How To Look On The Brightside

By Caitlin, the editor of the Operation Beautiful site


When I was younger, I was an overwhelmingly negative person.  I generally thought the worst would happen, assumed other people would rip me off, and I said "I can’t" more than I’d like to admit.  I held a lot of grudges.  I was actually pretty mean to a few people.  I was bitter when I was wronged.  I couldn’t forgive or forget.  I was a half-empty kind of person. 


My attitude didn’t stop me from making really good friends and having excellent life experiences in college, but I always felt like something was holding me back.   Then one day, it clicked — the only thing holding me back was ME! 


I realized that I could CHOOSE to look at life like it was half-full…. or even totally full!  I’ve actually transformed myself into a happier, more positive person.  Here are my Happy Habits:


  • Count your blessings.  Even on your worse days, there are things to be thankful for.  Got both legs?  A family who loves you?  A dog that licks your face when you come home?  A job?  A car? I used to get caught up in what Ididn’t have, but now I focus on what I do have.
  • Never say "I can’t."  You can do anything. Really.  But you’re never going to accomplishment a single thing if you think it’s impossible.
  • Be quick to forgive and forget… the first time.  My issue was that I never cut people slack.  I never put myself in their shoes.  Being more apt to consider the other person’s perspective has drastically reduced the number of arguments I’ve gotten into (I’m a little hot-headed).  That being said, don’t turn into a doormat.  Being walked all over is never good for the soul.
  • Pretend like every conversation is your last.  Per the hot-headedness, sometimes I really want to kill the Husband for little things.  Whenever I start to get worked up over something small, I fantasize what I would feel like if it was our last conversation.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Do nice things for other people.  And don’t expect anything in return.  You’ll get your due karma, I promise.
  • Fake it until you make it.  Even if you have to "pretend" to be positive, do it. Because eventually, it will become true.
  • Re-assess your thinking from time to time.  There’s a positive way to approach every situation.  Life is hard enough without beating yourself down mentally.
  • Ignore Negative Noise and Energy Vampires.  Energy vampires suck away your positive energy and you feel exhausted after dealing with them. Negative noise are small actions that distract you, stop you from being productive, and threaten to ruin your day.  Most urgently, negative noise threatens to overwhelm all the positive encouragement in your life. 


How do you deal with negative noise and energy vampires?


  • Ignore the noise as much as possible.  Whether it is someone in your life who sprouts negativity about your new healthy lifestyle or an anonymous commentor online, ignore them. 
  • Turn your anger into sympathy.  Negative noise and energy vampires can elicit a great deal of anger in the person on the receiving end — if you get angry, you are letting them win because they are sucking up you positivity.  If you can, feel BAD for the person instead of being MAD at them.
  • Don’t try to understand an energy vampire’s motivations.  See Rule #1 — just ignore them.  There are LOADS of reasons why people behave like this, but truthfully — who cares to figure it out?  Again, you are wasting your time by ruminating on it.
  • Disengage.  Disengage yourself from the situation.  Whether that means you have to disable commenting on your blog, dump a friend, or stop talking to your mother about your attempts to eat healthier, disengage so the energy vampires cannot get to you.
  • Spend your time wisely. Instead of spending your time on a negative person, talk to a positive person and encourage them. 
  • Realize that positivity ALWAYS trumps negativity.  Trust me, karma is a little witch.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Joann March 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

Thank You for listing these.Behavior changes are hard to make,and keep consistent.It is good to see these.


Karin March 29, 2010 at 6:13 am

I have to say, this is a wonderful list of things to do. I have been battleing with a problem for about a year now; a good friend stopped talking to me and did not tell me why. For months now I have tried sending her emails, calling her and trying to figure out what I did wrong and for months I was mad at her AND myself for not figuring this whole thing out and for not fixing it. This list has showed me that I do not have to fix it. She is the one with the problem and I did nothing wrong. I do not feel mad at her anymore. I feel bad for her becuase by doing these things, she will lose many more friends in the future. Instead of sending her any more emails, I will simply ignore the fact that she ignores me. She does not matter anymore. Anyone who holds you back is not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who love you and care about you and forget the rest. Why dwell on other people’s problems when you have your own to worry about? Thank you for finally giving me the strength to say “It’s over. We aren’t friends, but you know what? It’s YOUR loss!” And thank you for finally giving me the strength to believe it.


Haley May 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

This is amazing. I am going through the same situation. It is nice to know that it does get better. It is overall sad, but you are right Karin, I need to think positive and see I did NOTHING wrong…

Thank you!


Writer April 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Thanks so much for these. My motto is “It’s not IMPOSSIBLE, it’s simply difficult to achieve, and you CAN and WILL do it!”


