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!

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“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.

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High Five – Be Encouraging!

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

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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!

                                                                                                                                                                

 

High Five – Coping with the Unexpected

From JRR Tolkien we get these words: “Many are the strange chances of the world.”

A few days last week were more depressing than expected. But on the bright side, because I’ve been writing positive posts all month (!) my day did not end with gooey chocolate cake and wine. It ended with me utilizing coping skills, channeling the negative into a positive.

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“Many are the strange chances of the world.”

Coping skills might include binge watching The Big Bang Theory, writing in a journal or meditating. It may also include going shopping, meeting friends for dinner or seeing a movie. These two sentences do sound like the division between Introvert and Extrovert preferences.

I have a preference for extroversion and my coping skills can be summed up with: “get around as many people as possible and talk it out.” Other Extroverts seem to have the same reactions. Introverts, on the other hand, during times of stress, want a quiet and calm retreat. Extroverts see connections as soothing while the introverts think of reflection as comforting.

Whatever your preference, handle life and the unexpected situations that arise within it in a way that recharges you and allows you to cope and get back to making your life more positive.

High Five – Hands Down!

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

**All this month my posts have been palms up and high fives but today the palm is down in a giving, handing gesture.

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

A friend of mine was complaining about not getting what she expected from a networking event, and another friend reminded her that she needed to approach it with a selfless attitude. As in not thinking: “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM!) instead thinking “What can I bring to this event?” In other words, “How can I help you?” He said to take the world with a “palms down” approach – What can I hand to you? What can I give? Instead of the “palms up” approach indicated, “What can I get?”

Making others feel positive, uplifting people has a direct effect on your mood as well.

A post called The Joy of Giving at www.psychologytoday.com website discussed studies done involving helping others. One of the prime examples showed that those who were members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and helped other members were “significantly less likely to relapse in the year following treatment” which was when most relapses occur. Another case presented involved a home for mental health recovery where the members helped each other. The director stated “that people tend to be more stable and happy if they feel like they are benefiting people more than themselves, or outside themselves.”

My friend went to her next networking event with the idea that she would go early, volunteer to help with food, setup or wherever they needed her. And as I recall, she made a lot more memorable connections that day.

In closing, keep in mind – your palms are always down when you’re pulling someone else up.

High Five – Positive Attitude-The Habit

From Samuel Johnson comes today’s quote: “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

When I first starting writing posts about making a positive attitude a habit, I couldn’t wait for the 21st day! Why? Because it takes 21 days to form a habit. Is this really true?

The HowStuffWorks website states that basically, “habits are easier to make than they are to break. If you repeat a behavior often enough, those synaptic pathways are going to get worn in. The human brain is a very adaptive piece of machinery” and continues with “Everyone’s brain is different, and habit formation also relies on aspects of experience and personality.”

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“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

For me, I gave up caffeine in 7 days. Never went back to it. Gave up sugar in 28 days – cold turkey – but I must admit I still want it, crave it and occasionally indulge in it. I trained for a 5K after 6 years of doing nothing in 27 days (9 weeks, 3x a week!). But making a positive attitude a habit is proving to be a little more difficult, maybe because it is a state of mind instead of a state of being. Giving up caffeine and sugar and exercising all have visible results and though resisting cravings and slogging through a bad workout may not be the best of times, you know it will get better (interesting how I can be positive about those physical things but being positive about situations is so much harder)!

In this post, How to Make Positivity a Habit: 4 Simple Steps to a Happier Everyday Life from bufferapp.com, it seems that a positive habit can be made over time, incrementally. As mentioned in the post, habits can be formed by taking small steps like flossing one tooth at a time or meditating for 2 minutes to work up to 10 minutes.

So whether it takes 21 days, 21 months or 21 years, forming habits both physical and mental take various amounts of time depending on your desire to change those habits. And my desire to be more positive is just as strong as my desire to give up caffeine and run a 5K. Be positive, don’t look back and keep moving.

High Five – Positively Excited

Today’s quote comes from the CEO of Threadless: “I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.” I found this to be so timely and true.

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“I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.”

Of late, I’ve had a big decision to consider: what job am I going to take next? As a writer, I can go many different directions and some are very exciting while others most definitely are not.

So it is at that point that I need to become excited about the options to change careers completely, remain in the one I chose 15 years ago or venture out into something related but different. Each consideration – even staying on my current career path – produces no small amount of apprehension but does make the adventure seem more exciting, nonetheless. According to the Advanced Life Skills website, I need turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Here are some examples:

Negative self-talk Positive spin
I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
There’s not enough time. Let’s re-evaluate some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can learn to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one communicates with me. I will start the conversation.
I’m not getting any better at this. I want to give it another chance.

We make a million decisions a day and the one that should be the most important is to be positive. Make the decision and get excited about being positive! By being excited about that one decision, you can color your entire day, and eventually your life.

High Five – Be the Positive Change

It only takes one person.

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I was having a particularly bad day and had to – once again – go to Walmart for something-that-didn’t-make-it-onto-the-huge-list-I-had-earlier-in-the-week-that-was-supposed-to-keep-me-from-needing-to-stop-at-Walmart-before-the-weekend! I was not happy about this trip and not happy about my bad day.

The cashier, as soon as I walked up with my items, completely ignoring my scowl, says in a most cheery tone, “Are you enjoying this fantastic weather we’re having today? What a beautiful day!” To be honest, I hadn’t noticed the weather. It seemed a little cooler, but, all I had been focusing on was how nothing had gone right the entire day and now I was going through the motions, just to get through the day! But, now that someone mentioned it, it was a really, really nice day outside. Our 90+ degree heat and high humidity had turned to a 75-degree, no humidity, light breeze, sunny day. Yes, the sun was shining and it truly WAS beautiful! So I replied, showing my first smile of the day, “Yes, yes, I am enjoying it!” Her exceptional attitude turned my day around. I just kept thinking, it only takes one person to be kind to bring about a transformation.

So with that, today’s positive quote is from Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

You never know when your smile, your gratitude or your act of kindness will be the one thing that someone else needs that will change an attitude. I really needed her to remind me that it was a beautiful day. Her smile and excitement at this simple fact made all the difference.

Go be positive, smile and act kindly – be the positive change.