the best beginning: 7 tips for starting out strong
learn to hold on to the past (without losing the present)

make a positive mindset your favorite accessory


“Sometimes you need the right accessory,” she said.

And I said, “I know...

Sometimes it takes me an hour to pick the right head.”

And she just ignored me.


Story People



I love fashion and, in particular, I love accessories. So when I read this quote (sent to me by my great friend Abbey), it grabbed my attention immediately. And when I got to the part about choosing the right head, I sat back in my chair and stared at the words. Picking the right head every morning, like an accessory, is an interesting concept. What if we had an assortment of mindsets, or “heads,” laid out before us every morning? What if we had the option to choose what head we would wear for the day? I’m pretty sure if that were the case, most of us wouldn’t be reaching for the angry or unhappy mindsets, thinking, “Oh, today I think I’d love to be really angry. I’m going to put on this angry head today.” No, I think if all of our various mindsets were laid out before us, we’d probably go for a happy mind, a peaceful mind, or an easy-going mind. I’m pretty sure most people would go for a positive mindset if given a choice to slip it on as if it were an accessory. 

Do you want to know the truth? We can wear different heads, different minds, just like accessories. Just like heading to your closet for a pair of shoes or a colorful scarf, you can reach into your mind and pull out the mindset that sets the tone for your day. I remember, as a child, loving the movie Annie. Though I can’t say I remember all that much of it now, I do recall a scene when Annie sings, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” As I grew older, I recall thinking that was the cheesiest thing I’d ever heard. You’re never fully dressed without a smile? Puh-leeze. As a teenager and college student, a smile was the least of my concerns when it came to dressing. 

But not anymore. Now I realize that a good attitude -– a happy head -– is the best accessory you can put on when you start your day. Cheesy as it might be, Annie was right; no matter what you’re wearing, you’re never fully dressed without a smile. That being said, it’s not always easy to wake up and start your day with a positive attitude. Sometimes we have good reasons for being angry or unhappy. Sometimes we just plain don’t feel like waking up. Whatever the reason might be, starting off the day by screwing on the right head might not be easy, but it is important. 

Just like choosing the right accessory can significantly impact an outfit (in a good or a bad way), so can your attitude significantly impact your day. Overall, I think changing your attitude is the best thing you can do for your life, but looking at it as an overall lifestyle change can be really overwhelming at times. For that reason, it’s often a good idea to focus on changing your attitude on a day-to-day basis. Don’t think about changing your attitude forever. Think about changing it today. Think of it as an accessory – something you can put on now but take off later if you hate it. I guarantee that if you choose a happy mindset, you’ll see such great changes in your day that you’ll want to put on that happy head again the next day and, before you know it, your happy mindset will become your favorite accessory, like a comfy pair of tennis shoes or a cozy pair of mittens. Before you know it, you won’t want to take your happy head off, no matter what’s going on with the rest of your life. You’ll find a way – just like people often do with their favorite accessories – to wear your happy mindset with everything, to repair it when it gets worn down, to lend it to a friend in need. It will, in time, become your favorite thing and you will not be able to imagine what you ever wore before. 

Getting used to a new, positive mindset can be tricky so take it one day at a time. Wake up every morning and remind yourself that you’re going to choose to have a happy head. Get out of bed every day and tell yourself that, even if it’s just for today, you’re going to accessorize with happiness. Without even realizing it, if you choose happiness every day, your life’s wardrobe will become saturated with positivity and it will no longer feel like something you have to choose. Just like when you have a pair of shoes that you always go for because they are the most comfortable, your positive attitude will be so comfortable that you’ll grab it off the shelf without even thinking about it. 

So, go on, take a look in that closet of yours and choose happiness. Starting today, look in the mirror, and make the decision to beautify your life with positivity. If you make the choice every single day to put on your happy head, soon that positive mindset will be as comfortable and as familiar as your favorite accessory. 


How do you strive to make positivity your favorite accessory? 
What do you each morning to start your day off positively? 



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I start every day with quiet time. I wake up an hour or two before G and open up all the shutters and put the kettle on. It's usually still quiet then except for the birds in the trees. I sip my tea, catch up on some reading, write personal emails, or just be still. I can be pretty grumpy if I go through more than a few days without this.

I love this post! My favourite motto of all times is "Smilet er den bedste påklædning" (English: The smile is the best dress), so it's pretty close to the quote you refer to.. :D

(Actually this is my first comment here - though I have been enjoying your blog for a couple of months.. Definitely one of my favourites!)

