Since we only have the capacity to focus on a fraction of what we encounter, our brains are constantly filtering what gets our attention. In this filtering process, our brains are easily distracted because we are wired to pay attention to any new stimulus, especially if we perceive it to be a threat to our survival. This filtering causes us to have what psychologists call a negativity bias.
Humanity on the whole has never been better off than we are now. The world is safer, we live longer, we are healthier, and many people are wealthier.
But as humans, our brains are naturally wired to cynicism. We’re more likely to focus on the negatives of a situation and not even notice the positives.
Changing our focus to What’s Going Well and rejecting negativity isn’t just about making us happier (though that’s a nice side-effect, too!). When we practice it regularly, it extends far beyond day-to-day joy and becomes a part of who we are. Eventually, we don’t have to work to practice it anymore. It comes to us naturally.
Everyone has "one of those days" occasionally. Since this is a normal, acceptable part of work, it's important to strategize how you manage after a challenging day at work because it can have impact on a multitude of levels both at work and at home.
Whether it's a failed project, a co-worker conflict, or an unexpected layoff, everyone faces a setback at some point in their career. These unfortunate events can derail your plans and hinder your morale and productivity—but only if you let them.
Imagine trying to water your bamboo with a bucket that has holes in it or one that has no bottom. A leaky bucket is one that lets in negativity, worry, doubt and gossip—all of which are drains on your enthusiasm and energy. Bamboo farmers must keep their buckets full of fresh water, and to do that you must fix your leaks!
Being a leader requires emotional energy. There are lots of demands on your time and energy. I was recently leading a seminar with a group of upcoming leaders and I was asked, "How can I stay positive in such a demanding world as a leader with the complexity of all my roles?" I responded that it’s up to you to fill your punch bowl. Every day I think about what activities I will engage in that will fill my punch bowl.
The reason babies like to be picked up is the same reason you and I like to be inspired – it changes our perspective. Psychologists suggest that the average person has over 60,000 thoughts in a day, and unfortunately 75% of them are negative.
Here are 10 surefire ways to make sure your bamboo dries up.
The theme of TEDxPortland this year was “What If?”. There were many fabulous and engaging speakers, but the one that had my full attention was former NBA star Brian Grant.