High Five – Celebrating Positive Focus

“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

This quote is the mantra of our yoga class and it sums up the focus of what this month has been – a celebration of what is possible.


“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

It’s been 30 days and I’ve written every day about some aspect of the positive attitude – an attitude that can be attained by giving, being happy, laughing, and helping others.

I’ve touched on aspects of positive psychology with coping skills, resilience, and positive thought.

A few posts dealt with mindfulness, personal journeys, relationships and perception.

In this month, I had some celebrations (my wedding anniversary), personal losses (a layoff) and remembered again the national losses of 9/11.

I do feel as though I have come a long way in 30 days and I do believe it takes about this long to form a habit.

The best picture of the month was attached to my post on Encouragement. My favorite post had to be the one about doing the impossible (Thanks, Walt Disney for the quote!). I put my focus on what I could do and I can now definitely be positive.


High Five – The 2nd Half

“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.”

Being positive about the age you are, the situation you are in, or the state of your career can be a little difficult at times – especially if you are in the “Mid-Life” stage in the year 2014. The job market isn’t that friendly to, well, anyone but less so to those who are in the 40-65 age groups. However, at this stage, you are the more likely to find the career fulfillment you’ve been searching for since you left college. According to Carl Jung who created a model called Stages of Type Development in which there are four major stages – Childhood, Adolescence and Early Adulthood, Adulthood and Mid-Life, Maturity and Wisdom – this age group stands in stage where they have assets, experience and confidence enough to make positive changes.


“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.”

In short, the first half of life (Childhood through Early Adulthood) is when family and cultural influences are most import and we are seeking experiences from which to learn. The “Mid-Life” stage (Adulthood and midlife) is when a major transition in energy and interests occurs. Additionally midlife is when people become aware of limitations both in time and possibilities and prepare to meet those challenges in life’s “Second Half” stage (Maturity and Wisdom).

Early adulthood is when most people pick a career; some are content with that choice and can excel in their chosen field until retirement or beyond. Others of us pick a career, love the career, but want something additional – not just to “be happy” as has become the joke, but to find some level of fulfillment and have some form of stability. Midlife has been defined as roughly between 40 and 60 years of age; however, Jung considered 56 as the beginning of the “Second Half” stage.

Those in midlife and beyond can be assured that they still carry the qualities of being positive, optimistic and determined because they have the assets and experience to meet career challenges. J.T. O’Donnell of CAREEREALISM.com wrote a great post on “3 Must-Dos in Your 40’s to Make Sure You’re Employed in Your 50’s” so give this a read and prepare to meet your second half with a smile.

High Five – 5 Positive Quotes

Here are some quotes I collected when I started planning these posts and I thought I would share the ones that didn’t get full posts…


Five Positives and NO negatives!

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” — Elbert Hubbard

“I haven’t failed. I’ve identified 10,000 ways this doesn’t work.” –Thomas Edison

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” –Walt Disney

High Five – Positive Friends and Healthy Adventures

“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” – Winnie the Pooh.

Sometimes there are friends we’ve had for decades. Sometimes there are the friends we’ve had for a few months or years. Sometimes we just met them but we know they would be friends for a long time! It has been often said about me that I “collect people.” And I suppose I do. I’m an extrovert and I am most proud of my have 500+ connections on LinkedIn (Twitter and Facebook fall a bit behind this!). Which is quite fitting, I collected most of my friends from previous jobs! No matter how we were separated after working together we would exchange emails, phone numbers and social media accounts. So, I promise, if I work with you, I will be connected with you!


Thanks to my positive, adventurous, healthy, exciting, inspiring friends.

When I lived in a larger city (I’m living rural now!), we would throw huge parties (our New Year’s Eve dinners were legendary) and I would connect everyone from different backgrounds with one another. Most common question at the party – and an icebreaker, if you will – would be: “So, how do you know Stephanie?”

Connecting with others, I learned, promotes positive thinking. Not just positive thinking but it adds encouragement and confidence-building, risk taking, and resilience to the list. Lower rates of depression, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and greater resistance to the common cold have been cited as health benefits as well.

Consider the positive benefits to both of you  of having a friend and go take them on an adventure with you.

High Five – Resilience

Thomas Jefferson stated “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

How true!


“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Several years ago, just as the economy was spiraling, I went through a huge downsizing. I was completely broken up by this, even though I was not one of the ones being let go, but to see how people handled it was amazing. Some were upset and crying. Some were very angry. But some continued to laugh, joke and hug everyone as they packed their desks and headed out. They didn’t miss a step. Some of us had lunch from time to time over the next few years and those people who smiled in the face of the unexpected did very well. Those who didn’t seemed to take longer to find positions, still remained unhappy and angry at the company for letting them go.

The ones who accepted the situation and moved on to their next big adventure were the resilient ones. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Being resilient helps you bounce back after surgery, illness, loss or anything else life can through at you.

A post on Healthgram details some ways to become more resilient, but I’m betting you’re already doing them.

If you’re still not sure how resilient you are, give this quiz from Psychology.about.com a try and see how what your results are.


Resilient people are positive people. Or maybe vice versa. Either way, you come out of a bad situation positive, and that’s the right mental attitude.

High Five – Positive Vision

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I saw this quote and realized, I have not posted anything about my positive vision!


“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, I think it started with my elective classes in college. In one class, I agreed to be a graduate student’s guinea pig (the control groups included those who did homework in silence, with heavy metal or classical music. I was in the group that had to listen to classical music and do some writing while it played. Kind of tranquil actually). I didn’t know at that point that I wanted to be more involved in psychology because I was on my way to becoming a technical writer (majoring in English).

Flash forward 15 years. I am inspired by a presentation at a local ATD meeting and learned that I enjoy personality assessments and the psychology as well as working with all levels of individuals that make up an organization. Add to this, a timely report comes out stating that Organizational Psychology one of the 20 fastest growing occupations. So I obtain my MBTI Facilitator Certification and enroll in a Psychology Masters program.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology defines the field of Organizational Psychology as “versatile scientists specializing in human behavior in the workplace. Employers hire them—either in-house or as consultants—because their expertise results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower labor costs.”

There will be more posts as I begin my education and continue my research into this interesting and growing field. Until then, I will maintain my positive vision.

High Five – Be Encouraging!

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” -Goethe


I am a dog lover and married to a part-time dog trainer. Mei Mei, our Belgian Malinois, contributed her paw to the Paws-itivity cause!

I’ve always been a carrot vs. the stick kind of person. Positive reinforcement allows people to feel confident and accepted. And those attributes provide them the opportunity to do even better in learning, working or in their personal lives. E-Learning and adult training have even started using a badging system to teach. The badge system helps with goal setting, recall, and is used as an ongoing incentive.

Positive reinforcement not only works on humans, you favorite furry friend can benefit from some positive encouragement as well. Renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stillwell, has a training site called Positively and she explains the positive reinforcement principal!

Click here to read the details and see the video!