Positivity Is Not A Gift…It’s a Skill

positivity is a skill

I swear.  What I am about to share is true. Sometimes the universe just works things out.

When I sat down at the computer this morning, I had decided to write my blog today about the idea that Positivity is not a gift…it’s a skill.  This is a pet peeve of mine.  It bugs me (a little bit) when someone says “you are just a positive person.”

It happened recently.  They said “You always see things as glass half full.”  It was said (and meant) as a sincere compliment.  But every time someone describes me a “positive person,” it leaves me wanting to explain.  You see, I don’t think that I am naturally a positive person.  I don’t wake up every morning whistling dixie and I have to fight off negative thoughts all of the time.  As a matter of fact, early in my career, I would guess that many of my co-workers would say I was anything but positive.  But over years of study, I have learned that most of us perform better when our brain is primed with positive thoughts.  If you want to dig deeper on this, the book Happiness Equation is fantastic.

I have worked to become more positive.  So why does it bother me when someone says “you are just a positive person?”

It minimizes the work.  Positivity is not a gift…it’s a skill.

That was what I wanted to write about today.  So it was a wonderful coincidence when I opened my email today and saw my daily message from Seth Godin.  Today on his blog he wrote about the idea that Mood is not a gift..it is a skill.

He wrote:

I think it’s fair to assert that sometimes, our moods are handed to us.

But it’s also clearly true that we can do things to improve our mood. Morning pages, meditation, exercise, positive thinking, the right audio inputs, who we hang out with, the media we consume–it’s all a choice.

And if it’s a choice, that means it’s a skill, because we can get better at it.

When I read this, I considered not writing about this at all.  I didn’t want to seem as if I was copying Seth’s work.  Then I chose to see it differently.  I chose.  I decided that I wanted to build on his message…I wanted to compound it.  I wanted to share with people that might not have seen his message.  I chose to decide the universe had Seth and I working together…because that excites me.

I chose to see the positive…and that is the skill that can be developed.

As a side note, Seth’s new book “The Practice” is great.  It talks about how to develop a skill by creating a practice.  You can get that here.

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Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, a full service marketing agency located in Ohio.  Learn more about Hasseman Marketing here.  And if you are interested in have him speak at your next event, you can learn more here.

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