In every moment of our lives we have the choice to think or say positive or negative thoughts. And those words will not only impact the recipient, but will also impact us.

Do you consciously think about how your words will impact those around you? What makes a person choose the negative? Is it the satisfaction of being right? Self-judgment or judgment of others? Maybe a lack of empathy, compassion or heart. These emotions are fueled by a sense of righteousness on which the ego thrives, suggests Deepak Chopra in Oprah and Chopra’s meditation series Manifesting Grace through Gratitude. “The ego likes nothing better than to know that it is in the right.”

Putting the ego aside and choosing the positive requires a conscious effort and practice, but it can become second nature, and the value it will add to your life, the life of others – and the world – is immeasurable.

The key is to lead with compassion. “Compassion is the commonality that links us together,” states Oprah. “Knowing that you are human and I am human; that we are really more alike than we could ever be different.”

However, sometimes it feels impossible to put compassion above an aversion towards another. Chopra advises to stop and think of a reason you are grateful for that person in your life. There is a hidden link between gratitude and compassion, he notes. “When you are thankful for something or someone, you can’t be judgmental at the same time. This fact has healing power because if you feel critical and judgmental against someone, no matter how hard you try, you can undermine your judgmental attitude by finding reasons for being thankful that person is in your life.”

Stepping down from the judge’s chair brings a complete shift in attitude, he adds. “Even the person’s worse faults become something you wish to help with not condemn, and in the absence of judgment, there is nothing to resent.”

Finding compassion may also be stifled by a lack of forgiveness. When you bestow forgiveness upon others, grudges start to melt away. “Your awareness becomes more inclusive; it expands beyond I, me, and mine and the window of compassion opens.”

From a place of gratitude, our hearts soften, says Oprah, and compassion becomes a natural way of being. “Your perception of the world starts to change and you become a conduit for peace, understanding, and happiness.”

Gratitude, compassion, and kindness lead to a life of positivity. And it’s those positive thoughts and actions which shine brightly on those around you and make your world – and our entire world – a better place in which to live.

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