Optimism is a choice.
Think about a time when you were “in your zone.” You know, that time when everything seems to be going right without much effort. Your conversations are more fun, your production is higher, you accomplish three days worth of your to-do list in one day, and everyone wants to be around you. At the end of the day you don’t even feel tired. In fact, you still have energy and want to add another 24-hours to your day.
Why doesn’t every day feel like this?
Emotions. That’s why. Let me start by saying that I’m not promoting some short-term false positivity where you turn a blind eye to real problems, close your eyes, and recite some positive mantra. I’m talking about teaching yourself how to receive information in a positive manner (beforehand) so that you can capitalize on opportunities and momentum as well as steady the emotional roller coaster we call life.
It starts with deciding to be an optimist in whatever area(s) of life you want to improve.
For example, over the past few weeks I fell off the proverbial bus. I became very critical of feedback from others on my ideas and input. I was emotionally invested in these ideas and pieces of input, which is why I felt so frustrated when they weren’t all home runs. Instead of taking the feedback as constructive criticism, I shutdown my brain the second I heard something negative. . So not only was I emotionally drained at the end of the day, I also didn’t learn anything to improve for the next time around.
Overcoming this is simple, but not always easy. I’m still building myself back up.
Optimism is a habit. And like all other habits, we often break them. On the bright side though, it only takes 21 days to form a habit (positive or negative). So start with the best-case scenario of how you want to react in all situations. Are you short-tempered, shortsighted, and dismissive? Or are you an open-minded, enthusiastic person who gives his or her time to listen to others so that you walk away feeling like you’ve made progress even if your idea was just shot down? Again, optimism is a choice. I will leave it up to you to choose for yourself.
Give-to-get is the other piece to consider. Think about when you listen to others. How are you internalizing their information? Are you really listening to what they are saying? Or are you just waiting until they stop talking so you can give your feedback?
Like the old adage goes, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This is a perfect analogy. Give people your full attention, truly listen to what they say, and then give your honest feedback the way you would want to receive it. Over time, you will then get the same type of response from others. You will feel listened to, understood, and respected – just like you made them feel – in turn giving you more natural energy.
We are emotional creatures, and this topic is much more complex than a short little article can handle. But like anything else, baby steps are key. Remember, give-to-get and you will have more days spent “in the zone,” I promise.
PS – Give-to-get works wonders in other areas of business and life. Want more referrals? Give more. Want more quality time with those you love? Give more undivided attention when you’re with them.
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