I always have loved the tune 'always look on the bright side of life de dum de dum' and for so long I was chasing that bright side. I have said a few times in other posts or podcasts I am person who probably airs on the side of annoyingly optimistic, that is my nature and it has got me through some pretty rough times. However, I came across the phrase #toxicpositivity recently and it really relates to the quote above from the book.
I loved being part of @bbray's #rethink_learning chat with @fablefy as it got me really thinking deeply about this area. The one that stood out to me was point 3 'never give up'. I was always a person who kept going no matter what and I still believe this can be a good character trait because determination can help me achieve my goals, for example when training for my MMA fight I hit a really big wall about two weeks before the fight and I didn't believe I could do it. Which I reflect on in a recent youtube post.
But instead of just getting my head down and 'not giving up' I stopped to recognise why I was feeling that way, allowing myself to be low and in my negative space for a bit and then shifting into a more optimistic mindset to take action. So, I don't think positivity is the problem, it is thinking that things have to be positive all the time that creates the negative environment because this is setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and those around us.
Love this quote!!!! Entitlement is probably one of the only things in this beautiful world that just gets my back up. In a world where everything is easily accessible, it is easy to forget that hard work and dedication are two qualities in many cases needed to lead a happy life. From a Youtuber made famous by silly pranks to a lead architect creating the newest, tallest buildings, to teachers discovering how they will reach that child, time is needed to put in the foundations and growth of many projects.
It is so easy to look at 'beautifully curated lives' on social media and think that is what we should expect all of the time but that is not real life. In a recent interview I did with the Google Innovators Sethi de Clercq said 'we need to live unedited lives' and I loved this quote because it is so true. Believing that everything needs to go right all of the time and believing that the edited lives we see on social media is real creates a whole lot of headaches and our poor brains have no chance to defend themselves.
Throughout this season while I have been reading these books, I have been reflecting on the question "What is happiness?"
Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.
Even in that sentence alone there is so much variety in the words that are used. When I envision joy it is someone overtly happy and smiling and experiencing something wonderful. When I picture contentment I see an old man sitting on a park bench watching the world go by with a wee smile on his face. These are my personal visions and I would love to know what you see for these words. But overall on my quest to understand happiness so far I think it makes sense that there is a variety of words and reactions and feelings that are mixed up in happiness because it is a very personal, dynamic word.
I was saying to someone recently that I am starting to really genuinely be grateful for days that 'go well' and recognise them so that I can reassure myself on the days that aren't so good that things will get better. Mark Manson in this book talks about being 'average' is actually okay, we refer to things like striving for excellence and being the best we can be but what does this actually look like? Some days being the best I can be is staying in my PJs and watching TV.
Overall, my experience with Wimp2Warrior and training for my fight taught me that some days I will feel like I can take on the world and some days pulling the duvet over my head and hiding from the world can feel like the only option. And I feel like this book advocates for this in many ways.
This quote really relates to my journey because my biggest insight into my own confidence and happiness has been accountability. It is no one else's responsibility to make me happy except me.
I was at a 'Mind Power' conference last year and Robin Bank's talked about the idea of 'giving away your key'. Every day there are problems to be solved and obstacles that come in our way and it is up to us to decide if we give away the key to our happiness or not. For instance, when I am driving in the morning and someone cuts in front of me, my chimp comes out and gets all worked up but then I say to myself "am I going to let that person drive off with my key and leave me feeling angry all day? Or am I going to accept that it has happened and get on with my day?"
This approach really helps me with taking a step back and shining a light on the situation to decide what mood I am going to be in, so although people can cause us to be unhappy it is our responsibility to decide if we remain in that state or not.
I would love to hear what strategies you use to manage yourself or support others to manage themselves!
Remember, Our choices have an impact - what impact are you going to have?