what can I do to make it a positive environment (examples: change the lighting, add color, and/or cleaning)?

    The Man Who Thinks He Can

    If you think you are beaten, you are;
    If you think you dare not, you don’t;
    If you want to win but think you can’t;
    It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
    If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
    For out of the world we find
    Success begins with a person’s will;
    It’s all in a state of mind.
    Life’s battles don’t always go
    To the stronger and faster human,
    But sooner or later the people who win
    Are the ones who think they can.

    Achievers are always looking for ways to become more successful; to reach goals more quickly and with greater assurance. And, for centuries authors have been sharing the factors that help anyone reach their goals.

    If you consider achievement and achievers, you hopefully would recognize that one piece of the goal achievement puzzle is attitude.

    In most goal achievement writing I’ve seen, attitude is always discussed, often downplayed and typically misunderstood in the entire goal achievement puzzle; three good reasons to explore the ‘right’ attitude!

    In this brief article, I will outline what the right attitude is (to support maximum goal achievement), why it is important to us both as individuals and leaders and how to develop it.

    So, what is the right attitude? I’m glad you asked.

    Consider the three P’s of the right goal achievement attitude:

    • Positive. This is where most of these conversations start . . . and stop. Prevailing wisdom and much research show that having a positive attitude improves the likelihood you will achieve your goal, speeds your progress and, perhaps most importantly, makes you more resilient – All of which help you overcome obstacles and remain persistent in pursuit of your goal.
    • Possibility. The key to possibility is belief. Do you believe you can succeed and reach the goal? Do you believe we can earn it? Do you believe the goal is possible? If you think it is possible for others, can you see it for ourselves? This is more than just an extension of positive thinking. After all, if you didn’t think the goal was achievable, how likely are you to work hard to achieve it?
    • Proactive. The right attitude isn’t about thinking and belief alone. The right attitude includes realizing that you must roll up your sleeves and do something.

    As you take action in the direction of your goals, you can build momentum, greater belief and enhance our attitude as we go.

    All of this sounds pretty good, I realize, but what makes this the “right” attitude; or, more practically, how does this attitude help the situation?

    • The right attitude enables the right behaviors – behaviors of persistence, discipline and creativity.
    • The right attitude enables right focus – staying on mentally target and alert for opportunities.
    • The right attitude enables right results – it improves the likelihood of your success in reaching your goals.

    Behaviors, focus and results. The right attitude can create all of them, both for ourselves and those we lead.

    You know what the right attitude looks like (and you realize it is more than “just” positive mental attitude) as it relates to goal achievement, you may be wondering how do you create it? Another great question . . . here are some immediate steps –

    1. Set the goal. This is the start. Before you can achieve a goal you must know what it is. This sets everything in motion. The size and nature of the goal will impact all three P’s described above.
    2. Involve those who will be achieving the goal. If you want others to believe in the goal, you must involve them as much as possible. The right attitude comes easier when participants own the goal.
    3. Create greater belief. Remind people of past successes; reward and recognize small successes on the achievement path. As you do this you create a momentum effect and the greater belief buoys the attitude.
    4. Get excited about the goal. Actually this is a misstatement. Don’t focus on the goal itself, get yourself and others excited about the benefits that come from achieving the goal. When you know why you are doing the (hard) work of moving toward a goal, you are creating the right attitude.
    5. Make the goals visual and vivid. Help people “see” the achievement of the goal. While this has already been mentioned, it is critical. Help your team make that picture as real as you can. Then, whenever possible, remind people of that vision.
    6. Keep the goal in front of you at all times. Do you have a list of your goals that you read often? Do you have team goals “written down” or visually available to people in multiple places? Do you open team meetings by reminding people of the goals? When we are reminded of goals we are excited about achieving, it manages our attitude and keeps is “right.”

    We all know the right attitude will make a difference. Now you know some reasons why, and how you can influence and nurture that attitude in yourself, and those you lead.

    Once you get the attitude right, you are fast-forwarding your progress towards achieving your goals!

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Free Book Preview: Unstoppable

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Your attitude is so much like an inner architect building resilience in your mindset.

    What’s at stake? Your outlook involves your perception of success (or failure) and has a big impact on the viability of your career. The great thing is, setting your attitude is your choice.

    See all the ways below that you can positively enhance your attitude:

    1. Find your inner coach.

    What you think about yourself, your abilities, financial gains (or losses) and your assessment of your ability to succeed becomes what you might actively live out. Actions follow thoughts.

    To be successful, choose your thoughts wisely and deliberately.

