People are starved for good news about themselves. Our daily busy-ness drives us from one task to another without a breath for reflection. There are clients to please, phone calls to make, children to ferry, and bills to pay.
We get so mired in the gaps between where we are and where we had hoped to be (that usually means further ahead of the game) that we forget to pay attention to the things that are going right in our lives.We put in a full day at the office and don’t see what was accomplished – only how much is left to be done. We attend a community meeting where the conversation centers on who hasn’t shown up rather than focusing on the folks who are there and ready to get at it.
It’s as if we’re driving on automatic tuned to the bad news channel. Well, it’s time to switch stations. After all, a good doctor checks for signs of life in the patient – not for signs of death. A heartbeat, no matter how weak, is a welcome sign. We’d be much healthier in spirit if we, too, looked for signs of life in our own daily adventures.
Start by cultivating the ‘Good News Question’. Don’t kick yourself at the end of the day over all the things you should have done differently. Ask yourself, “What went well today?”
Tie the question to your end of day routine – that last action before heading home. When you switch off your computer, clear off your desk, or walk to the bus-stop tune your mind to the ‘Good News Question’.
Give yourself a pat on the back. Stick that arm in the air, bend it at the elbow and take it from there. Treat yourself to a pat on your back in the middle of a workday and it’s certain that bystanders will want to know just what’s going on.
Start a Me File – a folder in which to collect notes, cards, and letters of appreciation you might receive from others. Though I’m a great believer in dejunking, I suggest you never throw away any good news you get about yourself. Me Files are great antidotes for ‘slug of the earth’ days – those times when nothing seems to go right and everything you touch falls to pieces.
Invest in a Success Journal. For less than two dollars, you can pick up a hard cover, blank paged ‘Nothing Book’ and turn it into something of value. Use it to record your own successes – accomplishments of which you’re proud, appreciative comments from others that you’d like to savor again, your narrow escapes from challenging situations.
Build perks and rewards into your workday. If you’ve been avoiding tackling a tough problem, promise yourself a treat for taking that first step.
Share the news of your success – with someone who cares. Avoid the people in your life who tend to minimize or ‘one up’ your good news. Just don’t bother telling them. Find others who are genuinely happy for your success and share your news with them.
Learn to accept compliments with grace. Don’t dump on the person sharing the appreciation by replying, “It was nothing. Anybody would have done the same thing. Just doing my job. Goes with the territory.”
Offer a simple, “Thank you.” You compliment the person who took the time to notice, and you tune yourself that much more sharply to the good news station.
© Patricia Katz MCE CHRP of Optimus Consulting is a speaker, author and consultant who helps individuals and organizations restore the rhythm of renewal to work and life. To bring Patricia’s expertise to your organization, contact her at www.patkatz.com or toll free at (877) 728-5289.