Our Positivity Index: Staying positive even when you don’t feel like it


As I have said previously, my wife and I recently took our first cruise. We enjoyed it very much.  One of the things, however, that was most impressive was how the employees stayed “on their game” all day every day.  These employees typically do the same thing every day for nine months without a day off.  Yet, they remain positive, cooperative, and make it fun every day.  Most impressive was the Cruise Director, the guy in charge of all the entertainment all week.  He was up and “on his game” from around 6am when he taped his daily what’s-happening-today TV program to the last show around midnight.  He was everywhere and 100% positive every minute.  How does he do that?  What can keep an individual “on top of his/her game” no matter what is happening in their personal life and no matter how they feel?

Not that I am an expert on this subject because I know I am not always “on my game”, but I can think of several things that matter:

Our Positivity Index: Staying positive even when you don’t feel like it

Perpetually positive people:

  1. Live their lives with a sense of gratitude – Positive people know they are blessed. They know that, relatively speaking, things are good. They appreciate what they have and the opportunities they have been given. Thus, they want to pay something back to others. They want others to experience the appreciation they feel.
  2. Positive people realize that they have a responsibility to others – Thus, they know that some days they simply have to crunch their way through it. Those individuals working on the cruise ship are away from their families for nine months. Certainly, there are days when they are homesick and miss their families. Yet, they realize that those very people they miss are depending upon them to work and do a great job. The same holds for us… some days we just have to get through and do our best doing it.
  3. Have the ability to motivate themselves – Positive people have an internal positivity thermostat that they control. They have that ability to remain positive no matter the circumstances. Others require ongoing encouragement to remain positive. Knowing what makes and keeps us positive is important for setting our personal positivity thermostat.
  4. Surround themselves with positive people – Positive people attract and keep company with other positive people. Negative people challenge us and tend to drive us down. Thus, positive people know this and seek to surround themselves with others that can keep a positive outlook.
  5. Live to add value to others – Positive people approach each day wondering what they can do to make life better for someone else. They look at each day as a challenge – what will happen and who will cross my path that I can help? How can I turn this negative day into a positive one for someone else? When you approach a day in this manner, you will be amazed at how your outlook can change.
  6. Can see the big picture – Positive people understand that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Thus, they tend to keep those minor, small nuisances of life in proper perspective and focus on the longer-term. Small things do not drag them down. They can quickly dismiss setbacks and reset their focus.
  7. Prioritize well – Positive people organize their lives in a way that minimizes the impact of a busy schedule, deadlines, and last-minute issues. These tend to shift us toward the negative. By keeping the big things big and the small things small, they maintain a more positive outlook.
  8. Focus on what they can control – Positive people know that there are some things they can control and others which they cannot. They have a way of compartmentalizing these and, thus, do not focus on what they cannot control. When you focus on those things under your control, you allow yourself more time to get things done and maintain your “chin up.”
  9. Celebrate milestones – Positive people know that they need to pause and celebrate key milestones. They maintain a positive outlook simply because they spend time recognizing that hard-won victories deserve our attention. When you are working toward a target, you maintain the feeling that you are making progress and achieving successes along the way.
  10. Take care of themselves – Positive people know that they must take care of themselves to remain positive. Getting enough sleep, getting regular exercise, eating well, taking time away to refresh… all of these are important to allow us to reset and refocus.

So, which of these cause you to struggle the most? Which of these can you shift toward a more positive outlook?  If we assume that the sum total of these ten items in our lives result in our own personal “Positivity Index”, improving in one or two of these can have a favorable impact on our overall positivity.  Thus, if we can improve even in one or two of these, our outlook should be impacted.  I’m sure the opposite is also true.

Look around. Who in your world has a high “Positivity Index”?  What keeps them that way?  How can you become more like that?

Thanks for what you do to make the world a better place! Have a great day today!  Remember, it could still be our very best yet!  There is still a chance.

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