    When your attitude is unproductive and you need to shift from a negative thought pattern, draw upon your inner coach: Reprogram fearful, defeatist thinking toward thoughts charged with power, conviction and faith. Focus on your ability to meet your goals.

    Learn to coach yourself into a productive state of mind. This coaching can lead to forward movement and can be reignited anytime you face a setback.

    Think of your attitude with this equation: Energy = Motion. From this paradigm, attitude determines movement forward or back.

    2. Determine incentives.

    Discover what motivates you to take action. Think back to what has inspired you to make changes in your life and pursue your goals. Knowing why you do what you do is vital to your current motivation and passion.

    Is your incentive financial gain? Is it self-preservation, stability, anger or fear? Having clear incentives can instantly shift your attitude to a positive one.

    When you can motivate yourself toward a goal, your attitude becomes infused with your inner power, enthusiasm and passion. Your outlook on business is elevated. You walk faster, smile more and carry a posture of self-assuredness, all of which draws even more success your way.

    3. Set benchmarks.

    Select benchmarks to help you visualize goals so they seem to be right before you as you strive to develop your skills. To maintain an attitude of enthusiasm, create benchmarks of success and think about them intentionally and consistently.

    The more deeply you believe a goal will come to pass, the more likely it will be. This type of mental practice keeps your attitude positive and directed toward attainment of success. I believe you naturally strive toward what you visualize.

    4. Manage anxiety.

    When challenges surface in business, you might experience a loss of control over emotions and thoughts. To remain optimistic, discipline your mind to stay clear of catastrophic thoughts and the “what if” slippery slope of anxiety.

    Anxiety is simply fear projected forward. Remind yourself that a “what if” is not happening now: It is just a story. Focus on what you can control right now. Each thought is a seed you plant that programs your attitude and your subsequent behavior. To keep a great attitude, learn to focus your mind on solutions, not problems.

    5. Create a positive impression.

    To reach your peak potential on the climb to success, be driven and shrewd but also happy and enjoyable to work for and with. The heights of success attained grow the more infectious your energy appears to other people.

    Your personal vibe can either repel people or draw them in.

    When you carry an attitude of excitement and vigor, this transfers to those around you and increases business morale. If your attitude is gregarious, infectious and all about living life to its fullest, you seem to have unlimited potential: You positively motivate others to support your attempt to achieve even higher levels of success.

    6. Show your hunger.

    Be hungry for success. That way a natural eagerness will permeate your attitude. It will seem that you cannot wait to get to work and put that hunger into motion.

    This hunger becomes the emotional “speaker of the house.” This energy serves as the driving force behind your attaining your goals when you have 100 percent commitment to what you are doing.

    Total commitment cuts through doubt.

    7. Find the deeper meaning.

    Connecting with your spiritual empowerment system will nuture your soul — and your business. The deeper the connection you feel to the purpose of your business the more you will experience your higher life purpose as being expressed through your work.

    Your business is a place where you have the ability to impact others positively on a grand scale. This type of empowerment gives meaning to what you’re working for. You are able to see that your purpose is powerful and helpful in the lives of others, which further strengthens you to do what you do.

    8. Carry some lightheartedness.

    Find the humor and lighter side of life as you climb the ladder of success. This will decrease your stress. The less stress you feel, the more positive energy you will have available to support your hard work.

    To be lighthearted is a great skill that lightens up the business environment around you. It adds charisma (a highly attractive quality) to your persona and breeds trust and the desire of others to want to work with you and for you.

    9. Engage in physical activity.

    One of quickest ways to shift from a negative attitude is to change your physiology. If you are stressed, physical activity provides a quick release. This can help you cleanse a negative thought pattern and redirect your energy to seeing the positive.

    Exercise (or movement of any sort) propels you into an altered state of mind, letting you increase your optimism. Movement provides a natural stress release, ideal for continued motivation and mental clarity. If you can’t hit the gym on a stressful day, escape the office for a 15-minute walk to shift your outlook.

    10. Aim for self-mastery.

    To be successful, understand two things you have control over: your thoughts and feelings. If you are naturally more pessimistic, take responsibility for consciously selecting your attitude.

    Exude positivity in your work ethic and in your interactions with others. When you master your inner world, you can dominate your outer world.

    In the business world where every person has the same access to strive to build their resources, talent, finances, technology and the like, a person is often successful because of determination, resilience and attitude.

    In business, attitude is everything. If you believe you can succeed, you very well might. Your attitude about success can become your self-fulfilling prophesy. Choose to be a victor.

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    Your attitude determines your altitude. “Succesful people don’t just drift off to the top. Getting there requires focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen,” says American author and entrepreneur Jack Canfield. And he couldn’t be more accurate.

