Psychologist William James once wrote, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude.”
Since then, scientists studying the nature of consciousness have confirmed this observation many times over: Our thoughts matter tremendously. They aren’t sealed in a jar in our heads; they are active agents of change, shaping our lives for good or ill. “The power of positive thinking” is more than a catchy book title or a feel-good phrase uttered by television talk-show hosts. Turns out that maintaining a steady flow of optimistic, upbeat thoughts is imperative for anyone who wants to succeed. That includes people hoping to attract romance into their lives. Consider these two hypothetical approaches:
Sandra arises each morning and dreads being “alone” another day. Her apartment feels empty without a companion. She thinks with regret about past failures and lost romantic opportunities. She remembers the good-looking guy at work who asked for her phone number yesterday—but feels afraid to hope for a call. I don’t know how much more disappointment I can take, she thinks. She scarfs down a jelly donut for breakfast (though she isn’t really hungry) and forces herself to look presentable for work (though her heart isn’t it). At the end of the day, some co-workers invite her to a local comedy club. She declines, preferring to go home and watch TV. Her last thought before she falls asleep is, When is it going to be my turn to fall in love?
Robert, by contrast, rises early for a workout before heading to the office. He finds excuses to strike up conversations with others at the gym. He thinks that chance connections and synchronicities that might lead to meeting someone can happen anywhere, anytime. At his favorite bagel shop, he jokes and flirts with the cashier. He is captain of his company’s co-ed softball team, and emphasizes the “co-ed” part of the roster when recruiting new members. On the wall above his desk there is a sticky note that reads, “Carpe diem—Seize the day.” His last thought before going to sleep is, I’m one day closer to having what I want.
These sketches illustrate opposite ends of the thought spectrum. But here’s the point: Which of these two attitudes is more attractive? By now the answer should be obvious. To make sure your attitude is attractive…
Pay attention to your thoughts.
To assess the health of your attitude, listen to your mental dialogue. Remember that you are the boss over what goes on in your mind. Steer the conversation toward hopeful, positive expectations.
Be mindful of what you say.
Your thoughts are like an arrow made of positive or negative intention. Words are the bow that fires them off into the world. And they will land where you aim.
Act as if…
Suppose you knew that today you’d meet someone special. How would it change the way you behave? Make a list of those things—then live every day that way.
In your quest for love, adjust your attitude upward, remain persistently positive, and expect the best. Then get ready to experience it.