I've been doing a lot of reading (and listening) to Shawn Achor's book Before Happiness. I think the name of the book is a little misleading, but I get that it's really a "prequel" to his book The Happiness Advantage. Both are definitely worth making the time for. What my biggest take away is that we need to find ways to recognize the positive things in ourselves (and others) to the tune of better than 3 positive to 1 negative in order to feel like we're on the positive side of the scale. It's the same ratio that John Gottman found in his research about marriage -- he found that he could predict very early on which marriages would end in divorce based on the ratio with which the partners were positive vs. negative to one another.
This is noteworthy for the celiac disease community, I think. At my Day Job at Beyond Celiac (Formerly called the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness -- new name, same great info) we note that as a group, we struggle with our health and the gluten-free diet. Here's an interesting infographic to illustrate part of it. It's easy to get down on ourselves and down on our lives for the external pressures, our ability to navigate our worlds, and swirl into a negative place. And as a parent, I can tell you that it seems like most of what I say to my kids in any given day is probably criticism to their ears, regardless of how I intend it. And the nature of workplaces at times feels like lots of negative a lot of the time, unless the workplace brings great intention to doing the opposite.
So, this week's challenge is to compliment yourself and others to the tune of more than 3-to-1. Look for the positive and then comment on it. Even for yourself. Like now! You've read this whole blog and you're committing to the positive for the whole week! That's awesome. We're in the home stretch! Woot!