The seventh principle of CREATION Health is Outlook. The dictionary describes outlook as “a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.” One’s outlook impacts everything we do. It can affect everything from the choices we make, lowering stress levels, building positive relationships, and trusting in God as well as others.

People are drawn to others who are positive, encouraging and optimistic. You can choose to wake up each morning with a positive outlook or a pessimistic one. I choose to focus on the positive. Each morning before I get out of bed I remind myself of one thing that I’m going to look forward to during the day. It might be a lunch with a colleague, taking my son’s dog for an early morning walk, reading a chapter in a book that I can’t get my nose out of, or my after work Jazzercise class. Starting my day with a positive attitude sets the tone for my entire day. Positive beliefs are the stepping stones for success.

Outlook also incorporates expressing gratitude. Each day we need to count our blessings. I keep a journal by my bedside and every night record three things for which I am grateful. Last night I wrote, “I am grateful for my friend Ashley who allows me to make unexpected visits to her office to discuss important events of the day. I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time at the swimming pool with my two grandkids. I am very appreciative of my next door neighbor who takes my son under his wing when he needs help with a school project.” The intentionality of focusing on gratitude verses grumbling not only impacted my outlook but is contagious and has the ability to improve other’s outlooks. Gratitude opens doors and invites others in, grumbling slams the door and isolates.

Researchers Emmons and McCullough wrote in Counting Blessings Versus Burdens that “people who regularly list what they are thankful for experience higher levels of optimism, alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy than those who didn’t. Those who expressed gratitude more often helped others, exercised regularly, made progress toward personal goals. ”

Your Outlook is a personal daily choice. Do you choose enthusiasm over pessimism? Happiness over sadness? Tranquility over trepidation? Calmness over agitation? These choices give you the power to make a positive difference in your environment, relationships, and physical well being.

Joshua 1:9 says“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Author Robin J. Patykiewicz is Director of Retail & Speaking of Women’s Health at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center offers a series of lifestyle transformation classes using the CREATION Health principles. For more information, visit