“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” —Les Brown
What do you think about when you hear the phrase “Headline News”? You know the kind of news that’s the lead story on every newscast or the latest hashtag on social media. What about when you hear the word gossip? Gossip is defined on www.dictionary.com as “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.” Most news today is focused on gossip instead of actual news that matters.
If you think about it, the typical thirty-minute newscast consists of 28 minutes of negativity followed at the end by a two-minute clip called the “Feel Good Story of the Day” or something like that. In general, pessimism and negativity characterize the vast majority of information we hear every day.
So how many optimistic people do you know? Take a minute and think about all of the people you interact with at work, in your family, and in your circle of friends. Do any of them jump out to you as consistently optimistic? I’m betting that number is pretty low.
Of all the people I know and have regular interaction with, just a small handful are consistently optimistic. Let me say for the record that I often struggle with taking the “glass half full” perspective. So in many ways, I’m writing this section for myself as much as anyone else.
Fortunately, the number of positive people I know has actually increased in the past few years. I’ve actively tried to make better choices about whom I spend time with and get energy from. It takes some effort and tact to do it in such a way that doesn’t offend anyone, especially if some of the negative people in your life are close family.
I can think of a few people who uplift my spirits every time I’m around them. They always have a smile on their face, they’re always genuinely interested in what’s going on in my life, and they have a heart for bringing joy to everyone around them. One of the things they seem to regularly do is share something positive.
To the cynical and insecure, this positive perspective can come across as annoying or disingenuous. Isn’t it sad that the typical reaction from most is to scoff at a positive approach to a situation as opposed to taking a second to consider its merit?
The reality is that it’s easy to be critical. It’s easy to look at every situation and see the glass half empty. For most of us, it takes a considerable amount of effort to be positive a majority of the time.
When you read the Les Brown quote at the beginning of this section, what was your first reaction? When I first read it, I said, “You’re kidding right?” I share this because I get it. So what’s one small step we can take in the direction of being more positive today than yesterday?
What if for the next seven days, you chose to share a “glass half full” perspective in one conversation you have during the day? Remember the goal is one conversation. Not all, not most, just one.
How would the people in that conversation react? How could your fresh perspective effect the outlook of one person in the group? How could choosing to find hope instead of discouragement change you? I hope you can see the potential ripple effect that small positive voice could have. You’ll never know until you try, so why not start today?
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