How optimistic and upbeat are you? Do you think like a proton and stay positive? Oh, I have a PMA, too: a positive mental attitude. I am positive that I am mental, and have an attitude. Heh. You claim that wonderful and worthy things have happened in your life because of all of your positive thinking? Not so fast, sweet friends. I’ll wager that you took plenty of sound and secure actions along the way. You know what they say: No one ever drowned in sweat.

Yes, yes. I hear y’all. Positive thinking will certainly let you do everything better than negative thinking ever will. A confident, cheerful mental attitude is the most powerful force in the world; but not much good without decisive and definite action. Relaxing and visualizing your wonderful life all day long will not make it magically materialize, no matter how hard you try. There is no hocus-pocus force in the universe that will wondrously make events happen if you don’t lift your pretty little finger. Fun fact: You can’t get to the top of the mountain without climbing it first.

People have a tendency to try to make you feel guilty if you don’t think happy, hopeful, rosy thoughts all day long, and may even insinuate that this is the reason things may not be going well for you. Great: You found a new weapon to beat yourself up with. No, no. That kind of useless guilt will do nothing but erode your already fragile self-esteem.

So how do we effect change? Pick a task, and perform. Do not fret about perfect results. Just give your best. Don’t forget to give yourself an achievable deadline and realistic goals, while you’re at it. Whatever you do, get some rest. Without sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.

Observe the words you choose. Try saying “I can,” “It’s possible,” and “I will get this done” more often. Read something inspirational or watch a movie that stirs you to action. How is your posture? Are you sitting and standing with your back straight. Adopt your best power pose, please. Nice and tall, y’all.

Wishful thinking can make us focus on visualizing at the expense of actually doing. Think you’ll get a job offer by simply fantasizing about a better job? Okay, let’s try it. Close your eyes and imagine that you are a millionaire. There you are at the tippy top of the corporate ladder nursing a cocktail. Can you see yourself? So are you rich yet? I know: You’re one step away from being rich. All you need now is money. And, please, don’t go broke trying to look rich. Act your wage.

Want true results? Be happy to just be vertical. Lol. Start consciously choosing your actions. Spend at least five minutes doing what you’ve been avoiding all day long. Get out and spend some time with Nature. What’s your preference: mountain air or a campfire perhaps? It has been scientifically proven to improve your well-being. Of all the paths you take in this life, make sure some of them are dirt. G’head, wander where the WiFi is weak. Think outside: no box necessary.

And whatever you do, sweet friends, keep laughing. Laughter is kind of like a windshield wiper. It won’t stop the rain; but it will surely keep you going. Did you know that, when you think about something that makes you happy, your body actually releases endorphins – that “feel-good” hormone? So try thinking and talking about what you truly want, and how to bring it about. And don’t leave out the part about actually trying to get it.

The best news is that being more optimistic is a learnable trait. Haven’t got what you want yet? Keep looking for ways to get it. If the situation is simply too difficult, please try to find the good in it, despite how much of a setback it may be. Perhaps you are learning a valuable lesson. Ask yourself: What have I learned from this experience?

The truth is that things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. Let’s be honest: Doing nothing is hard; you never know when you’re finished. Lol. But please remember: Somewhere someone is happy simply because you exist.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at