“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say," said American actor and screenwriter W.C. Fields. Your attitude, your general outlook on life, largely determines your experience of reality. It affects how you perceive others, and how they see you. Positive people are motivated to pursue worthy ambitions and keep their eyes focused on what matters most in any moment. Several attributes of a positive personality can increase the value of your personal development in some way.


Optimism is an attitude of positive expectancy. An optimist operates under the assumption that whatever challenges she may face will eventually result in favorable consequences. Christine Carter, Ph.D., director of the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley, said "Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two can practically be equated." Optimists are proactive. They see the "up-side" to every situation and create the results they desire through sheer tenacity. An optimist will persevere through the hardships that she often must endure before reaching success. A study entitled "Physical Health Following a Cognitive– Behavioral Intervention," published in 1999 by Gregory McClellan Buchanan, Ph.D., found that having an optimistic attitude even improved the health of volunteers over an eight-week period. Optimism is a self-fulfilling attitude--you see what you look for and what you focus on begins to increase.


Isaac D'Israeli, famed British scholar, once wrote "Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius." Enthusiasm is a sense of intense, purposeful passion held toward any object or topic. Enthusiasm inspires you to cultivate your abilities, to move forward despite uncertainty, to continually transcend obstacles which are placed in the way of progress. An enthusiastic person is driven. He is not captive to inhibition, because his will to succeed is always more powerful than his fear.


Kindness is a desire to help others without any evident promise of reward. However, the act of doing something for someone else benefits both giver and receiver on many levels. The act of giving removes your attention from worry and places it on how you can positively affect the world around you. Kindness repairs injury and removes contradictory emotions like hate, contempt and resentment. Kindness, in essence, brings people together.