    So, don’t let old habits hold you back. Start building these simple yet essential habits for a happier and more productive life:

    • Create a morning ritual. Maybe you like to go for a run. Or, maybe you like to meditate or enjoy a healthy breakfast. Whatever it is that makes you feel supercharged, kickstart your day with that habit. Establishing a meaningful morning ritual helps you start your day on a positive, proactive note. Having a structured start to your day instead of rushing to make up for the lost time also helps eliminate stress, mental fatigue and enhances your productivity. Don’t know where to begin? Check out the morning rituals of some of the most successful people to get some inspiration!
    • Follow the 80/20 rule.The Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule means that in any situation, 20% of the tasks yield 80% of the results. So you can maximize productivity by investing most of your time and energy on those specific tasks that will create the biggest impact. Once you’ve finished those tasks, you can focus on other activities that are on your to-do list.

  • Read, read, read. Reading books is a great way to gain knowledge and stimulate creativity. Immersion reading also improves focus and has a calming effect similar to meditation. Moreover, reading before bedtime can help you sleep better. Non-fiction books, in particular, are an excellent tool to broaden horizon, develop new ideas and seek motivation. Additionally, they also offer actionable advice on how to overcome all kinds of challenging situations through real-life examples.
  • Learn to singletask.Only 2% people in the world can multitask successfully. While there’s no harm in occasional multitasking, constant juggling between tasks limits your focus and contributes to mental clutter by making it difficult for your brain to filter out irrelevant information. Moreover, according to a study conducted by Stanford University, heavy multitasking lowers efficiency and may impair your cognitive control. This is why you should try to single-task as much as possible. Make a list of things you need to accomplish in a day. Start with what’s most important and make your way down the list, completing one task at a time.
  • Appreciate more. French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once said, “we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget how fortunate you are. Practicing gratitude is a great way to create positivity, reduce stress and improve your physical health. How can you cultivate this healthy habit? Start a gratitude journal, volunteer, take time to appreciate your loved ones and remind yourself of at least one thing you’re grateful for every day before going to bed. The more you appreciate the little joys of life, the happier you’ll be.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” said American author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn. This is precisely why you should carefully consider who you’re spending time with. Let go of relationships that bring you down instead of lifting you up. And spend time with people who know how to nurture and share happiness. Since happiness is contagious, it’s one of the easiest ways to create positivity in your life.
  • Make time for exercise. Other than improving your physical health, working out regularly pumps up creativity and enhances your cognitive skills. It’s also an effective way to build endurance and get energized. And if you’re still not convinced, exercising also elevates mood by boosting the production of endorphins – hormones that act as natural anti-depressants. Still need more reasons to hit the gym?
  • Master the art of listening. Effective communication is crucial when it comes to cultivating personal and professional relationships. And listening is central to communication. Pay attention to what others have to say. It’ll not only make others feel valued but will also help you understand them better and gain a fresh perspective. Don’t try to monopolize the conversation or fake attention while your mind is busy figuring out what pizza you should order for dinner. Listen to what they have to say and what they really mean and take note of the non-verbal cues as well. The more you listen the more you’ll learn. Here’s a handy guide that can help you become a good listener.
  • Go for a social media detox. The digital world has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. The average person has five social media accounts and spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes every day on checking social media. Research shows that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. Take time to cut back on social media to reduce stress and mental clutter. Switch off your phone and laptop for a few hours every day to improve your mood and reconnect with the world around you.
  • Invest in self-care. Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good. Listen to music, learn a new skill, take a long bubble bath, or prepare a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!
  • Developing these habits require determination, oodles of patience and constant effort. Maybe it’ll take just a few weeks or maybe more than a year, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to build the habit as long as you don’t give up.

    Now pull up your socks, it’s time to win at life!

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor your attitude and its impact on your work performance, relationships and everyone around you.

    I generally start my workshops and seminars by asking a fundamental question: What attitude did you bring into this meeting? Often, this brings puzzled looks. In truth, people generally don’t have a high level of attitude awareness. They’ll know if they are hungry or if their feet hurt, but they usually don’t have a good handle on their attitude. That is a mistake because attitude is everything. It governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you.

    We all have a choice. We can choose an inner dialogue of self-encouragement and self-motivation, or we can choose one of self-defeat and self-pity. It’s a power we all have. Each of us encounters hard times, hurt feelings, heartache, and physical and emotional pain. The key is to realize it’s not what happens to you that matters; it’s how you choose to respond.

    Your mind is a computer that can be programmed. You can choose whether the software installed is productive or unproductive. Your inner dialogue is the software that programs your attitude, which determines how you present yourself to the world around you. You have control over the programming. Whatever you put into it is reflected in what comes out.

