Tag Archives: positive psychology

Just Be Nice. It Goes A Long Way.

25 Jun

 

It amazes me, really, how rude some people can be.

I mean, come on…I know it’s Monday and that most people don’t want to be at work but still…that’s no excuse for being mean to people.

I walk through the hallways and say good morning to everyone, always. And you know what? MAYBE 5 out of every 10 people acknowledge my presence. Like really?

Not. Cool.

And then out of those 5 that DON’T flat out ignore me, maybe 3 of them look at me as if I had told them I was going to stab them (which I’m not, obviously).

Dude, I just said good morning.

I just said hi.

I’m just being nice.

But we’re not used to that.

It seems to me that when it comes to work, people fail to remember how important it is to be nice to others. I know we all have deadlines. I know we’re all struggling with budgets. I know that we’re all working our tails off to get that next promotion so we can feel important.

But stop for a second and think about this…

If you’re mean, you’re not going to get very far. I mean, you can only pretend to be nice for a little while. Eventually, something will happen and you won’t be able to fake it anymore.

If you’re rude, if you’re a jerk, people will know.

And you know what? People tend to talk about their negative experiences a lot more often than they talk about their positive experiences.

So if you suck, people are going to talk about how much you suck, ALOT.

I know we’re at work, but work doesn’t have to be this constant battlefield of backstabbing and gossip and rude behavior.

It’s not worth it.

Go to work. Be nice to people. Make a difference.

It’s not that difficult.

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Stop Worrying, It’s A Waste

11 Jun

I’m a terrible driver. I could lie and say that I have AMAZING driving skills but I won’t. Instead, I’m telling you straight up—I’m awful.

So for that reason I was on the verge of a panic attack two days ago driving to my boyfriend’s house because there was a HUGE FREAKING STORM.

I mean really, I couldn’t see anything. AT ALL. It was pretty scary. To make matters worse, I was hungry so I needed to get food on the way home unless I wanted to starve and die.

But I didn’t have an umbrella.

So the entire time that I was driving, I was worried. I was trying to logistically coordinate how get food without getting a pneumonia. Pneumonias are not fun.

But I was so busy trying to figure this out that I failed to realize one minor detail…

It wasn’t raining anymore.

The storm had passed and it was incredibly sunny.

As soon as I realized this, I started laughing by myself like a complete idiot.

Here I was stressing out about something that was no longer an issue. And you know what? I think this happens a whole lot.

I think a lot of times we worry about things in the future and more often than not, it’s a complete waste of time.

Why?

Because we don’t know what the weather’s going to be like five minutes from now. One minute it’s stormy. The next, it’s sunny. So what’s the use of worrying?

Stop stressing so much about the future. Focus instead on the present. What’s going on in your life RIGHT NOW that has you worried? The stuff that’s going on RIGHT NOW, that’s really all you have control over anyway.

And like the picture at the top of this post says…if there’s stuff that you CAN solve, then there’s no reason to worry. Stop worrying and

And if there’s other stuff that you CAN’T fix, that you CAN’T solve, that you CAN’T do anything about, then why waste your time worrying?

Instead of worrying, set a new goal. Join a club. Discover a new passion. Learn a new language. Go be nice to someone. Read a book.

Because at least those things are productive.

In an environment that’s constantly changing, the best that we can do is to learn to adapt. Learn to be flexible. Learn to embrace change. Worrying about the future isn’t a good use of our time because we don’t know what it’ll be like. The only thing that we do know, is that things will be different. Things will change, they always do.

So rather than strategically planning every aspect of your life and worrying about things you’re not even sure of, spend more time enjoying the present and being open to change. That’ll make your life a lot less stressful.

Study the Not So Average

7 May

Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of these Ted Talks.

I saw this one today and thought I’d share.

Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Positive psychology… It seems to be a topic of great interest lately.

There are thousands of books teaching people things like how to be happy… how to make the best out of really crappy situations… that your attitude determines your success.

Well it does, but that’s not what I want to write about at the moment.

Achor makes many great points in his talk, but the one that I really loved was his emphasis on the fact that we need to stop focusing on the average (start the video at about 4 mins).

You see, when it comes to business and success, it’s no secret that some people and some companies are more successful than others.

When I think about what I want from life and what I want from my job, I realize that I want a lot. I want to be passionate about my work and I want to make a difference doing something that I love.

It bothers me, though, that when I express this, some people tell me that it’s unrealistic. They tell me that I’m an idealist, that work is work and that’s all it is.

And then I argue and I say it’s not true. I say that Steve Jobs was passionate about his work and a whole bunch of other crazy and successful people get paid to do what they love.

And then they say, fine, that may be true…but only a FEW people really get to do that. Those people are the exceptions. Those people are the outliers.

They then tell me that I’m NOT the exception and that I should therefore focus on finding a job that:

a. pays well

b. doesn’t make me feel like consuming a whole bottle of alcohol when I get home

That’s life and that’s what an average job is.

Well that’d be great… If I was okay with average.

The point that Achor makes in his talk is that rather than focusing on what is average, rather than encouraging everyone to live an average life, we should be learning from those people that HAVE been the exceptions. We should be studying them and figuring out what they did differently that made them so successful.

People like Steve Jobs and Oprah, yes, they’re probably the exceptions. I get that. But they OBVIOUSLY did something right. And so, if I choose to be passionate about my work, and if I desire to live a fulfilling life, I’m going to study people that achieved those goals. Because they’re my goals…those are the goals that I aspire to reach.

Think about it. If we only study the mediocre, what do we really learn? How to be mediocre? How lovely.

Achor makes it clear…

“If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.”

So let’s study the crazy ones. It’d be crazy for us not to.

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