KristinDestiny June 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I like these ideas. I have been feeling too down and being to hard on myself lately and I need to start believing in me! I am going to look at this list every day until I can make the changes I would like to.


kelly June 9, 2010 at 3:21 am

thanks for telling us those habits, i know they have surely made me feel better about everything. Sometimes I feel hopeless with myself and always point out how I hate myself if I do something wrong and just punish myself with “i can’t”, and non stop crying, or take the anger with myself out on my boyfriend like pushing him away etc. I really like the idea of putting yourself in there shoes and forgiving them (the first time), instead of getting so worked up over something so insignificant. It’s so true that things are impossible if I say they are, its just so easy to get caught up in that negativity!

Anyways thanks so much and i will always keep this page in mind.


Calibuza August 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Thank you for this, I’ve been struggling with my weight for my entire life and the only thing I hear from me and my enviroment it’s fat talk. Operation Beauty seems to be a way out of this sadness. I’ll give it a try, no more Fat Talk for me… from now on…I’m beatiful!!


Shelley August 12, 2010 at 2:18 am

These comments above are so true… someone told me the other day..
“Turn off the negative tape that keeps playying in my head… and start playing the positive tape!” And remember I did my best and it was good!


Meg August 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Wow! I like how you put it: energy vampires. As I was reading the tips, I thought “hey that kinda sounds like me!” It also told me how I should change my attitude towards others (including myself) and to start feeling those positive vibes!!!


Joanna September 13, 2010 at 12:51 am

You say ‘Instead of spending your time on a negative person, talk to a positive person and encourage them.’ what if the friend was the closest friend you ever had and trusted with everything? but now he/she is depressed so you just stop talking to them? is that even fair??

thank you


admin September 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

Well, you have to try to help them while protecting yourself. You aren’t their therapist and there’s a difference between supporting a friend and dragging yourself down, too. It’s a hard balance to strike but remember you can’t solve their problems for them. Just try to be there for them. I’m sorry about your friend <3


Joanna September 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thanks this really opened up my eyes and by the way I was the one who was depressed and got left by so many friends but no one affected me like the one I trusted the most and said she felt just like me, but i guess i was just not worth it to her. Anyways its all in the past now can’t do anything except hide depression whenever I get it again.

I am obese so thanks for the site too 🙂


chantal October 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

everytime i feel down. even if it kills me i look for the light in things cause through every bad thing theres always something u can take from it =]


Eryn November 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I just heard about this book on the radio. I am going to have to buy it, because I am dealing with a breakup and a falling out with my best friend… Its really getting to the best of me, and i know i cant let it. But its hard. Extremely hard. =/


Anonymous August 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm

This really helps! Thank you!!!!


Mel October 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

This made me think of this quote I saw once (I cant remember the author, but it isnt me)

Nothing is impossible, it even says Im possible!”


JesusFreak October 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I love this so much! It’s really inspiring and it’s nice to have a concrete way to deal with the negativity that goes through a lot of girl’s minds. I know this will make things easier on a lot of people!


Sarah April 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

i have to admit i really like this one because i am the one holding myself back i didn’t realize it before if i want to be happy why can’t i be 🙂 those words just ring in the back of my head; i feel like i could really change the person i am with just one site, this one.


Pamela May 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Pretend every conversation is your last. This is something I have been living, actually LIVING, for many years now. When I was 39, my husband was diagnosed with a terrible, fast moving cancer. That day while we were trying to digest what was going to happen we made a pledge: No matter what, we take time for each other and never, ever let anything get in the way of telling the other how much you love them. For the next 18 months we would have one argument and that was who loved whom more! We went on two wonderful island hopping vacations and spent every once of energy we could on being happy with each other. It was the most wonderful and the most terrible time in my life, but it was the most remarkable life lesson. I still live that way today.

There is only today, right now. Stuff at work can wait but those you love cannot. Do not ever let the sun go down on an argument. It’s not worth it. Don’t harp on the things your mate is not doing right, focus on all the wonderful ways you do love them. So the clothes did not get folded right. Before you “instruct” them on the “right” way, ask yourself which would you rather: have the clothes folded “right” or have the last time you talk to your mate be an argument about folded clothes? No one ever regrets saying I love you. They always regret not saying I love you. The choice is yours.


Stephanie July 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

I am really having a hard time dealing with someone I love…..when I’m not with him I feel happiness and energy but I care for him every time….he seem not to notice my every effort wasted on him….I’ve never felt such hurt that he has given me….no one ever treated me like that…..but I never give up people around me has given up already. Before I admit I was so inlove but now I don’t know if i lose all the love and I if I only feel pity for him. Thanks for the advice I guess I’ll just ignore all the negative things he tell me….I just need a friend to tell everything that would not back fight me…..there is GOD.


dinaa salah November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

thank u :'(


Francesca January 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Wow, I just loved this… A really good help. Thanks


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