Before I sent out this blog I asked my wife to review it. She laughed when I told her I thought to some degree I was a cross between Eeyore and Winnie. She said, “You are a Tigger on Red Bull.” I think she was eluding to my energy level, what I am speaking to today is more of a mental emotional state of being. With that out of the way let me begin.
I want to talk a little more about gratitude and optimism. I think for the individual that has a tendency towards pessimism, they might also find that they have a bent towards being melancholy . I don’t think that moments or periods of being melancholy are all that bad. I believe some wonderful deep thought and beautiful words can come out of it. I think it can be an ingredient to some strong and healthy reflection. But I don’t believe it is a healthy place to stay. In a prolonged state, it certainly will lead to pessimism and then depression.
My desire for myself and those whose lives I may impact is to understand our pessimism and balance the scales with equal or greater amounts of optimism.
Here are five key things I have done and continue to do balance the scales.
- Be involved in helping those in need. I think the human race was created to help other. I feel good when I have done a good deed. I enjoy seeing joy on the faces of others. I find that hearing others difficult stories makes me understand just how blessed I am.
- Spend time with people who are succeeding and celebrate their success with them. I was talking to my good friend Aaron on Sunday night. He was heading off to Italy to meet with a potential client. He was so pumped on the phone about the potential of this client and other new business that was coming his way. He was excited about what the future held for him and his business. When I got off the phone with him, I was really excited. His exuberance really impacted me and inspired me. So, purposefully spend times with the Aarons in your life and if you don’t have any optimistic purpose filled people in your life go and find them.
- Continually and habitually say thank-you- Melancholics have a unique perspective of our world. They have the Eeyore complex; I think I am more of a cross between Eeyore and Winnie, with as my wife says, Tigger on Red Bull, but I must confess I can lean towards Eeyore. So I have developed the discipline and the habit of saying thank-you continually. I wake saying thank you, force myself to say thank you during the day and try before I hit the hay by saying thank you. ” Gratitude from the lips is contagious to the whole body.”
- Battle to see the best in others. I must admit that their are times when I find it hard to see the success that others are having and then not feel down. (Eeyore sprouting his ugly head) Or I may find myself putting down someone who is drastically different from me instead of celebrating the differences. It is easy if you head down this road to gain momentum! It is so much easier, and feels awkwardly better to knock down than build up. SO CATCH YOURSELF, LISTEN TO YOUR SELF TALK and when you hear yourself doing this, stop and develop the habit of a)building people up, and b)celebrating their differences. HAVE THE SELF AWARENESS TO ASK YOURSELF IS THIS MY PRIDE SPEAKING?
- Be careful how you interpret events in your life. I find it uncanny when I am training or doing consulting work with people that so much of what I have to offer has come from perceived defeats or challenges I have experienced. The biggest contract I ever sold was for 1.5 million dollars but my first attempt to procure it failed miserably. I had needed only one more signature to nail down this specific deal. I was celebrating in my mind telling all of my colleagues the contract that I had just nailed, and then it all fell apart. The lesson I learned from that life event has helped me in so many other situations, especially in my consulting and training work. I love to celebrate people who have attempted to move beyond where they are to a new place. It doesn’t matter so much where you land but more that you attempted. Failure is only when you walk away from attempting.