    Many of us have behavior patterns today that were programmed into our brains at a very tender age. The information that was recorded by our brains could have been completely inaccurate or cruel. The sad reality of life is that we will continue to hear negative information, but we don’t have to program it into our brains.

    The loudest and most influential voice you hear is your own inner voice, your selfcritic. It can work for or against you, depending on the messages you allow. It can be optimistic or pessimistic. It can wear you down or cheer you on. You control the sender and the receiver, but only if you consciously take responsibility for and control over your inner conversation.

    Habitual bad attitudes are often the product of past experiences and events. Common causes include low self-esteem, stress, fear, resentment, anger and an inability to handle change. It takes serious work to examine the roots of a harmful attitude, but the rewards of ridding ourselves of this heavy baggage can last a lifetime.

    Here are 10 strategies from my attitude tool kit to improve your attitude:

    1. Self-Coaching Through Affirmations

    Affirmations repeated several times each day, every day, serve to reprogram your subconscious with positive thinking. An affirmation is made up of words charged with power, conviction and faith. You send a positive response to your subconscious, which accepts whatever you tell it. When done properly, this triggers positive feelings that, in turn, drive action.

    2. Self-Motivation Through Discovering Your Motives

    Discover what motivates you—what incites you to take action to change your life. Basic motives include love, self-preservation, anger, financial gain and fear. Self-motivation requires enthusiasm, a positive outlook, a positive physiology (walk faster, smile, sit up), and a belief in yourself and your God-given potential.

    3. The Power of Visualization

    Studies of the psychology of peak performance have found that most great athletes, surgeons, engineers and artists use affirmations and visualizations either consciously or subconsciously to enhance and focus their skills. Nelson Mandela has written extensively on how visualization helped him maintain a positive attitude while being imprisoned for 27 years. “I thought continually of the day when I would walk free. I fantasized about what I would like to do,” he wrote in his autobiography. Visualization works well to improve attitude.

    4. Attitude Talk for Positive Internal Dialogue

    Attitude talk is a way to override your past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with a conscious, positive internal voice that helps you face new directions. Your internal conversation—that little voice you listen to all day long—acts like a seed in that it programs your brain and affects your behavior. Take a closer look at what you are saying to yourself.

    5. The Power of Words—WOW

    Once released to the universe, our words cannot be taken back. Learn the concept of WOW—watch our words. What we speak reflects what is already in our hearts based upon all the things we have come to believe about ourselves. If we find ourselves speaking judgmental and disparaging things about our circumstances or those around us, we know the condition of our hearts needs to change. You can create a direct path to success by what you say.

    6. The Power in a Positive Greeting

    When people ask me how I am doing, I say, “Super-fantastic.” Most people enjoy working and living with others who try to live life for what it is—a beautiful gift.

    7. Enthusiasm: Vital Tool for Staying Motivated

    Enthusiasm is to attitude what breathing is to life. Enthusiasm enables you to apply your gifts more effectively. It’s the burning desire that communicates commitment, determination and spirit. Enthusiasm means putting yourself in motion. It’s an internal spirit that speaks through your actions from your commitment and your belief in what you are doing. It is one of the most empowering and attractive characteristics you can have.

    8. Connecting to Your Spiritual Empowerment

    The ultimate level of human need extends into the spiritual realm. Just as we feed our bodies in response to our primary need to survive physically, we need to feed our spirit because we are spiritual beings. Many people find powerful and positive motivation in their faith. I happen to be one of them.

    9. Lighten Up Your Life with Humor

    Humor is a powerful motivator. The more humor and laughter in your life, the less stress you’ll have, which means more positive energy to help you put your attitude into action. There are also health benefits to lightening up.

    10. Exercising Will Help Keep You Motivated

    One of the best ways to move to a more positive and motivated frame of mind is to exercise. A regular exercise routine can provide relatively quick positive feedback in the form of weight loss, muscle development and a sense of doing something positive for yourself.

    Seek your personal and professional success by using the tools in this attitude tool kit. It is no secret that life seems to reward us most when we approach the world with a positive attitude.

    Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2009 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).

    Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.

    Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

    With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

    People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in lifeCommon sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.

    According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,

    “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”

    Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.

    Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.

    Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffett recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls, the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.

    Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.

    Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

    If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?

    Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?

    Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.

    Don’t complain when things don’t go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.

    Bringing It All Together

    By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the right side of the chart above.

    Do you have a growth mindset? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

    Life is full of its ups and downs. One day, you may feel like you have it all figured out. Then, in a moment’s notice, you’ve been thrown a curve ball. You’re not alone in these feelings. Everyone has to face their own set of challenges. Learning how to overcome challenges will help you stay centered and remain calm under pressure.

