Have you ever tried to smile while being negative or critical? It just doesn’t work. Smiling has incredible benefits, from helping you live longer, to enhancing your immune system, to making you more attractive! WOW!
Tomorrow I am speaking to the Win With Washington group on “Positivity.” The feat of narrowing my thoughts down on this subject to a 45-minute speech was daunting until the acronym S.M.I.L.E. popped into my brain. I thought I would share a few thoughts with you and would love to hear yours.
6 Profound Ways To Be A Positive Person Who S.M.I.L.E.S.
1. Story Management
We all have a story that is running through our heads. It is your inner chatter, your personal narrative, and your self-talk that every event and every fact is filtered through before you take an action.
What I find is that people are telling awful, critical stories to themselves. When we look at how we are speaking to our “self” versus the way we say things to others, it is clear that we would never speak the things outloud that we are telling to our “self.”
Take a moment and listen to your story. Does it makes you smile or cringe? Then take steps to change the story if you are not pleased with what you discover.
2. Make it Matter
Positive people make their tragedies and suffering matter. They have seasons of darkness, pain, and heartache, and yet they keep finding the light, the good, the meaning as they refuse to give into self-pity.
Aristotle said “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”
Positive people are those who have learned the art of turning their pain into their purpose. They are the eagles who rise above adversity to make it matter.
Positive people are moving forward in life. They know their intentions and they are moving in the direction of the future. They do not get bogged down in their to-do list and they do not dwell on the past or get paralyzed in the present. There is movement toward a bright future.
It’s a little sacrilegious but I think setting goals can be a negative and harmful experience for people at certain times in their lives. It can be discouraging and hopeless, but you can always have positive intentions that you pursue with earnest. Now let’s be clear, I teach people how to goal set, and I make a living helping people reach their goals, yet at the same time I believe there is something better. I believe that all people greatly benefit from having stated (and written down) intentions.
This shift worked incredibly for my frazzled friend who has 4 kids and was headed into Summer with a laundry list of things she wanted to do with and teach her kids. It seemed overwhelming and her story was, “It’s never going to happen, so why try?” I invited her to change her language to intentions and get out of the details into the desired outcomes. The exercise shifted her entire mindset. She accomplished more than she intended to and had joy in the journey of achieving her “goals.”
4. Live your values
This is a drum I loudly beat to everyone I know. Your values are the rudder that steer your life. Positive people do not compromise their values, even when it hurts. Even when there is a personal cost, they stand by their values and honor them.
The most miserable people I know are always complaining about something but they are not standing for anything. Honoring your values takes work but the benefits of living out what you believe pays huge dividends.
Your first step in living your values is to define your top 5 core values. Because of my great passion around this subject, our September Life 301 workshop is designed to walk you through defining your values to live with purpose.
5. Excellence – not perfection
Perfectionism is the breeding ground of negativity. How many things can you actually be perfect in and if you are not perfect, then what? Whose definition of perfection are you using as a standard? If you find yourself saying, “I know, I’m a perfectionist”, I strongly suggest you start changing that story immediately. When you hold yourself to that level of perfection you inadvertently hold others to it as well. That is suffocating!
Excellence is what we can all achieve. Do your best. Celebrate your best. Live your best life. My little slogan is … Be the best you can be today. RIGHT NOW! Be the Best RIGHT NOW!
Anything less than excellence is laziness and/or fear which then what drives us to perfection or trying nothing. Let it go and BE your best. DO your best. LIVE your best life now!
6. Smile and Be Grateful
Seriously, just smile more. Smile because you are grateful. You have so much to be thankful for, so smile and name those things. Smile when you walk down the street. Smile as you do the dishes. Smile when you make your coffee in the morning. Smile. Smile at your kids. Smile at your spouse. Smile at your boss. Smile as you encourage others. Smile. Put a reminder on your smart phone to remind you to smile and maybe one of the others above.
Above all else today be grateful and you won’t be able to help but smile!
Share below what makes you smile.