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Accentuate The Positive

If you are like most successful leaders, the last 5 days were filled with wins and losses. If you are committed to achieving worthy goals in all areas of your life, you will never go undefeated. There will always be more to do.

While it’s important to learn from our defeats and find the root cause of our failure, I believe we should savor the root cause of our success first.

To consistently win the day, we have to develop a regular routine that allows us to highlight all the positive things we’ve accomplished. Focusing on the positive actions you’ve taken not only makes you feel better, it also makes you more productive.

As Shawn Achor describes in his book The Happiness Advantage, “…doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19 percent faster. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56 percent. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.”

So now it’s time to celebrate Happy Hour. Take a moment to answer these questions regarding your week:

  • What did you do to Win The Day?

  • What went well for you at work and home?

  • What relationships got better?

  • What positive results did you produce?

It works best to actually write down your answers and keep them in a folder. Each week you can add to your list of accomplishments.

Discipline yourself to stay focused on the positive things you’ve done. Leaders can be very self-critical. I often ask individuals I work with, “If someone talked to you the way you talk to yourself, how long would you hang around with them?”

Learning to highlight and enjoy the great work you do will inspire you to keep making progress every day.

Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin


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