A Few Wonderful Ways To Stay Positive At Work And In Life

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I'd like to offer several practical ideas about staying positive. Nothing magical here, just a few simple ideas to help shape the way you think and feel every day. They apply equally well at work and home, though here I'll focus more on the job. I could focus largely on your work tasks, but I would like to humanize work a bit by instead talking about you and the interpersonal aspects of your office life. To stay positive:

Bring all of you to the office

This involves the full spectrum of things that define you and make you smile: your attire, the music quietly playing in the background, the office décor - you name it. To constrict who you are at work to fit some "office acceptable" version of yourself requires energy. Energy is finite. Managing impressions is unavoidable, but over managing impressions to the point of losing the unique you at work is far worse. If you like loud ties, wear them. Ladies, if you have a penchant for ridiculous scarves, bring it on. Who cares if nobody other than you in the office likes Elvis Costello? Play it. In fact, spend a little non-work time and put together a few playlists - one for addressing any type of mood that might surface. And for heaven's sake don't be like the brain dead planners who designed your office. Why do they feel that gray or brown are motivational colors? Admit it, for most of you, the office is dominated by gray or brown. Weird. Your cube or office need not be. I indulge in Harley-related items (signs, mouse pad, etc.). For you it might be fishing or sports or origami, beats me, but make sure that aspect of you is represented. And add color - that should be a law. Preferably red. Make it a new lamp, phone, chair, something you stick on the shelf - who knows, just add red immediately.

Bring them to the office too

Them is all of the key people in life you love and spend time with. We spend far too much time at work, thus find a way to get them represented right there in your workspace. Bring pictures of the family, the girlfriend or boyfriend, the dog. My favorite recent additions are the framed pictures of my oldest son's art doodles. He is very into Ben 10 (just Google it). He claims the doodles depict Ben doing all sorts of miraculous things. To me, they are merely funny lighthearted doodles. They make me smile and when he sees them in my office, his smile is even bigger. How about video or audio? I have clips of my wife and both boys on my cell phone and, yes, I do pull it out when in need of a quick smile or bit of perspective.

Have something to look forward to

When we have things to look forward to, what do we do? We survive by any means necessary until they arrive! Make sure you are never without something to look forward to. This does not have to be a lavish vacation or something terribly expensive. It can be as simple as the night later in the week when you have pledged to go home early to cook dinner for the family. For me, that is a real treat. For you that might be a nightmare, so what. Maybe it is the movie night coming up with your children, the cook out with your family friends or the date night with your significant other. Get it on the calendar and in your mind and reference it just when things get a little nutty at work.

Do something nice for someone

Yes, you need to keep focused on the wonderful "thing to look forward to" for yourself. However, it may surprise you just how good it feels to do something for someone else right now. If you have time, try volunteer work. Join the Rotary (I did). Great, but if you're really strapped for time and money, you can still help others. There are abundant opportunities to do so at work every day. You have no excuse! Compliment someone personally. Maybe it is how they look that day. Maybe it is the fact that they are always positive. Maybe it is the fact that they are thoughtful enough every Friday to wish you a great weekend and every Monday to ask about your weekend. Compliment them professionally. Did they help you massage some data? Did they cover for you when you could not make the meeting? Were they there last week to offer you some needed input on a big decision? Tell them thank you - and be specific about why you are saying thank you. Crazy idea - help them back! It is amazing the wonderful feeling to be had from simply helping another person make it through the day a bit more smoothly.

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Todd Dewett has 1 articles online

Dr. Dewett is a nationally recognized leadership expert, professor, author, professional speaker and consultant specializing in all aspects of organizational life. As quoted in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, CNN, the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC and elsewhere. He is the author of Leadership Redefined. Podcasts, blog, free newsletter and more at http://www.drdewett.com Copyright 2009 TVA Inc.

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A Few Wonderful Ways To Stay Positive At Work And In Life

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This article was published on 2010/03/27