Compete Every Day
Compete Every Day

Keeping a Positive Attitude During Trying Times

Email sent: Jul 31, 2020 1:45pm

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Be addicted to bettering yourself

Dear -,

How do you maintain a positive attitude when everything around you is negative or going to shit? How do you get past the bad situations in life that occur and focus on the good? 

First, let’s address the big elephant in the room. 

Your attitude is a choice. The choice you make, no matter what the circumstances are, is yours and yours alone. But how do you maintain a positive attitude when things are terrible when things are not going your way and you just feel awful?

Here are the tips and tricks that I’ve implemented in my own life.

My wife tells me (sometimes annoyed) that I’m always in a good mood. I assure you, that’s not the case. I have my bad days – you know, those days where I can’t shake a feeling, or thought.

It’s like every time I turn a corner, something whispers in the back of my head as a reminder to shift my focus back to what was originally pissing me off. What I’ve found by applying these following steps is that I can quickly course-correct where my attitude is, versus where it should be.

First thing I do, I admit it.

Outloud, for myself to hear. I admit when I’m having a bad attitude and openly acknowledge it. What separates this action from others is that I force myself to follow it up with something I am thankful for. For instance, “I’m very upset about this situation, but I am thankful that it’s an onetime deal and I don’t have to repeatedly deal with it.” Perhaps someone burned you, but the upside is that you were burned now instead of later when the consequences could have been far worse. Finding the one sliver of light in a bad situation can help things. Share what’s upsetting you. Get it out, so you can get it off your chest.

Two, set a timer. 

This creates a window that you’re going to allow yourself to be upset – and then be done with it. Author Hal Elrod of The Miracle Morning talks about his experiences with this. When he was in sales, everytime he would have bad conversation or lose out on an account, Hal would take out his phone and set a timer for 5 minutes. He could scream, curse, hit a punching bag, and do whatever he wanted for five minutes.

But as soon as that timer went off, he was done. He forced his mindset to shift from the situation upsetting him towards a new one. He understand that a good attitude or bad attitude wasn’t going to change anything, so he might as well have a good attitude.

So create a timer, set a window for yourself to get it out of your system. It can be a five, ten, or twenty minute window, but when that timer goes off, be done with it.

Third, once you get that timer out, once your timer alarm has gone off, shift your perspective forward.

What’s next?

There’s a reason your windshield is bigger than your rear view mirror, it’s because your eyes are supposed to be forward on everything that’s before you, all of the life, all the goals, all the dreams that are before you, not what’s behind you, not the stuff that you’ve already passed.

Shift your perspective from the bad situation in the rearview mirror, to the potentially great situations ahead of you.

That’s seriously it.

Three simple steps, but like any new habit, simple doesn't mean "easy." It takes time to train your mind to respond this way. But think about how much time and energy we invest in being upset about situations completely out of our control – and what we could have used that same time and energy to do instead that moved us onward.

One other note that I’d love to share is this: remember whom you keep company with. Our community group page here is awesome because it’s a group of ambitious people encouraging each other towards success.

None of us are perfect. We aren’t always happy, and we are not always going to be right. But we’re optimistic and working towards a greater good. I'd love if you joined us here.


Finish your week strong today Competitor, I'm cheering for you.

- Jake

Read this...

...insightful email by Ryan Holiday with "the best career advice" he ever received. It aligns directly in with our talk about "embracing the process." Read the full post here.

Listen to...

...last week's Compete Every Day Podcast with CrossFit Games legend Jason Khalipa. Jake & Jason discuss leadership, growth mindset, & the importance of being present in his AMRAP mentality. Listen to the Champ here.

Try this... new deadlift challenge starts tomorrow. The Compete Every Day community is lifting every day, building upon the day before. To make sure you find out, hop on our monthly Challenge list here. 

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