Everyone's looking for a happy ending. What people don't understand is, if there's not a happy beginning, there's never going to be a happy ending.
ASK YOURSELF: Are you a happy person? You probably answered yes, but let me complicate it just a little bit more. On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you?
Slightly different answer, isn't it? The first question you didn't even think about. The second question you had to think very deeply about.
Now that we've discovered you're somewhere between a four and a six on the scale of 1 to 10, we can start to talk about how to get happier and be a happier person (without alcohol).
ASK YOURSELF: What's the one thing that gets to your attitude consistently? What's the one thing you wish would "go away"?
I’ve found removing one stress at a time will make you happier. Try it.
ASK YOURSELF: What’s your biggest stress factor right now? What do you need to do to get rid of it?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, your attitude affects your happiness in the workplace. Positive mindset. Negative mindset. You decide. Your thoughts lead to your actions and your actions reinforce your thoughts. Your positive actions and negative actions will determine your ending or outcome.
Here are some of my strategies to begin happy, stay happy and end happy:
1. Start off positive. The beginning of every interaction is the most important part and sets the tone for the entire relationship – each and every time. Consider the second you meet someone – do you complain about the weather? The traffic? Or when you arrive home from work and greet your spouse. Is it a friendly, upbeat, “I’m so happy to see you!” greeting? Or a lousy one? Each time you greet someone, you make an attitude choice. Make the positive one.
2. Email positive. In New York, most people are short on email, and outside of New York, many people who work in the same office and email one another skip the short pleasantries that go a long way. By trying to get to the point and skimping on a pleasantry, you may miss out on the human relationship building abilities. Over the past two weeks, I changed how I email. I took a few extra seconds and started off every email with a friendlier greeting, and I was hit with a more positive response each and every time. Those few extra seconds were definitely worth it. Think about it this way: if you were to have a face-to-face conversation with someone, would you just get right into it, or would you say “hello” first and ask how they are?
TO BE CLEAR: I'm not saying you should sound like a happiness preacher, or be inauthentic or be insincere, I am saying you should sound nice and kind. HINT: Review your past 10 emails both internally and externally. Are they friendly? Are they inspiring? Are they the kind of email they gets others to want to do something? Are they the kind of email that YOU want to receive?
3. Recognize others. Imagine taking 5 minutes at the beginning of your weekly sales meetings to recognize each person for one outstanding thing they did the week before. How would that change the dynamic of the meeting? Your positive ending will always be a lot better with a positive beginning.
4. Be the Positive Polly to the Negative Nancy. There's always going to be a Negative Nancy in your life (hopefully it’s not you!). Attitude can be contagious so make sure your positive one rubs off on them, instead of theirs rubbing off on you. If you need a buffer, bring a buffer, but eventually, if you focus on staying positive, you’ll want to remove the negative people in your life.
5. Make positive decisions. Ever try to make a decision when you’re happy? It’s easy, right? You can think clearly and be creative. When you’re in a negative mind state, you need to figure out how to separate the emotion from the logic. It’s hard to think clearly when you’re negative or stressed out. When you can remove the negative emotion and make an informed, calm, decision, you will make the right choice.
A few more happy beginning, building, and ending strategies…
• Take a picture of something happy every day. By the end of the day, you should have a few happy pictures. Determine your best moment of the day. Tag it. Print it. Make a wall of it. Instagram it.
• Send a text, email, or call someone to let them know you're grateful – do this every morning. And then throughout the day, take a few minutes to be grateful to others.
• Create a positive vision for the future. Rally or enroll your team. Recognize positive achievement.
• Turn negative into positive — let's say you don't achieve full quota. How can you use that to motivate rather than depress? Your sales reps didn’t want to underperform. Inspire them to get to the next level this month. Never say, “You didn’t make enough sales.” Start out with, “You didn’t make enough money.” Give them something to inspire themselves rather than blame them for what they’re not doing for you.
Now I assume you're looking for some kind of reinforcement or “happy ending.” Something that will remarkably make you a better, happier person just by reading this. Not going to happen. Reason? I don't create happy endings for you, YOU create them for yourself. And most people don't look for happy endings.
The reality is, happy endings only occur when you work hard to create them.
Jennifer Gluckow blogs regularly at Sales In A New York Minute.
©2017 Jennifer Gluckow and Sales in a New York Minute.