“Me, me, so happy!” is an iconic family phrase attributed to one of my older sisters.
She was always the most even-keeled one of the five of us kids, and nothing seemed
to fluster her. Carrying this mantra throughout life may seem a bit “Pollyannaish”, but why not?
We can always choose to look for the negative in any situation and dwell on that.
“It’s sunny out today!” “Yea, but it’s so cold”. “This is an amazing meal!” “Yea, but it
cost a lot and think of all the calories.” “We landed the client!” “Yea, but they’re so
difficult to work with.” In each of these situations you can choose to lead with the
positive or dwell on the negative.
More and more research points to the value – personal and financial – of being
happy and having happy workers. The oft-cited 2013 Gallup Study reports that since
70% of U.S. workers are disengaged and uninspired – and I would add unhappy – in
the workplace, it costs businesses over $450 billion annually. Neuroscience research
shows that while we might default to find the negative in situations, we can re-wire
our thinking to gain the benefits of positive thinking. And, being more positive
translates into “Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their
jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter” (HBR).
Making subtle changes in how we think and move through our day can lead us
increased happiness. Here’s a start:
1. “What’s the Opportunity?” – Ask yourself this question going into ANY and
EVERY situation. This forces your energy to shift in a positive direction that
generates creative solutions.
2. Pat Yourself on the Back – Take time to reflect on the little wins on a daily
basis. Use these to remind yourself of the value you bring dozens of times a
day. It may be as simple as getting your kids off to school, or making someone
smile on the train when you give up your seat. You can do this.
3. More “ands” Fewer “buts” – Look for the positive builds in conversations
rather than taking the contrary position. “It’s sunny out today, and let’s enjoy
the brisk walk.” “This is an amazing meal, and we’re blessed to be able to
enjoy it together.” “We landed the client and it’s going to take our best effort
to wow them with amazing results.”
Being happy all the time maybe more than we can hope for, but being happier a
higher percentage of the time is something we can all choose to achieve.
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