As most of you know, I teach positivity and happiness practices in business and I often hear, “ You must be happy all the time.” Surprise, I’m not happy all the time.
Sometimes I’m downright crabby. Lots of things effect my crabbiness – the weather, what I’ve eaten, how much sleep and exercise I get, the people I’m spending time with. Much like most people there are lots of things that irritate me, when I let them. (And yes, of course I do.)
I noticed the other day I was especially crabby and it most definitely had to do with the impending rain. Whatever happens to the barometric pressure before the rain really seems to impact me. Today it’s pouring and I’m just fine.
I think it’s important to notice things. I think it’s important to understand how my body works and how that affects my state of mind. Mindfulness is about paying attention – deep attention to where you are and what you are doing.
People ask me if I’m happy all the time and of course I’m not – but I am aware of when I’m not and take the time to note the kinds of things that are going on around me, the thoughts I’m thinking, the projects I’m working on, what I had for lunch etc. and then use that information to my advantage.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to notice that I’m ruminating on a negative situation, worried about something I can’t control or stuck in an old habitual way of thinking that is familiar but not terribly useful. (On occasion I’ve eaten poorly at lunchtime and my body is announcing that with crabbiness.)
Crabbiness is call for paying attention. Is this where I want to be? (Actually sometimes the answer to that question is “Yes.. thank you very much, I’d like to pout for a bit ” and it blows over in short order.) All dissatisfaction is an opportunity to take a look at what you really want.
If you’re dealing with customers and co-workers all day long, you’re sure to pick up a bit of crabbiness along the way. Emotions are contagious – just remember that when you catch one you can take a moment to look at it and choose if you want to keep it.
Being a positive leader takes awareness, it takes the desire to create at minimum three times more positivity than negativity. (Ideally it takes the desire to create a 5:1 ratio – the same that makes marriages thrive.) It takes vigilance over your state of mind and body so that you can be setting an example for all the people that work with you – and for your customers too.
In the end crabbiness is a choice – so is happiness. What I’ve discovered is that staying happy, content, pleased, in awe, enchanted, fascinated, excited, curious, passionate or any other positive emotion requires (for me – who’s more naturally inclined toward pessimism than optimism) as much of an effort as staying fit physically, and sometimes more.
Is it worth it – heck yes! To me it is – and after all since optimists live 7 – 9 years longer than pessimists that means Nana JoAnna will be around a longer time to enjoy life and family. Giving up a diet of negative thinking is as hard as giving up fats and sugars but well worth the result.
P.S. my astrological sign is a crab – so I’m extra special qualified to comment on crabbiness.