I talk a lot about happiness and positivity in my life and on this blog; How to identify it, how to keep it, the importance in spreading it, etc. I talk about those things in generalities and sometimes through stories. People have said they agree, they believe that too, they want to strive for happiness and positivity but they don’t always know how or where to begin. It can be hard to start somewhere positive and avoid the patterns of negativity or unhappiness that have been created out of habits. Habits of indifference, dirty looks, judgment, insecurity, laziness; all of the common things people do everyday and aren’t always aware that they’re doing.
How crazy is it that it can be HARD to be HAPPY or to be POSITIVE?! I don’t believe it should be, or that it really is.. I think people need to change their mindset and be proactive. To help get as many people started that truly want to be, I think you can begin with the fundamentals. The fundamentals that we’ve all learned or heard since we were kids: Manners and politeness (which lead to greater kindness.)
Not too long ago simple manners and politeness were standard teachings in households. Of course, this wasn’t/isn’t always the case, but for most, or at the very least it was expected in school. Somewhere down the road between suing each other, racial and cultural differences, rumors, social media bullying we have become so afraid to say anything to anyone. Sometimes when I say, “thank you” people are astonished that the words still exist. Seriously?!
People never seem afraid to point out when someone fails or makes a mistake, but rarely make the effort to say something nice or supportive. I’m confused, and slighted, that while we can tear people down daily, not too many people have the courage to pick people up. Should you quit your job to rush to the aid of a loved one having a bad day? No! Should you try to be a superhero and put your realistic needs and priorities aside? No! But, looking someone in the eye and genuinely saying, “Hey, I like that outfit,” “Nice job today,” “Congratulations on that man, that’s awesome,” “I appreciate you always being such a good friend,” can’t be so difficult!
I spend most of my day smiling and constantly thinking about forward progress. I’ve been on the other side of the tracks, I’ve made choices I don’t want to make again and I have no intentions of going backwards. So, when I meet people, my confidence and energy are obvious, in fact, there are many who feel that my ego and persona are overdeveloped. And that’s ok, but to most who just enjoy me as I am, the way I enjoy them, feel that I must know I’m doing ok, that I’m happy, that I’m confident in who I am and where I am in my life, so why tell me? “He already knows.”
The problem with this is that if everyone goes around thinking this exact same thing, this results in me, or anyone, walking around never hearing nice things from the ones that matter the most. Strangers or acquaintances will say positive comments all of the time, but the feeling in friendships becomes “there’s no need.” That’s unfortunate, not just individually, but collectively. Because we all need motivation, inspiration, support and we also need to hear it and feel it. Telling everyone you love, that you love them everyday could be a lot of work, but personally, I would rather spend significant time of my life making someone else’s better because POSITIVITY is just as potent and CONTAGIOUS as MISERY. The mind is a beautiful thing and we all have more power and abilities than we think.
So, back to the beginning: How to start?
Spend some time each day telling someone something encouraging or positive. Smile more. Say thank you! And, this is a challenge I have for all of you who really want to SEE the effects of this:
Next time you are out to eat and the server brings over your food, he/she will ask, “Can I get you anything else?” If there is something you need, then ask for it, but before they leave, complete your request with, “Can I have a smile?” I guarantee the person will not be able to refrain from smiling, even if it’s a little one, you’ll see it! It costs nothing, but could mean EVERYTHING.
Thank you all for the support and the smiles