A project goes astray, a conversation goes sideways, and before you know it, you're in a cynicism cyclone that has no end in sight. Perpetuating this twister of torture is our own self-pity and pessimism -- and, it doesn't stop with us. 

Misery loves company, so we crowdsource gripes and grumbles until we're so fired up that we're ready to quit.

We have to be careful of cynicism at work -- it's consuming and impacts our attitude and productivity. If we don't practice some self-awareness and nip this toxic behavior in the bud before it spirals out of control, then it won't matter where we work -- we will always hate our jobs. 

Success and happiness are a mindset (it's a cliche for a reason).

If you go into the office every day expecting something to go awry, then it always will. You will ultimately find what you consistently look for.

Pessimism is not only a belief but also a crystal ball. If you see the world as a giant mishap, then it won't disappoint. The key to breaking slumps and sustaining years of success is to train your brain to think more optimistically. 

Over the last few years of working in talent management, I've noticed a few common themes that separate the happy and successful from those who are not. 

1. They elevate their thinking.

In other words, they see the big picture and keep things in perspective. Their faith in the future is stronger than the little setbacks that happen on a day-to-day basis. As a result, they don't waste time and energy on the inconsequential, or give it power over their happiness. 

Call it whatever you want, optimism, idealism, or naiveness, the truth is, experience is often driven by perception. What you choose to focus on becomes a reality. 

By choosing to remain positive and enthusiastic, you simultaneously expel limiting beliefs while decreasing the time it takes to bounce back from disappointment. 

2. They would rather grow than be right. 

Speaking of limiting beliefs, pride can be a dangerous attribute. It clouds our judgment, creates blind spots, and even prevents learning. If it's not kept in check, this inflated sense of self, egotism, and conceit can be career-limiting. 

A pessimistic outlook not only makes work (and you) unbearable at times, but also evolves into a condition known as a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset suggests that your abilities and skills are inherently fixed. In other words, you're stuck with what you got.

Unfortunately, due to this belief that it won't matter, many people never try new things. On the flip side, those who are more optimistic see every experience (good or bad) as accretive to their development. As a result, they're more willing to take risks and experiment.

3. They give what they want to receive. 

Model the future that you want to achieve. If all you choose to see and focus on are issues and hopelessness, then you will project the associated traits. 

Those who experience continued success and happiness don't think like this. They are experts at self-managing and controlling their emotions. They don't let "bad-moods" ruin their attitude and performance at work.  By recognizing where the negativity is coming from, you can compartmentalize and address it to ensure it doesn't hijack your demeanor. 

Happiness breeds happiness. 

2020 can be your best year yet, if you believe it will be. Staying positive and minimizing negativity is the first step towards materializing success.