Posts Tagged ‘Positivity’

Cultivate Compassion for Negative Coworkers

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
This is #11 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Cultivate Compassion for Negative Coworkers. People who are negative are that way for a reason. They may have difficulties you don’t know about. Try to be compassionate and non-judging. If you’re a manager, people still need to meet benchmarks, but you don’t have to dislike them if they are not cutting it. When you encounter a negative person, you have the choice to either be affected by the negativity or to be the one who influences the other person. It’s a decision. Choose to stay positive. Instead of saying (in your head or out loud) “Oh, that Suzy-Q! Her negativity always ruins my day,” try thinking “Poor Suzy-Q. She must have some difficulties. I wish her peace. In spite of her negativity I will try to be a positive influence around her.”

One way I “cultivate compassion for negative coworkers” is by picturing that person as a toddler.  Then all my potentially explosive anger melts into a nice, manageable little puddle.  I mean, how can you completely lose your temper with a toddler?

Some of you are probably thinking to yourself, “Obviously, she’s never had a toddler of her own,” and you would be correct. :)

How do YOU manage difficult co-workers and other difficult people you encounter throughout your day?

-MJ

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
This is #10 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.

This is great advice.  Whether you love or hate your job, you can always improve your work life by consciously deciding to have a good attitude about it.  When I’m overworked, frustrated, tired, or just grumpy, I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath, relax, and think of something positive.  Sometimes that positive thought is as simple as, “At least I’m learning from this miserable experience,” or “Thank goodness this will all be over soon,” but even simple thoughts work.

I believe that you too will find that if you actively develop the habit of thinking positively and avoid griping to yourself or others about your problems, you will become a happier, more productive person – and you’ll probably be a whole lot more fun to be around. :)

-MJ

PS -  SMILE!  Even when life sucks, and no one is looking. :D

The power and pitfalls of positive thinking

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

A quarter of a century ago (I’ve always wanted to say that), when I was a young engineer with Texas Instruments, I had a manager named Dick Carroll. Dick was a big guy who looked a lot like Mr. Clean without the eyebrows.

One day, I was working on a drafting table in a large, open bay, when Dick walked up and started talking about how great his sex life was. That was more information than I needed to know, but I held my tongue. Conversations with the big boss were always precious, regardless of how they began.

On this occasion, Dick’s upbeat demeanor so contrasted with how crappy I felt that morning – how I felt every morning, in fact – that, instead of asking what middle-aged, wrinkly sex was like, I asked how he always managed to be so optimistic.

That’s when Dick explained the power of positive thinking to me. In a nutshell, when you whine and complain, you annoy people and they avoid you like the plague. When you’re positive and optimistic, that attracts people and opportunities.

The concept wasn’t new; the book by Norman Vincent Peale was originally published in 1952. But it was new to me.

Click here for the full article.

Experience the power of positive thinking

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

After listening to a patient tell me about her life, I told her positive thinking leads to a better life.

The patient, 25, told me she did not have a high school degree and worked as a custodian for the city. She was encouraged to get a physical by her supervisor after learning it was free with her health insurance. This was her first doctor’s visit since she gave birth to her third child. She revealed all her children were fathered by three different men with whom she had no current relationships. When I asked her about her support system, she told me she had not spoken with her mother or siblings for five years and did not know her father or grandparents. She was an attractive lady, but slightly overweight. I noticed she made as little eye contact as possible with me during the interview and physical.

As a family physician, it is my responsibility to medically and psychologically assess every patient and provide medical and/or psychological care, as needed. In this case, after a physical exam, vital signs, and labs all with normal findings, I initiated treatment of her emotional state. I am a strong advocate of a type of psychotherapy called cognitive psychotherapy. This is a form of therapy that involves interactions with patients that help them look at things from a more positive viewpoint. I asked the patient to try to “look at the glass as half full.” I scheduled the patient to come in for an appointment every two weeks.

Click here for the full article.

Allan Heyl: the power of positive thinking

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

He robbed 20 banks in six weeks. He was “that other guy” who went on a crime spree with former police captain André Stander in the early 80s.

Describing himself then, Allan Heyl, 56, said: “I suffered a horrendous debilitating inferiority complex. I was a disgruntled jerk, confrontational, aggressive and I could not live with myself.”

Then his eyes, the same blue as his business card which reads: Allan Heyl Public Speaker, twinkled: “But at least I supported Western Province.”

The new Heyl sees something positive in everything and is proof positive thinking can change lives.

Click here for the full article.

Does “counting your blessings” really help?

Monday, April 14th, 2008

While many would agree that “counting your blessings” is a worthwhile practice, there hasn’t been much experimental research on whether gratitude really has a positive impact on our lives. Several studies have found that gratitude correlates with positive emotions such as happiness, pride, and hope, but experimental work — showing that gratitude causes these things — is scarcer.

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough figured it would be worthwhile to explore this notion. Their method of study was both ingenious and simple: they would ask 201 students in a health psychology class to respond to a weekly questionnaire. Everyone rated their well-being, was tested on a measure of gratefulness, and reported on their physical health and level of exercise. The key to the study was a division into three groups. The first group listed five things they were grateful for each week. The second group listed five hassles or irritants from the past week. The final group simply wrote down five “events or circumstances” from the past week. This continued for ten weeks.

What sort of things did they write?

Some students said they were grateful for “waking up this morning,” or “for wonderful parents,” or “the Lord for just another day.” Hassles were things like “hard to find parking,” “messy kitchen,” or “having a horrible test in health psychology.”

As you might expect, the students in the gratefulness group scored significantly higher than the hassles group on the gratefulness measure. But they also were more positive about the upcoming week and their life as a whole. They were even healthier than both the hassles and events groups, and they reported significantly more hours of exercise (4.35) than the hassles group (3.01). On the more rigorous measure of positive affect, which assesses many different dimensions of positive emotion, there was, however, no significant difference between the groups.

Click here for the full article.