Pat Katz Pat Katz




Pause Gem #30 – Answer The Good News Question

Count Blessings-wReflection & Action: I caught a ride on a beautiful fall day with a cab driver who could easily have taken the grand prize for the world’s darkest outlook on life. In response to my comments on the freshness of the morning, the beauty of the autumn leaves, and the glassy calm of Wascana Lake, he responded in turn, “Frost last night – gonna make the harvest tough! Just reminds me winter’s coming! It’s never like that when I go fishing!”

I’m sure if he won a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery, he wouldn’t waste a minute celebrating. He would launch right into a litany of complaints about the uselessness of a prize that small!

Our mindset has a lot to do with our experience of the day.  It is possible to shift from pure pessimism to a more optimistic response to life. It’s a matter of attention. What do you notice? What do you hang on to? How do you start your conversations with yourself and others?

As day’s end nears, and you shut down your computer, pull on your coat, or jump in the car to head home, ask yourself this simple question: “What went well today?”

Ask the same question of colleagues as you close up shop, and of family members as you gather for the evening. Yes, you’ll eventually get to the complaints, but at least the good news of the day will hold center stage and pride of place. That’s all it takes to start the shift of focus.


Quote Of The Week: The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer


Pause Readers Write: MB writes:  My 74 year old Dad had just purchased a computer.  In a conversation with Dad, I asked him to take a step back and think about what he was grateful for and what was wonderful in the world and then to email it to me.

You know, he emailed me the next morning.  He emailed the morning after that …and the next…and the next. My Dad emails me every day to share what is great and wonderful in their world. I now have a journal with this collection that I can share with everyone.  It contains many memories and important events that my family may have forgotten; and it’s all about all of us as a family.  I treasure this because it’s given so freely, honestly and sincerely.  My parents believe this commitment to share the positive has changed their lives.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Appreciation, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

2 Responses to “Pause Gem #30 – Answer The Good News Question”

  1. Audrey Hobman

    I am a self-described unapologetically determined optimist so this message is exactly the reinforcement that I love for my approach to life. In talking to the self-described office grouch one morning he used an accusing tone to tell me that, of course my day is good because it is always good. He tried to make it sound like a bad thing and I just smiled and told him that even when things are more difficult I tell myself and others that it is a good day and then go forward trying to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m not always successful but my personal win column is chock full.

    In an attempt to bring more positivity to the office I erected a “Win Wall” to encourage others to pause and write down a ‘win’ on a post-it note regardless of the magnitude to help us all collectively focus on the bright side. Within 15 minutes there were 3 unsolicited posts and in 5 days there is a lot of buy-in and momentum from the staff. Two more Win Walls are going up in other areas. I have photos of the progress for my own personal Win Wall and it really helps keep me focussed and motivated. I love the win wall, quick and easy to do and the benefit to everyone is easily apparent – all you have to do is check out the wall.

    Love your work – keep it coming!

  2. Pat Katz

    I hear you loud and clear. In fact I just had a note from a reader who was exhausted from hosting a house guest whose view on the entire world was angry and discouraged. She was doing what she could to counteract the discouraging atmosphere and counting down the days until the black cloud headed for home.
    I love your idea of the Win Wall. What a great way to draw attention to what’s going right in the world. You might be interested in Teresa Amabile’s work on the Power of Small Wins. Just search for a Ted Talk on her and her work.
    You may also be interested in the work of National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones. His mission is to celebrate what’s right with the world – and he does it so positively with images from his camera.
    Wishing you many more uplifting days ahead.
    Cheers, Pat

Leave a Reply