I Don’t Want to Hear About this Positivity Hocus Pocus!
10 Years Ago
Let’s go back in time to about 10 years ago. I was working in my corporate job as a scientist in biotechnology. I had never heard of Positive Psychology, and I had little if any interest in personal development or self-help topics. I was enjoying my work and was pretty satisfied with my life overall. If someone had told me that I could be happier, that I could have less stress and more joy, I might have been a little curious, but I would have passed. After all, I was in my 40s; a little late to make any changes. And I was happy enough, wasn’t I? Also, I would have thought it sounded like a lot of hocus pocus.
At that time in my life, I wouldn’t have been interested or ready to learn more. But in the next couple of years, things changed. We were having lots of layoffs at my company. There were rumors our site was going to be shut down because of a recent merger. Morale was low. I had a new boss that didn’t seem to appreciate my talents or hard work. So in 2011, when I stumbled upon Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, I was in a different place; I was ready for something new.
Discovering Positive Psychology
Not only that, this book was my first introduction to a new science called Positive Psychology with studies and research on how and why to be more positive. It wasn’t hocus pocus and I was hooked! I was super excited to learn more and to start applying all the great insights and strategies I was reading. And because I could understand and feel the impact it had, I wanted to share it with others. I knew it could help everyone!
Or could it? What if they weren’t interested or ready? What if they were satisfied with their current life like I had been?
An Important Lesson
This is a lesson I have to constantly remember; I don’t always know what’s best for others. I might think I know what would make them happier, healthier, maybe even wealthier, but everyone is in a different place. Have you ever had these thoughts? It can be especially hard when it’s someone close to us. What I’ve learned is that it can be more impactful to accept them for who they are and where they are right now.
Realizing we don’t always know what’s best because we’re all different is one of the many helpful tools in Step 1 of the “Immunity to Negativity Formula” – Prepare.
Last week’s tip talked about this formula, where it came from and the first part of the Prepare Step, charging our positivity battery. The second part of Prepare is all about shifting our perspective. We have the ability to change the way we see other people and the situation. When we take the time to consider a new way of thinking while we’re calm and feeling good, it will be easier to remember it when we’re with the person we want to change.
Who are you trying to change because you think you know what’s best for them?