Positive Journal

Being a positive and optimistic person is crucial to live a life of happiness and success. This is not a newfound discover but it often gets lost throughout the course of our busy days. Especially for us here on the east coast, it is very easy to get caught up in an impatient and hostile attitude. There are several ways to combat these thoughts though and today I will be talking about one of the most important tools on our side.

A proven way to help enhance a positive attitude is by maintaining a positive experience journal. This is basically a journal or book filled with all of the good things that happened to you throughout that day/week. This is effective for three major reasons. The first is that it helps your brain think back through your day in search of the good things that happened. Through this navigation, your brain tends to block out a lot of the negative things since its purpose is to remember the good things.

Second, getting to write down all of the good things that happened to you makes it that much more real. These things don’t need to be life altering. Things such as less traffic then usual or someone in the coffee shop giving you a nice smileĀ all suffice as positive entries. By writing all of these things down, you begin to adopt a new approach and start seeking out small little things that make you happy.

Third, by keeping this record of all these good times in your life, you now have a reference when you think life is getting bad. By being able to look back on these good experiences, you can now boost your own morale to get through a tough time or even remind yourself where happiness can be found.

Now this all may seem like a silly idea but it is proven to work. So much so, that the United States Army has adopted this technique as a lesson that it teaches in its Master Resiliency School. This school teaches leaders how to become master resiliency teachers and this is one of the prime techniques taught to keep soldiers motivated and optimistic, especially while over seas.

I will be leading by example by posting a positive journal entry once every week. This will help me maintain a positive approach while also giving me a place to look back on for positive experiences. I challenge you to do the same thing and to share with me some of the awesome experiences that you have had throughout the week!


Karma is Real

I have not written about it yet but my grandfather and I are very close. He played a huge role in my upbringing and I would not be the man I am today without him. One of my favorite stories of his though is one that has been a huge influence on me wanting to change my approach to life. Around 21 years ago my grandfather was outside watering his flowers when he noticed the young son of his next-door neighbor with a table of trinkets outside. Curious, my poppop walked over to 11 year old Tom and asked him why he set up this table full of gadgets and old toys. Tom responded by saying that he wanted a new pair of sneakers but had to earn the money all by himself. Without hesitation, Tom then asked if my poppop would like to purchase one of his old toys. After browsing for a bit, poppop picked up a partially deflated basketball and asked Tom the price. Tom told him it would only be $2.00 because of the poor condition the ball was in. Dumbfounded, poppop said “No way! This is at least a $20.00 basketball.” So poppop handed the wide eyed little boy a 20 dollar bill for the old deflated basketball and wished him luck with the rest of his fundraising. Fast forward to 2012 by which point my poppop had battled several major health issues and was recently diagnosed with stage 2b pancreatic cancer. He was pretty weak and could not do the work to maintain his yard like he did in the past when he got a knock on the door. His good pal Tom was all grown up now and wanted to start his own landscaping company. His first customer? My grandfather. Tom gave my poppop a price $20.00 or the equivalent of an old deflated basketball, for his landscaping services and has kept it that way ever since.

My poppop’s $20.00 investment stuck with Tom throughout his whole life and motivated him to come back and thank my grandfather when he needed it most. This is just one small reminder that you never know how much of an impact one small kind act can have.