B+ (B Positive) is not just a blood group but should be a way of life for everyone
I have recently looked at the area of positive psychology, which is one of the foundations of coaching. Life is topsy-turvy for all of us and I find that we will be more at peace with ourselves and positive about life if we focus on things that generate authentic happiness.
I would like to share some pointers to authentic happiness in the spirit of spreading positive energy to everyone who reads this blog. Many of the things I have written are simple action points and could be in the realm of common sense. But as someone said, common sense is often not that common and therefore, I went ahead with writing this blog.
However, before delving into the to-do list, I feel it is important to distinguish between optimism and happiness. Optimism is being hopeful about the result of a future event. So our happiness becomes linked to an outcome and we run the risk of being disappointed. Moreover, our happiness could become dependent on other people’s actions, which obviously is beyond our control. Authentic happiness comes from doing things we are passionate about and where we draw pleasure from the activity itself and not its outcome. As Greg Anderson, best-selling author and founder of the American Wellness Project said “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it”
Here are 10 things that you could do to tap positive energy in your life:
Remove negativity – The first step is often the need to get past the negativity around you. This is easier said than done when you are in a crisis. But it is very important to minimize the post-mortems of problem situations and remove the drama of all negative emotions from your life in order to create space for positivity to enter your life. One way of doing this is to stop looking at the rear-view mirror and look at the road ahead of you. A wise person once said: “The reason your front windshield is so much bigger than the rear-view mirror is because you need to look ahead far more than you need to see the past”!!
Use the “Pause” button – It is equally important to always keep in mind that we always have a choice how to react to any situation that confronts us. It doesn’t have to be the instinctive reaction to any stimuli and one needs to insert a “pause” button between stimuli and reaction, where we stop for a moment and respond in the manner that is most effective for us. We need to evolve from being reactive (which is instinctive) to acting responsibly. As Aristotle said: “Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy”
Focus on your passion – ”If you don’t do what you love, your heart dies a little everyday” - Tom Shadyac (director of the documentary “I Am” on human connectedness, happiness & the human spirit). All of us have areas that we are passionate about whether it is work related or a hobby, sport or leisure activity. If you are not passionate about anything, start exploring new ideas and find some areas you could be passionate about because they are huge boosters of your positive energy.
Learn something new – I recently started learning to play the keyboard and every practice session is hugely therapeutic to create positive energy for me. I believe that we should never stop learning and there is no retirement age where it comes to learning something new. So find new things to polish up those grey cells in your brain every few months!! As Einstein said “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”
Energize your goals – Creating challenging & tangible goals for your aspirations is another way to create positive energy. But there is a risk that these goals may fall on the way-side, just like our New Year resolutions, because other things gain priority in our daily routine. One of the things I do with all my coachees is to energize their self-made goals. The energy is created by focusing on the major positive longer term benefits from by achieving the goal. E.g. one of my coachees was out of work and struggling to find a new role. So his obvious immediate goal was to get a suitable job – not easy when one is laid off in tough market conditions. In order to energize the goal for him, I probed on the longer-term benefits of getting back to work and one of major positive consequences was that he would be able to start constructing his home. Therefore, we constantly focused on the dream home as a way of energizing his goal to find his next job role
Plan in small steps – When we have a very challenging task or goal at hand we can become overwhelmed and negativity could creep in. In such situations it may help to break-down the goal into small stepping-stones that lead to the goal and focus on achieving each step keeping the overall goal in mind as well. That way we will be able to maintain our excitement and commitment to achieve the goal
Create sparks – One of the techniques I use is to get my coachees to commit to a few easy to achieve actions in the first session so as to create sparks of positive energy early in the process. Some examples are: a long overdue fun activity with your children; calling up an old friend out of the blue; getting back to an exercise routine; organizing a small get-together with friends, surprising your spouse with a gift outside of any occasion, etc. The purpose of these actions is to create sparks which then can be tapped to create more positive energy. So find something easy to do which has a positive outcome – it could be helping someone or being nice to a complete stranger or complimenting someone who least expects it. Spread the positive energy around you because it always reflects much brighter and the universe starts to conspire in your favour. “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream” - Paulo Coelho
Recount your blessings – This is not easy to do when things are going badly for you. One way of bringing back positivity in your life is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and start recalling all the things you are fortunate to have and within a few minutes the positive energy will start flowing back into your system. I know some people who spend 5 minutes every morning doing this exercise and it is their daily morning prayer of thanksgiving. An adapted quote I like to keep in mind is: “Nobody ever went blind looking at the brighter side of life. Spend a few minutes every day just visualizing life being better. It will help reduce stress, generate ideas on what you need to do to improve the situation and indeed make your life better”
Everything happens for the best - I do believe that everything happens for the best, no matter how bad it may seem when it is actually happening. As they say, hindsight is always 20:20. Therefore, I suggest that when you want to get over a crisis, look back at some difficult situations that you faced in the past where you felt very depressed or angry while the situation was occurring and later you thanked your lucky stars that it happened that way and not any other way. And then use these memories to create the belief that the crisis you are in is really a blessing in disguise
Tap energy from family and friends – You may feel the need of family and close friends to perk you up from time to time. If you just need a few sparks of positive energy from someone to re-ignite the positivity in your life and then can keep the fire burning after that, then it could be OK to use this method selectively. However, if you are unable to sustain the positivity then clearly there are some deep-rooted issues that need sorting out and you may need to see a qualified therapist. Also, if you constantly need others to reignite your positive energy, they are going to feel sapped and you run the risk of losing your friends in the process. So use this method as a last resort only
Hope some of these pointers are helpful for you, especially during those times when you need to bring back positivity in your life
If you felt some positive energy while reading this blog, please take a few moments to pass the blog along to all your friends via email or by sharing it on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Am sure that the positive energy you generate by sharing this with others will come back to you from a direction you least expect!!
As always, would love to receive your feedback and comments. You can email me directly at email@example.com as well