    Everyone has their own preferences for how to face a challenge in life. However, there are a few good tips and tricks to follow when the going gets tough. Take your pick from the following list!

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in lifePhoto by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

    10 Ways to Overcome Challenges in Life

    1. Make A Plan

    While you don’t know what is going to happen in the future, you can always plan ahead. Look at the patterns in your life and see what challenges you’ve struggled with. Assess the optimal outcomes and make a plan for how you can achieve them.

    If you work somewhere and can anticipate the types of challenges you may face, then you can plan ahead. This is the same for students in school. If a challenge is time management, then you can learn and plan for calendar management, for example.

    2. Know You’re Not Alone

    Every person in this world has their low points. Some may handle or even hide it better than others. But the truth is, whatever you are going through, there are others who have been through it too. You’re not alone. Try to reach out to your community and network. Speak your feelings and express your concerns in all settings of your life.

    3. Ask For Help

    You’re not alone, so you can find help. There’s no need to feel ashamed for asking for help. Whether you choose to rely on a loved one, a stranger, a mentor, or a friend, there are people who want to help you succeed.

    4. Feel Your Feelings

    By masking your feelings, they are not going to go away. Rather, feelings become trapped energy and can even have negative health consequences when they are ignored. Take some time to feel what you feel. This could come in the form of meditation. Or, if you’d rather write down what you feel, writing can be a therapeutic and cathartic experience.

    When you feel and share your feelings, you may also be able to see your situation in a new light. This exercise could lead you to coming up with novel solutions and overcoming any challenge at hand.

    5. Accept Support

    Asking for help is only one side of the coin. On the other side of the coin, you have to be open and willing to accept support. People who come to your aid truly do care about you. Be open to receiving help when you need it.

    6. Help Others

    The old adage goes, “What you give is what you get.” If you’ve been through a situation or have advice for someone you know who is going through a tough time, be sure to help out! Helping others not only benefits them, but it can also help you feel happier yourself.

    7. Think Big

    It can be easy to let yourself think small because of the fear of failure, or even the fear of making a decision. But, to accomplish great things in life, you have to be open to taking risks. With whatever challenges may arise, always think and dream big. That way, you will achieve more than what you could have ever imagined. Try not to let your thoughts get in your own way.

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in life

    8. Positive Mindset

    What you think becomes your reality. Train your mind to think positively. This will take both time and practice. It begins with mental awareness. You can practice awareness through mindfulness techniques and meditation. When you get good at acknowledging your thoughts and letting them pass, you can stop negative thoughts in their tracks.

    9. Don’t Give Up

    When a challenge arises, be it a big test in school or an upcoming running race, don’t give up! Persistence is a huge key to overcome challenges. Giving up means that you will neither overcome the challenge nor learn from it. Power through challenges by asking for support, feeling your feelings, and making a plan to work through it.

    10. Work Smart, Not Hard

    Generally, there is more than one way to get something done. However, there’s always just one optimal way, or best way of doing it. To work smarter rather than harder, start by working backwards. Outline and define your goal. Then, plan the process for how to get there. Perform research to see how others who have come before you have done it. Take count of your own skills and ideas for how you may be able to do it better. Then, stick to your path and get to work!

    How to develop a can do attitude and succeed in lifePhoto by madison lavern on Unsplash

    A 4-Step Method for Overcoming Challenges

    Want to try a technique for overcoming challenges that Buddha himself once taught? This four-step method could help you a lot!

    1. Accept and Let Go: Accept where you are now and what you have. This is your life, at this time. While it’s temporary, accepting it will help you to let go of stress, anxiety, and fear. Meditation is one of the best ways to learn and practice acceptance.
    2. Observe and Decide: When you face a particular challenge, take a step away from your feelings to make a plan. While it’s important to still feel your feelings, when deciding how to act, you want to be objective as possible.
    3. Face Fears and Act: Taking action is one of the biggest steps in overcoming challenges. It’s likely that a big part of whatever you’re facing feels like a challenge because you have an underlying fear. Try to recognize and define what you fear in the situation. Then, you can act to mitigate that fear.
    4. Practice Gratitude: Ultimately, we tend to exist in our comfort zones. So, when something new happens or is presented, we may feel like it’s hard to deal with. By practicing gratitude, you can reframe your definition of a challenge. You will also be more happy overall in your present moment.

    The Bottom Line

    Learning how to deal with challenges takes time, persistence, and a positive attitude. No matter your life situation, the hard times will happen. But, with the right mindset and practice, you will be able to overcome them everytime and grow in the process!