I named the blog ‘I always wake up smiling’ because it’s true. As a kid my Dad would wake me up for school, and he said, I always woke up smiling. Being ‘happy’ is something that comes naturally to me, and I am very aware that it does not come naturally to all. I also recognize that I have more natural ‘happy’ vibes running through my blood than those who are glass-half-full. This has worked to my advantage over the years.
That said, I have had very sad times in my life – like my divorce and the death of my fathers (real dad and stepdad). One thing I saw in myself through the sadness was that while I wasn’t happy I remained optimistic, and that happy and optimistic can be two different things. We can’t always be happy, but we can try (or naturally be gifted) to be optimistic.
“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” -Mary Lou Retton
There are a million articles and bestselling books about ‘the power of positive thinking’. Some of it is great and some of it’s impossible to execute for someone who isn’t naturally optimistic. So, what’s the point?
Optimism is a big part of the Jane Winchester brand: Like attracts like. It feels as though being optimistic is ‘trendy’ right now but it is something that has worked for me throughout my 44 years. Here are the things I try and practice:
Assume the best intentions in others. This can be really hard. Receiving emails that feel like ‘zingers’ can instantly put you on the defense. Assume the best. Pick-up the phone. Listen before reacting.
Try to see things from others point of view not just your own. This is taking a proactive and positive approach to interactions. Why is someone asking for something? Why do they see things a certain way? Being empathetic to another point-of-view is critical. AWESOME advice from The Sumo Guy on this (get his book!)! Link to video
Even in conflict, treat people with respect. You know that saying, ‘you catch more flies with honey’? I think it goes deeper than that. Getting through a conflict well with someone can make everyone stronger. Don’t gossip or disparage someone just because you disagree. Staying positive through a challenging time helps it move forward.
Happy and positive does NOT mean you fill everyone full of BS! Being thoughtfully honest and straight-forward is imperative – no candy coating. I have a long history of trying to ‘make peace’ and ignoring issues to try and make everyone happy. That did not serve me well. Recognizing facts and being cognitive of the truth of a situation is critical to success.
I’m not sure how this one fits, but it’s a big part of how I operate and how Jane Winchester will operate: Approach challenges as FUN – make work fun. Our brand plans to be relentless in achieving our goals, and that can be can be filled with rejection and frustration. When approaching life and work challenges as a fun as opposed to a ‘burden’ – it just makes it all more enjoyable and helps the positivity ROLL!
“You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.” -Diane Von Furstenberg
Having a hard time?
Put down your phone A LOT MORE so you can think, get creative and problem solve.
Learn breathing techniques.Don’t laugh just try! Link to breathing tips
EXERCISE. It brings a natural juju that makes optimism a little easier (endorphins!).
This can sound like ‘rainbows and sunshine’ but it works. Let yourself believe a little :).
Tons of love and xx, Janie