Positivity is not something you are born with. The skill of looking at the glass half full instead of empty is not a feature you add or remove from a person when he or she is born. Positivity is a state of mind that, in order to remain a constant, needs to be the preferred state for that particular person. I find that for a human to be positive s/he needs to be addicted to the good vibe and feeling that that same positivity gives them in whatever they do. Whoever says that remaining positive is impossible or difficult think again…… being positive is always the easiest route but you need to be your own motivator!
Lets take a simple scenario that you could use to picture what I am trying to say here.
Morning Blues – Picture this….
You can hardly wake up in the morning because you did not sleep well last night (your neighour’s daughter woke up screaming in the middle of the night and kept you awake until half an hour before your alarm went off). You look in the mirror (eyes red and puffy) and even though you think the day cannot get worse you start having a series of mishaps that highlight the fact that you should go back to bed and skip the day entirely.
So…… this can go both ways:
Adopting the human default mode
You use the “Beat yourself up more” tactic:
You wake up swearing at your neighbour cursing her and feeling miserable because you havent slept and are thinking about the long tiring day at the office you have ahead of you.
You use the perseverence trait in the wrong way:
You try hard to fix your hair but whatever you do its not good enough. So you keep on trying and trying until your frustration peaks.
You use the “dig your grave deeper” tactic:
You move on to your wardrobe and because you have used up all your energy on your hair styling now you don’t feel like looking for the perfect work outfit for the day. This gives you a bad hair day and a sloppy outfit.
A series of hair touching and outfit-excusing with your colleagues (who haven’t even noticed because most probably they had a rough one too and are too busy thinking about their hair and outfit to look at yours).
This means you will have one and only one thing in mind all day: your hair and your outfit making you:
- lose focus
- very limited for social conversation
- possibly one of the top three “colleagues to avoid” for the day
- go through what might be called the longest day of your life.
Adopting the easier mode
You use the “Compare your mishaps to others” tactic:
You wake up swearing at your neighbour but you realise that she is much worse than you so you lose yourself feeling sorry for her for having to face this day with so little sleep.
You use the “try-fail-abort” tactic:
Your hair is a mess – grab your gel and pull it back – don’t waste time on trying to make the impossible happen – we have been through this already – don’t even try!
You use the “when life gives you lemons you make lemonade” tactic:
You walk to your wardrobe and you find an outfit that compensates your not-so-great hairstyle, pick up your make up/shaver (whatever you use as a final touch apparatus) and work your magic.
You use the “patting yourself on the back” tactic:
Look in the mirror and appreciate the final product considering you had very little to work with – well done to you 🙂
You use the “Let’s do this!” tactic:
Pick up your bag and go to work.
You use the “tomorrow is another day” tactic:
Whatever happens at work – you have been through much worse last night – if you survived that, you will survive till clock-out time. Keep yourself busy and avoid the bathroom mirror – don’t bother – look forward to a a long shower (hair and all) and a deep sleep which will make tomorrow a better day – we just need to sit this one out.
- A long and dreadful day (that you could not have avoided even if you were the luckiest person on earth) will pass by VERY quickly.
- Your incognito skills will improve and you will be proud of yourself you survived the day considering.
- You might get a couple of complements about your outfit and look.
- Your colleagues will not avoid you all day (this might not be a good thing…)
How easy is it to opt for the easy mode?
A person always needs motivation to do whatever they need to do during the day from the simple chores like waking up and brushing one’s teeth to ticking that checkbox on your bucket list. However, you need to be your own motivator!
Some tricks you can use to motivate yourself
- Wake up in morning and give yourself some time to remember the fun, achievements and the laughs you had the previous day and/or night. Send a message to the person you shared the good times with reminding him/her about it. S/he will pitch in and remind you of a part of the story you forgot about, giving you new happy thoughts to dwell on. Plus you will be making someone else’s day who might reciprocate some other time when you really need it.
- Make an effort to always look good – If you do not do it for yourself no one will! People around you will appreciate that, and you will be more comfortable in your own skin.
- Dedicate 5 minutes in front of the mirror every morning to complement yourself. Remind yourself of the great qualities you have in front of the mirror – your reflection will appreciate and she will start smiling back at you.
Some tricks I use to reduce negative thoughts
- When something bad happens to you – take the 15 mins to be negative, scared, angry, sensitive, sorry – whatever. Move on to set your goal, pick first action point and immediately embark on that first step. This will give your mind something to think about other than the self-pity thoughts that fill your brains (by default) and that are responsible for half the time you waste during the day.
- When something bad happens to you – think of all the things the other people go through. Nothing is worse than hunger in Ethiopia but even the hungry can consider themselves lucky next to the tortured/sick/deformed.
- Develop a sense of humour around your own mishaps. Think about the Coyote and Road Runner. The former is the unluckiest cartoon character I know, but how many times do you find yourself comparing someone’s bad luck to his, and smile about it? Be the Coyote!!!
- On a more serious note and my personal highest motivator. Treat life as an obstacle race and each time you tackle a problem take it as a win over life. My shelf is full of trophies 🙂
Positivity increases productivity not only in one’s personal life but in every social aspect: friends, family, work, hobbies, you name it. The above is what works for me but there are many other tactics developed out there by individuals who have realised the big secret – IT’S EASIER TO BE POSITIVE.