My optimism secret - tell the world to F itself!
This month’s love letter (not receiving my love letters?) is a story about how I went from pissed off to praise-the-lord using some skills I learned from positive psychology. Here goes...
It was very quickly turning into “one of those days.”
First, an important breakfast cancelled. Next, a quick call to the bank turned into an hour long frustrating dilemma.
I was running late, un-showered, and unprepared for my next meeting. Uggggh! Then my cabbie gives me major attitude. After hustling to physically show up at a local bank branch, the teller tells me that the only person who could help actually quit.
If I was a cartoon you’d see steam shooting out of my ears.
With no i Scream Truck available, I used some optimism tricks to self talk my way out of a melt-down:
I silently declared to the invisible forces messing up my day: “Fuck you! I’m going to have an awesome day regardless of what goes down. Bring it.”
The scientific translation:
My crude real-life-in-the-moment declaration above is actually a practice of Learned Optimism. It’s choosing to see events as:
- Not personal - There’s nothing wrong with me (at least that’s causing this situation).
- Not permanent - This is not my whole life, it’s one morning.
- Not pervasive - Yes, this morning sucked but it doesn’t mean my whole day, career, or life sucks.
Studies found that positivity helps you live longer (you're two times more likely to be alive than your negative counterparts after the age of 65) and perform better at work (you’re more likely to be promoted within a year, receive positive reviews, and make higher sales).
I think the stakes are pretty high...so read about the five quick steps you can take to untwist a nasty situation into a positive one...
As for my happy/positive ending:
By keeping my cool instead of attacking innocent bank clerks, I stayed open to speaking with the Assistant Manager, Jasmine. That's us in the pic!
Jasmine was curious about WOOPAAH and pretty soon we found ourselves engaged in a meaningful conversation about happiness, struggle, and her experience of post partum. In about 20 minutes I not only resolved my issue, I met a new friend, potentially a new client, and experienced love 2.0 - a warm and authentic exchange that nurtured my being and brought me alive that day.
If I was a cartoon - the clouds would part, the sun would shine, and hallelujah would sound.
To read how to practice Learned Optimism without saying “fuck you” check out the scientific-five-step approach!
With much love,