*sigh* I love Story People! I hadn't seen that one yet but I'm loving it! I also saw the movie Annie about a bazillion times when I was a kid (in fact, it was my first movie EVER!) and although cheesy, there are some cute life lessons in there. Aside from "never fully dressed without a smile", there's also "the sun'll come out tomorrow" :)

As I get older I realize that no matter what you wear, you look better and feel better with a positive attitude. I have to make sure I spend time reading my Bible and praying before the start of each day to put things into perspective. I can sure tell when I don't! Great post!

Chania Girl - It sounds like you have a great plan for starting your days off right. I think I'm going to have to start spending my mornings like you do!

Thea - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this -- and that you shared that wonderful quote with us. I'm so glad you've been reading Positively Present and I really appreciate the comment!

Eran - Me too. Story People are great! And I agree that, in spite of its cheesiness, there are some pretty good life lessons in Annie.

Marci - I'm totally with you on that one. I used to think a positive attitude was so overrated, but now I realize how important it is. I'm glad you have a morning routine that helps you to keep things in perspective!


I continue to enjoy the creative ways your attention is going to the positive. It seems limitless. There's always an underpinning or somatic...body based component to positivity in terms of the organization of the body.

From the somatic tradition there's a saying that you are what you practice, the body is not capable of not practicing and you are becoming what you practice so choose wisely.



Q1 Saying, hello, good morning, etc with a smile, to the people I pass by during by day.

Q2 I recently heard in a Les Brown recording that what you hear during the first 20 minutes upon waking can affect your day. I no longer listen to news first. I live in the country so, no matter what the weather, I fix my warm tea and go outside for 20 minutes; the sounds of nature are soul warming, as are my loving pets who join me. I have always done this though after the news; now the news doesn't go on until (maybe )I get in my car; Bob and Tom comes first. They usually make me laugh on my drive to work - it is fun to be at a red light laughing so hard and you can feel the person on the side of you staring- I usually wave.

PP -

I do choose my peaceful head every morning. When it is challenged by bad thoughts or a tough situation, I simply refuse to change from my calm mindset. This isn't easy to do, however the more time i spend with the peaceful head on and practice this, the more comfortable it becomes. Really like your metaphor and advice here. Thank you.


T - Thank you! There really are so many ways to have a positive mindset and I'm glad you're enjoying some of the topics I bring up on Positively Present. That's a great tradition and I'm so glad you shared it here!

Patricia - Thanks for answering the questions I posted. I agree with you that listening to the news first thing in the morning probably isn't the best thing for a positive mindset. It sounds like you have a great routine in place that starts your day off on the right foot.

Phil - That's great that you choose a peaceful mindset and don't let anything deter you from that. You've brought a great point up about how the more you practice have your peaceful mindset, the easier it will become to do it. Thanks for the comment!

Great concept! Choosing the 'right head' for the day!
What I appreciate about this post is that it emphasizes the power of choice. Too many people think that others actions or external forces determine their happiness - not so! We can choose how we react to any circumstance or how we feel about anything we encounter. Which 'head' we wear is entirely up to us and as you point out, it's a choice we make every day.
Thanks for this creative look at how we can choose our attitude!

It is a choice, isn't it? Even when it feels like painful work to get there. Thanks for this post. I find gratitude breaks my heart wide open, and helps me if I need a positive kick-in-the-pants.

H&W - Thank you! I was definitely inspired when my friend sent over that Story People quote. I'm so glad you picked up on the concept of choice in this post. Happiness really IS a choice and most people don't really comprehend the idea that every single moment they have a choice about how they want to experience life.

Molly - Yes, it is! It can be a very, very difficult choice at times, but there is always an option to choose happiness. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for bringing up the idea of gratitude. Being grateful is a great way to focus on the happiest things in life.

This was SO cute! What a lovely insight into positive thinking!


Alba - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a positive comment. :)

It's probably the most important thing to put on, each and every day.

Oh I absolutely love this!!!!!!!!!"Just like choosing the right accessory can significantly impact an outfit (in a good or a bad way), so can your attitude significantly impact your day...So, go on, take a look in that closet of yours and choose happiness"
YES, a positive mindset is a fabulous accessory!!

J.D. - I agree. It is!

Aileen - Thank you so much for your enthusiastic comment! You made my day with this one! It really is possible to choose happiness. It's the very best accessory!

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