Keep on the Sunny Side is a popular American song originally written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn and popularized in a 1928 recording by the Carter Family. It was recorded again in 1964 by the Carter Family with special guest vocalist Johnny Cash. Then, in 1974, Mr. Cash recorded a version for his own album. Finally, in 2003 it was recorded again on June Carter Cash’s album. This song has been around for a very long time, well over a century, and yet its message is timeless. The first verse and the following chorus go like this…
There’s a dark and a troubled side of life;
There’s a bright and a sunny side, too;
Tho’ we meet with the darkness and strife,
The sunny side we also may view.
Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life;
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life.
What we learn from these simple, yet profound lyrics, is that there will always be hardship and pain in life just as there will always be joy and comfort. The wisdom of this song also teaches us that whether we are experiencing hardship or joy, it is always within our power to have a positive attitude. So, why does having a positive mindset help? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic you’ll experience the following benefits…
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Furthermore, according to Suzanne Glover, a specialist in the field of personal development, your positive thinking will help you to achieve these benefits…
Benefit #1:Motivation – When you have a positive attitude, you’ll benefit from motivation. That motivation will help you accomplish things and reach the goals that you have in life.
Benefit #2: Problems Disappear – The problems in your life suddenly turn into opportunities, and these opportunities allow you the ability to grow and learn – simply because you have a positive attitude.
Benefit #3: Better Self Esteem – You’ll also find that you will enjoy higher self-esteem. You’ll begin believing in yourself, and you’ll realize that you are capable of doing great things, thus leading to higher success.
Benefit #4: Stress Elimination – When you develop a positive attitude, stress elimination is a huge benefit. Since you think in a more positive way, you’ll eliminate the stress from your life that comes from thinking negative thoughts (because negative thoughts actually have a negative physical effect on your body.)
Benefit #5: Great Health – Stress can cause many health problems, and when you lower stress levels, you’ll find that you are much healthier both physically and mentally. By maintaining a positive attitude, you will change your cellular chemistry to become “addicted” to happiness, which makes your body release more “positive” chemicals, making it easier and easier to stay positive.
Benefit #6: Creative Thinking – Another benefit of having a positive attitude is that you will begin getting involved in creative thinking. Once you deem obstacles as problems needed to be solved, you’ll find creative solutions to anything that comes up in life.
Benefit #7: More Friends – People don’t enjoy hanging out with people who are always negative; your friends should be people who make you happy! When you become more positive and your attitude reflects this, you’ll find that more people will want to be around you simply because of your contagious positive attitude.
Benefit #8: Energy – You’ll quickly find that your positive attitude benefits you by giving your more energy. Why? Because positive thoughts have a higher “happier” vibration – which creates more energy. And, the more energy you have, the more you’ll be able to accomplish in all spheres of your life.
Benefit #9: Achieving Success – With a great attitude, you’ll find that achieving success is much easier, and it becomes exciting and fun too. Determination to succeed, and a drive for success become fundamental parts of your personality, and a hunger for success leads you to where you want to be.
Benefit #10: Respect and Influence – A positive attitude is going to benefit you by bringing more respect from others, thus resulting in increased levels of influence over those around you. In fact, you may even find that people around you start developing a positive attitude, as positivity is undeniably contagious.
There are endless benefits to being positive and from the above, it could easily be agreed upon that if more of us had a “sunny side of life” viewpoint, our world would be a much better place. I for one believe it’s possible to adopt positivity and am willing to bet that if we all follow these five simple steps, together we can become the change we want to see in ourselves, our work, our family and the world.
1. Believe: First, we must believe that our positive attitude will make a difference in our own lives and the lives of everyone around us. Do you believe?
2. Remind: Set up reminders for yourself to be positive. Plaster post-its everywhere. For example…POSITIVITY = MORE ENERGY, POSITIVITY = RESPECT AND INFLUENCE, POSITIVITY = GREAT HEALTH, etc. The options are endless and can be personalized to adapt to your individual goals and aspirations.
3. Practice: As is said, “repetition is the mother of skill”. Practice your positive mindset on your team members, over and over and over again. Focus on the positive aspects of your day rather than dwelling on the negative. A genuine smile or a kind word is a good place to start.
4. Recognize: Notice the effect that your positive attitude is having on your life and everyone around you. Expect to see great things happening and use your impact to fuel further changes!
5. Cultivate Gratitude: Fear and negativity cannot live in a heart and mind filled with gratitude. When you are grateful for the things in your life, your natural state and mood is that of joy, appreciation and positivity. So, take a minute to think about, and then write down 3 things you are grateful for. It could be as simple as being grateful for living in a free country or the next breath you take. What about your family? Are you healthy? What do you like about the people you work with? Is there a time in your life you remember where someone really helped you out? In reality, there are so many reasons to be grateful, yet we often get too “busy” to remember. So give yourself this little gift and remember, there is a “sunny side of life” every day and in everything around you.
When you recognize the effects your positive mindset is having your BELIEF in positive thinking will increase and you’ll begin to REMIND yourself, even more, to be positive and before you know it you’ll be PRACTICING your new “sunny side of life” mindset all the time, just like Ada Blenkhorn’s nephew. You see, Ada’s nephew was the original inspiration for the song, Keep on the Sunny Side. As the story goes Blenkhorn’s nephew was disabled and always wanted his wheelchair pushed down “the sunny side” of the street. And now you know the rest of the story.