A few weeks back I was having an early morning coffee with a good friend. We were sitting outside enjoying another one of Vancouver’s amazingly warm, sunny days. Our conversation was light, fun and covered the familiar topics – family, home, health and work. Then I started to hear her tone change – the conversation becoming more negative. Pretty soon I found myself looking at things through that “half empty cup”, as well. When we were done, we wished each other a “good day” and off we both went. As I headed to work I felt drained; defeated before my day had even begun! Where was my enthusiasm? That excitement to be embarking on another rewarding, productive day?
Throughout that day and the next couple, I could not switch to the “half full” side of the cup. How could someone else’s comments have such a profound effect on me and my outlook? What was worse is that I started to notice how my ‘disposition’ started to affect those around me. We have all heard the adage “Positive thoughts and energy brings positive results” (or a variation of it) but I had never seen it challenged. Have you ever stopped to think about your own positive outlook and what your productivity looks like when it is not there? How the impact of those negative comments and thoughts not only affect your positivity but the productivity of those around you?
About a week later I found myself having coffee with another good friend however; this time we were in full Vancouver Fall weather – which just happened to match my new found dreary disposition. Once again our conversation covered the familiar topics – family, home, health and work. But I started to notice something very different – our conversation which started off light and fun remained that way. With each topic we discussed finished on a positive. She shared a gratitude for things that most would question why. I didn’t want our coffee date to end!! When it did, we wished each other a ‘good day’ but this time I knew it would be just that! Arriving at my office I couldn’t wait to take on the challenges of the day – there was nothing I felt I couldn’t conquer. And I did! I had the most amazing, productive day.
That night, lying in bed, I started to do something I’ve never done before – I started to list in my mind what I should be grateful for – what I needed to say “Thank You” for. I have shown gratitude and thanks for many things over the years, but to do it each day. WOW. I started to see that “half full cup” attitude quickly reappear.
Does Positivity + Gratitude = Productivity? ABSOLUTELY.
So I challenge you. Each night before you go to sleep make a mental list of just 3 things in your day you are grateful for. I am confident you too will be positively inspired – and think of the effects of those around you. The other night my list looked like this:
1. Thank You! Today I had the opportunity to work with a group of colleagues that support and encourage each other in every way.
2. Thank You! Although wet and cold I had the pleasure of walking my dog through one of the prettiest parks – the Endownment Lands
3. Thank You! Faced with a challenging issue today I faced it with confidence that brought about a win-win resolve.
I can’t wait to see what I will be grateful for tomorrow night!