You probably know someone like this. You say hello. They say hello. You say “How are you?” They proceed to tell you exactly how miserable their life really is. At first you have sympathy for them. Then you desperately try to change the subject, which just reminds them of something else which is going wrong in their life. Finally you are reduced to chewing off your own leg to escape the litany of despair and depression.

Don’t be that person.

I know this might come as a shock, but most people actually prefer to be around folks with a positive outlook on life. Emotions are contagious. If you don’t believe me, try smiling and saying hello to someone you’ve just met. They will probably smile right back.

So, here’s my advice. If someone asks you how you are doing, focus on the many blessings you currently enjoy in your life. Is your business doing well? Talk about it. If not, then talk about your plans to turn things around. Are you planning a fun vacation? Tell me more! If not, what fun things are you doing instead? What was the best thing that happened to you in the last week? Something good, not just something less bad. Share it with those around you.

It may seem silly, but when someone asks how I am, you’ll almost never hear me say “fine”, or just “OK”. I’m almost always doing “fantastic!” and I’m aspiring to be “outstanding!”. Why? Because I’ve noticed that more people want to talk with me when I keep my internal compass focused on what makes my life “fantastic”. It certainly makes it a lot easier to expand my network.

We have enough doom and gloom going on around us twenty-four hours a day. But we also have just as much or even more joy and light. Don’t ignore the darker part of life, but just acknowledge it and move on. Why let even a moment more of your time be spent there than is absolutely necessary?

I’ve heard that you bring into your life that which you focus on. I’m thinking I want to bring more blessings and fewer curses. How about you?

Photo credit: Billy Alexander