My meditation guide recently pointed out that we are always aware when we start to feel anxious or upset. But how often do we notice the moment those feelings start to pass? The same can be said of our relationships. We’re often burdened by the interpersonal difficulties we face, but how often do we actually notice when the load is lightened? Beyond that, how often do we appreciate when we feel positively inspired and connected because incredible people are in our lives, often showing up at just the right time?
- Could be as simple as a magical stranger stepping up to open a door for you as you struggle with too many bags and a cell phone to your ear.
- Maybe you have a fascinating friend and you just had an incredible exchange of ideas that has you fired up about life.
- Or you just had a meeting with a new business associate and you are excited about working together on a big project.
It’s much easier to bitch & complain!
But don’t let yourself get sucked in! It’s a dangerous rabbit hole.
You probably know people who thrive in this zone— always putting others down and focusing on the negative. Life is tough indeed, and being a complainer is easy, but the easy route is rarely the most rewarding.
I’ll admit that I’m a recovering complainer. I fall off the wagon regularly but at least I am aware enough to catch myself now. Time, therapy, and reflection have helped me realize the power of taking responsibility for how I choose to respond. I have also come to see that complaining never does much good anyhow.
Noticing the good already around you and being a positive force takes daily effort, but it also pays dividends. Studies show that positive thinkers enjoy many benefits including better health, wellbeing and less depression. Once you start to cultivate this habit, it seems to build a momentum of its own.
When I opened my shop it dawned on me that as a business owner, I would be a leader. The question is what kind of leader would I become? I decided early on that I wanted to focus my efforts around a positive purpose; one that would encourage and connect people. I’ve learned much through trial and error, but my most unexpected insight came from a 16-year-old girl that I hired several years back. Despite her young age, she had a beautiful spirit with an inner spark that radiated love for others. “V” was and still is a guiding light for me.
I sometimes joke that I look at life differently before and after “V”’, but it’s kind of true. Never doubt the impact one person can make! Her positive vibes touched not only me but also our entire staff and many customers, who all remember her fondly. That’s why I’m such a proponent of hiring for talent over experience.
As business owners and leaders, especially those of us who are cause-driven, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact. Like the late Steve Jobs said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.” The best way I know to achieve this, instead of pouring energy into all the weaknesses of the world, is to bring in good people who have the same passion for what we want to accomplish. If we all do our best in our own niche, we’ll make a positive contribution.
On more than one occasion I’ve been accused of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Although that couldn’t be farther from the truth, if it comes down to the choice between aligning with haters or those striving to make a positive impact, I’m guilty as charged.
No matter how dire things may seem, there is always inspiration and hope. The great Martin Luther King Jr. said: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” On this day celebrating his life, I am positively inspired! Won’t you join me?