Spreading the Happy
This year, again and again, the notion of enthusiasm and joy keeps coming up with clients. Mostly how to cultivate it. Happiness and enjoyment are contagious. So are misery and anger. We all have choices, all the time, every day on how and what we communicate. Those little drops of communications filter out into the world via the people around us.
Some in this world are so adept at spreading the happy, it’s impossible to not be affected by their trickle down. They are the types of people others love being around simply because they make them feel good!
Maya Angelou says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
On her most recent music video director’s spirit and leadership, Taylor Swift remarked, “When people are really enthusiastic, you kind of rise to that.”
John Mellencamp, discussing his appearance on a CMT TV show with Darius Rucker (in Rolling Stone) mentioned, “He was so excited. When someone is that ingratiating, it’s hard to be a curmudgeon.”
How we engage and respond affects everything we do. It sets the tone. With that in mind, it’s significant to develop a practice where we pay attention to our own ways. Are you getting what you want out of people and life? Are interactions sincere and fulfilling? Are you making things easier or more difficult on yourself with your attitude?
Because, guess what? We all have the power to adjust. Right now. Today. This one is easy. It costs nothing. Dale Carnegie says the best way to be interesting is to be interested. And I’ve found that being interested makes for being a better listener, a calmer person and that you learn new things, constantly. When you are interested, enthusiasm naturally follows. And that bright light attracts.
Even the most mundane task can be approached with a positive outlook, at the very least. That goes for things at work, home or play. It’s easy to default to defeat or grump. And not hard to lash out rudely or negatively when in that state. More of a challenge, to keep that brain and heart working, is to, ya know, turn that frown upside down (hah!). Make it an ongoing practice to be encouraging (even to yourself). To stay interested. To stay engaged. Catch when you are doing the opposite and just…stop.
Pharrell, take us out...“Because I’m happy…Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do!”
NOTE : A version of this writing first appeared in Stephanie's monthly "Living Well" column in the June 2017 People Newspapers.