Thursday turned out to be quite difficult for editors in charge of newspapers. As of mid day, it was evident that the prime minister's speech in the Lok Sabha was one of those typical Narendra Modi affairs, full of clever jibes and campaign material. If nothing else noteworthy had happened, there would have been no question about what ended up as lead story on the front pages. But something else did happen: Kanhaiya Kumar.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union president had emerged earlier in the day from jail after having been arrested on charges of sedition. Kumar turned up at JNU's administration block by evening and, amid hundreds of students, gave a remarkable speech that was broadcast live.
For a student leader who had been arrested, vilified, attacked and eventually granted bail after undertaking to channel his energies constructively, Kumar's speech was a revelation. Most were certain that, by arresting him, the Modi government had created a new leader. And the front pages reflected that.
As can be expected papers like the Telegraph and the Indian Express gave much of their front pages to Kumar, with even the Times of India putting Modi and the JNUSU president's speech on practically the same footing. A few newspapers – like a few television channels that chose not to broadcast Kumar's speech the previous night – did choose not to put Kumar on the front page.
India, UK and the US agree that this one factor is the biggest contributor to a fulfilled life
Attitude can play a big role in helping us build a path to personal fulfilment.
“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”
— Walt Disney
Throughout our lives we’re told time and time again about the importance of having a good attitude, whether it be in school, on the cricket pitch or in the boardroom. A recent global study of nearly two million people further echoed this messaging. When asked to think of someone who is living fully and to cite the number one reason for that fulfilment, “attitude” stood out as a top driver across India, the US, the UK, and a dozen other countries.
The resounding support for the importance of attitude in life is clear. But, what exactly is a “good attitude”, how exactly does it impact us, and what can we do to cultivate it?
Perhaps, for all of us in India the example closest to heart is the evolution of the Indian cricket team and its performance in crucial tournaments. The recent team led by M S Dhoni has had the type of success that we never witnessed since India started playing international cricket in the 1930s. Most observers of cricket, both the audience and experts, agree that other than the larger pool of talent and intense competition, a crucial new element of the team’s success has been its attitude—the self-belief that they can win from impossible situations. The statistics too seem to back this impression, for example, M S Dhoni has been part of successful run chases, remaining not out till the end on 38 occasions, more than any other cricketer in the world.
As in cricket so in life, good attitude is crucial but not easy to define. It is certainly not simply the ability to look at the bright side. That neglects the fact that many situations bring with them inconvenient realities that need to be acknowledged and faced. A positive attitude, then, is all about a constructive outlook that takes into consideration the good and the bad but focuses on making the best of a situation.
Positive thinking can shield people from stress, allowing them to experience lower rates of depression. A positive attitude also improves the ability to cope with different situations and even contributes to longer lifespans.
While having a positive attitude may not come naturally to all of us, we can cultivate that spirit. There are systematic ways in which we can improve the way we react to situations. And simple exercises seem to have a measurable impact. For example:
· Express gratitude. Start your day by acknowledging and appreciating the good in your life. This morning exercise can help reorient your mind towards a constructive outlook for the entire day.
· Adjust body language. The body and mind are closely linked, and simple adjustments to body language can signal and invite positivity. Simple steps such as keeping your posture upright, making eye contact and leaning in during conversations to signal positive interest have a positive impact on you as well as those you interact with.
· Find meaning in what we do. It is important to give purpose to our actions, and it is equally important to believe that our actions are not futile. Finding the purpose in what we do, no matter how small the task, often energizes us towards doing the best we can.
· Surround yourself with positive people. Your friends do matter, and this is a truth as old as the hills. The ever popular ancient Indian treatise Panchatantra, a collection of stories dating back perhaps to the 1st century BC, offers advice on how to make and keep suitable friends. And that remains relevant even today.
In addition to these steps, there are numerous resources available to help people around the world adopt a positive attitude and lead a more fulfilled life. Abbott, a global healthcare company, is committed to helping people live the best life possible. Their website and newsletter feature life hacks for work or personal time like those listed below. These are great tools for those ready to lead a more fulfilled and meaningful life, starting today.
This article was produced on behalf of Abbott by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.