I’ll bet you’ve known people who always seemed to have a positive outlook, but have you tried to define it? It’s called positivity. Positivity is the practice of being positive of having an optimistic attitude.

Some people seem to have this ability from an early age, but it can be an acquired characteristic. Of course, like some many things it takes some effort, but it takes less than feeling sorry for yourself. Positivity is a great gift to be able to find the good in bad or negative situations, but it is a gift you can give yourself, if you choose to do so.

Many people, when they encounter a stumbling block or an obstacle in their path (personal or professional), become discouraged and quit. However, successful people learn how to turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones on their path forward to achieve their goals. Let’s use just one famous example to illustrate this point.

On December 9, 1914, Thomas Edison's laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey were almost entirely destroyed by fire. Thirteen buildings were totally destroyed, and overnight Edison lost two million dollars’ (~$50 million in today’s dollars) worth of equipment and the records of most of his life's work.

Many people would be consumed with grief and despair but as he walked around the charred embers of so many of his hopes and dreams, Edison, now sixty-seven years old, reportedly said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew."

Edison’s reaction to his laboratories being destroyed gives an insight into why he was successful in life. With the help of many people, he began again and within one year his rebuilding efforts generated ten million dollars in revenue.

The ability to see the benefits in bad situations will stand you in good stead in every type of endeavor, whether it is sales or manufacturing, art or aerospace, your personal or professional life. Sometimes, this is a difficult thing to do. And sometimes, it can take quite a while to manage - but it is manageable.

Certainly, I don't mean you should pretend things are wonderful when, in fact, they are not. However, if you can accept pain and disappointment as a part of life, if you can see it for what it is and then move past it, if you can look disaster in the face and call it what it is - and then find a some value or blessing in it - you'll be moving toward positivity or making the best of bad times.

Remember, positivity is the practice of being positive or at least having an optimistic attitude. Positive thinking is when we consciously cultivate positivity in our minds so that we think we can get through anything. And it’s been scientifically proven to improve your work life, physical and mental health, and relationships.

Think about it…