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Optimists Manage Their Own Motivation Every Day

by Terry Paulson on Sep 28, 2009 Category: Uncategorized

If you want to claim your optimism advantage, you might want to listen to Mark Twain’s advice when he said: “An occasional compliment is necessary to keep up one’s self-respect…. When you cannot get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.” Play this YouTube video and/or read on below…

Part of sustaining an optimistic attitude in tough times is learning to catch yourself being effective daily. That’s right. Research shows that we are 80% negative to 20% positive in terms of our own private self feedback. You lose sleep over your mistakes, not your good days. In fact, it is like seeing the beautiful scenery at Lake Tahoe for the first time. Mark Twain loved Tahoe. He used to say, “To breathe the air that angels breathe, go to Tahoe.” It sure seems that way, but if you lived at Tahoe you would soon take that beauty for granted. Recently, I saw a woman walking her dog through this spectacular mountain meadow while reading a book.

We do the same things to ourselves; we easily take our own successes for granted. You see, there is a problem. You are around yourself way too much. In fact, if you’re not, call me. I’m a psychologist. You just stop seeing your successes. Turn that around. End each day by asking yourself, “What did I do today that I handled well?” Be as specific and positive as you can be.

If you really want to make a difference, take time to write a brief reference to what you did in your calendar. Even better, take the advice of a current participant in one of my programs—send an email to yourself highlighting your success and store those emails in a folder marked “Successes.” On those bad days that will surely come, you can open that folder and read some of your recent successes. Such a folder also helps at review time when you are asked to share evidence of what you have accomplished. After all, you could be winning and not know it if you’re not keeping score.

Enough for your optimism tip for the day. I know what I wrote down the night I did this video—”I took time to enjoy a walk by Lake Tahoe.” That’s one of life’s simple pleasures that costs me nothing and keeps me positive. Now, if you decide to pat yourself on the back for your day’s accomplishments, don’t do that when others around. They may become a bit concerned!

Seriously, what have you done today that you handled well? There is a lot to be learned from our shared successes, and I’d love to record your comments and your success here.

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