Let's talk about positive people.
You know who I mean – those people who see their careers cratering and their destinies disintegrating and still manage to put on a happy face. No matter what goes wrong at work, no matter how unfair their bosses, no matter how annoying their colleagues, no matter what horrible things will happen today, they still manage to believe that tomorrow will be better.
Rather admirable, those positive people. No wonder you hate them.
Don't blame yourself. It makes perfect sense that you would hate positive people, especially considering that you have so darn little in your life to feel positive about. But that doesn't mean that world of positivity is closed to you forever. According to Lindsay Holmes, writing for The Huffington Post, it is possible to turn that frown upside-down. Of course, you have to turn your life upside-down to do it, but don't let that stop you. I'm positive you can be a positive person, too. All you have to do is emulate the “8 Habits of Perpetually Positive People.”
What makes positive people so positive? According to Melissa Blakeman, M.D., “They just engage in behaviors that reinforce their positive frame-of-mind without making it seem like their head is stuck in the clouds.”
Of course, being positive when all around you is falling apart may suggest that the person has their head stuck somewhere else, but let's not be negative. Here are a few habits guaranteed to chase away that big black cloud that hovers over your work station.
One habit you can take on is to adopt a “calming ritual.” And no – stopping off at the Kit Kat Klub for the two-for-one breakfast Bloody Mary special is not the kind of ritual Blakeman is prescribing. Instead, consider that “activities like exercise and meditation are definitely helpful in keeping a positive attitude, but they also help you think more clearly.”
Obviously, you are not going to start exercising at this point in your life. You have a body that would make any athlete jealous, as long as the athlete is a Sumo wrestler. And sorry, Dr. B, but meditation can lead to dangerous habits, like thinking. In fact, the entire idea of thinking clearly is rather frightening. If you actually saw clearly how pathetic your work life is, you'd never get out of bed in the morning.
A more salubrious positive habit is “embrace the negative.” Apparently, positive people know “they've been through challenges before and they've made it through.” This is an area where you've had plenty of experience, considering all the blunders, goof-ups and total disasters you cause every work day. And praise be! You still manage to come back the next day and commit even more blunders, goof-ups and total disasters.
“Celebrate the little victories” is another habit that's up for adoption. “Gratitude for the little moments – getting to the subway before it leaves the platform, a complimentary email from your boss at work – provides more opportunities to be positive since you're concentrating on multiple facets of your day.”
It certainly is possible that you could get to the subway before it leaves the platform, assuming, of course, that your city has a subway system. If not, I'd suggest crawling under your desk and staying there until one is built. Also, a word of caution regarding the arrival of a complimentary email from your boss. If that should actually happen, your golden positivity might be tarnished by a sudden, fatal heart attack.
Positive people “don't let their optimism hinder their goals.” According to research unearthed by Holmes, “overly positive viewpoints – think fairytale mindset – may actually impede you from reaching an accomplishment.”
You know, don't you, that when they talk about a “fairytale mindset,” they're talking about you. Just because your management acts like royalty in “Game of Thrones,” it doesn't mean that you are living in – and working in – a fairytale. But, just in case, it wouldn't hurt to have two or three fire-breathing dragons to unleash before the next staff meeting. [I believe dragon eggs are available on eBay. You may have to sit in the nest for a while, but that's OK – sitting on a nest is something you could do really well.
A final habit to adopt is the way positive people “rid themselves of toxic relationships.” That's easy-peasy. Just vow that you will never ever again read this column.
See – bet you feel much more positive already!
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at email@example.com.