I met with a friend recently and upon greeting him with my usual “well, how are things going?” he responded, “couldn’t be better”, which I found extremely refreshing. I was struck by my immediate response as though I expected the usual, busy with the kids, work sucks, or something else far less positive than the response I got. More importantly it wasn’t fake, he genuinely felt that life was so good that “it couldn’t be better”.
This in turn got me thinking about why more people don’t feel this way. If you polled 100 random people, you might get that positive response from around 10%. And so it begs the questions “why?” The answer lies in the fact that we all see things a certain way based on own filter systems; these form our perception, which can be positive or negative. If you have a more negative tendency I would like to offer the following 5 tips to help create a positive shift.
- Consciously seek the positive – you have control of your frame of mind and the lenses through which you see things. Look more for the good and it’s amazing how much is actually there.
- Stop watching the news – as a society we are sadly drawn to bad news and though it’s good to be informed, there is a balance; sadly the media does not provide it.
- Give back to your community – there is a tremendous gift in giving and research (Aker) has proved that helping others actually makes you happier.
- Be the player – too many people are in the victim mode and blame others for whatever their misfortunes might be (parents, teachers, boss, and government). Take responsibility for you and be the main player in your life.
- Pursue your dream – determine what you want and just start it even if it might take a day, a week, a month, a year, or a lifetime. Very often the process is more fulfilling than the outcome.
If the above resonates with you, then you are already on the way. If you think it stupid or impossible, though it might be understandable relative to your experiences to date, you do have a choice whether to do something about it or not. But just imagine what life could be like if you were able to say “it couldn’t be better”. You just need to get out of your own way.