It is often said that to live a positive life, you need to surround yourself with positive things and people.  But the big question is how can you expect to live a positive life if you are surrounded by negativity?

Besides finding a process or path to help clear negativity, there are other simple yet powerful changes you can make to support that effort. For example, you didn’t just pluck those negative beliefs and emotions out of thin air. You picked them up from everyone around you, especially when you were young. Your parents, siblings, teachers, and close community all had a huge impact on you. Even now as an adult, the people you surround yourself with have a tremendous influence on how you feel and think and behave. You may not have had the choice back then to choose your family and teachers as a child, but now you do have choice. If you really want to flourish, you need to choose the people you spend time with carefully.

Attitudes and thought patterns are contagious like a flu bug. Even if you have a really strong immune system, hanging out with people who have the flu bug will eventually wear you down. You’ll get sick too. The good news is that positive, flourishing attitudes are also contagious, at least to people who are open to them. One of the best moves you can make is to cull out the negative, energy – draining people in your life and replace them with people who see and live possibility. What about the people you can’t just cut out of your life? You can at least limit your time with them and be particularly vigilant when you’re with them so you don’t pick up their germs!

Another basic action you can take is to remove the negativity in your environment. Take stock of the TV shows you watch and the news feeds you read. What’s on the radio as you drive to work? There’s a difference between staying informed and being bombarded with gloom and doom. For some reason, current mass media seems particularly interested in failure rather than success. If you’re not careful, you spend most of the day getting blasted with everything that is wrong in the world and everyone who has failed.

It’s a very skewed vision of life that certainly doesn’t support a flourishing mindset. Make sure you aren’t flooding your unconscious with that vision.

Also, pay attention to the kinds of conversations you get into with your co-workers and friends. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Gossip and office intrigue can be pretty seductive but they won’t contribute to the new mindset you’re trying to create. Take a look at the books on your bookshelf. Are they the kinds of books that feed your attitude, make you stronger, and encourage you?

As a first step in adopting a flourishing mindset, release everything on every level that would sabotage your efforts! It is not an easy feat, but with sheer determination you can slowly unclog your life with the negative vibes and invite the positive ones.