Ahhhh….positivity. The attitude that we all admire, and if we are honest, sometimes struggle with. We all have GREAT days and then there are days where things aren’t so well. And you know what?! I’m not one to pretend that all’s well when it’s not. I typically even throw people off when casually asked “Hey, how are you?!” and I respond “not so well.” or just “OK” and often “today is a GREAT day since you asked..” Regardless of how I actually feel, I respond to be honest AND attempt to engage if the other party wishes. Even in passing. It has unfortunately become a formality in our day-to-day lives and maybe we should take a deeper look.
Now, back to the word itself. Positivity is defined as: “the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.” Key words that stand out to me would be “practice and attitude.” It’s so easy to say aloud and/or even truly want for ourselves. To practice it, to be, well…that’s the REAL challenge. Here are 5 thoughts I have on not just the what, but the “how” do we be/practice this attitude in our daily lives.
1. Surround Yourself and Shields Up
1. Surround yourself with those who display the attitude in which you wish to be. It’s contagious! I mean, who doesn’t want to be around a happy and entertaining individual?! It’s safe to say we all want to be in a good, mental well-being space and something we should consider is limiting the amount of time we spend with those who love to hang out on Negative Lane. Some will tell you to cut them out of your life. That’s a bit drastic, cruel, and not supportive of those who may need you. However, you only have so much energy you can spend on those types, so I would argue limit your time with them. Have that friend that always complains at work during lunch? Don’t go to lunch with them and find another crew. Brother/sister always complaining?! Limit the time you lend your ear and give the silver lining feedback; no more giving your friends and family that pass when they go to that dark place, those energy vampires!!! That saying “you’re are the company you keep.” couldn’t be more true and your 5 closest friends do tell a lot about you. Not everything, every time, BUT those trends do and will impact you, which are exerted by your company. You’ll have to protect your attitude as others can and will, regardless of intent, simply bombard you. To bring it to the vivid imagination, I imagine that video game energy level or hearts. I can take some damage throughout the day but I have a limit before my positivity meter is drained. So basically not trying to explode my humanity into bits and pieces. (I’m thinking the Mega Man X series BTW, if you are familiar. Maybe it’s because I have spent a lot of time with that on my Nintendo Switch Christmas gift that Mrs. Santa got me?!) But I digress….
2. Start Your Day
1. Have you ever woken up in a bad mood?! Chances are of course not! We wake up refreshed everyday! It’s how we wake up and what happens throughout that throws it off. Wake up late this morning?! Yeah, your whole day seems jacked. To start and maintain, I make sure I start the day of selfish. That’s right. You heard me! SELFISH!!!! It’s all about me! My time, what I want to do, and everyone else, wife and son included, will have to wait! Sounds horrible at first but what if I told you I started my day at 5:00 in the morning?! My wife and son are asleep. No messages from my boss Brandon (he gets up early too BUT at least he’s in Dallas Fort-Worth!) calls, notifications, and so on. Silence. Me, my mind, my thoughts… a couple hours to do what I want to do. Typically I go to the gym and take time to write and ponder a bit. So once my days starts, I am willing to let events unfold and feel obligated to help others as my day has gone so well so far while being all about me.To be clear, I’m NOT saying others are not important and don’t deserve your time. What I AM saying is that YOU are equally if not more important often that not and that YOU have to live for YOU. Otherwise, regret and anxiety will set it. If you know what I’m talking about, hopefully you are already well on your way to making the necessary changes. Next up, let’s talk about how I try to maintain my friends.
3. Take Time to Breathe and Visualize
1. As our day continues on, stress can creep in along with unexpected events. LITERALLY as I writing this section of thoughts prior, I have had a few hours in my day hijacked. That’s OK though seeing I have done my important tasks already and completely committed to flex for my colleagues. Now perhaps you have a fancy smartwatch that sets out times for you to take a moment and just breathe. I certainly do and I have mine notify me throughout the day in hopes to catch me when I can take a minute to close my eyes, breath, relax, and calm my thoughts. Not always can I do this nor should I. The idea is to try to balance the weight of the day and keep perspective. One of my most important advices as perspective is what saves me from a spectacular fail. For those of you who REALLY know me, not only do I have faults like every other human being, I have some serious, serious life events that have taken me to an emotional bottom and has shattered my world to a million pieces, which I have talked about on a prior episode. So now onto perspective…
4. “P” is for Planning Positive Perspectives
1. Schedule/sleep/food; it may sound silly BUT I somewhat plan these to bring balance to my day. Let me specifically share what I mean. My wife and I share a calendar and we put everything that we want to accomplish on it with a place and timeframe. Why?! Well it takes the pressure off of remembering AND allows us to block out periods of time that we have alone, together, and so on. I put my work travel calendar in there as well. Gym time. When I WANT to eat. I even stole an idea my cousin mentioned about not eating after 6:00 or 18:00 as a good practice. And my bed time consistently is on or before 10:30 or 22:30 so I am well rested and the time is know. Anything outside of those “controllable” for the most part I just let be. And I try to just adapt and go with it. I cannot control it all, nor do I want to, seeing it’s impossible and BORING. The perhaps most potent of thoughts to me is that after losing my brother and then my second son, I am so thankful to be in the situation I’m in, even though I have issues and obstacles that may keep me up at night. It certainly beats that feeling I have during thoughts of missing my loved ones and most certainly what other people around the world are living through and going through at the very moment I type this. If I have my health and family, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING else is secondary meaning in perspective it doesn’t even REALLY matter in comparison. So think about that one for a minute. It’s a great time to pause and reflect. My life experiences is exactly what led me to not giving a poo emoji to caring about what anyone wants me to think, feel, or say while also on the same hand executing empathy and not simply being an eggplant emoji to those around me. BTW, not to take away from a serious point but like those emoji examples?! Helps me keep it PG within iTunes and curb my cursing. 🙂
5. Read to get Inspired
1. Reading is awesome and unfortunately despite ALL of the tech we are surrounded with, we rarely do so. Now I will say “reading” is what I do, but there’s so much more. I could watch inspiring content. Or my favorite other than reading is podcasts. Find voices and minds that can inspire you to push yourself to your limits. And just when you think you found your limit, push again. Reading is like inserting your mind into somebody else’s body for an experience. It’s experiences that teaches you things in life and one of the quickest shortcuts that still is mightily effective. Choose what moves you: reading and writing, watching content, going out into the public space and having fireside chats, whatever will give you new perspective. It is how we grow as humans both emotionally and intellectually. For we all feel exhaustion from time to time. Getting inspired it what allows us to absorb that positive energy, those positive vibes, where we can be that beacon of hope. And more likely than not, you in turn would have inspired some one else to do something great with their time and their lives, as short as it may be. Wishing you all the best and PLEASE, as always, share with me your thoughts here, email, on Twitter, wherever, however. And THANK YOU. ❤
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