Crappy Day? Consider These 18 Ideas To Make It Less Crappy.

These past several weeks have been tough. My freshman daughter took a hit to her self-confidence after making it to call backs for young-african-american-girl-with-thumbs-upthe high school fall play but not getting chosen for the cast. We rescued a sweet Staffordshire terrier/Pitbull mix (Loki) and discovered that the fit won’t be a good one with our resident female pitty mix. And my last remaining grandparent was diagnosed with esophageal cancer; it could be just days or weeks before she departs this earth.

Unable to make it all better for my daughter, grappling with the feeling of failing Loki even as we have found a new loving home for him, and losing my 91-year-old grandma—all at once—has tested my strength and coping abilities. Very little of what has come our way has been in my control. I struggle with that.

Feeling sorry for myself and unempowered isn’t an option. And while I realize I can’t change the present circumstances, I know there’s always a way to make any situation better by doing something that you feel really good about. So after experiencing the mental after effect of giving a homeless man a $5 bill in downtown Lancaster last week, I felt inspired to tweet this the other day…

Tweet by Dawn Mentzer

Staying aware of moments when you can do something nice, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, really can help restore some hope, happiness, and control when you’re at a low point.

And there are plenty of opportunities to make someone else’s day a little brighter or easier; we just have to listen beyond the noise and look beyond the dark veil of our own misfortunes to hear and see them.

Whether with friends, family, clients, colleagues, or complete strangers, you can help turn days around—for them and for you—with…

Simple and immediately uplifting random acts of kindness.

1. Buy them a cup of coffee.
2. If they’re sitting alone, ask them to join you.
3. If they drop something, pick it up for them.
4. Open the door for them.
5. Give them a sincere compliment.
6. Offer to push their grocery cart back to the cart return area.
7. Tell them you appreciate them.
8. Tell them you’re proud of them.
9. Help them with a chore or task.
10. Ask if they need someone to talk to.
11. Tell them they’re good enough.
12. Forgive them.
13. Listen with your full attention.
14. Tell them you understand.
15. Tell them they’re not alone.
16. Send a funny e-card.
17. Call them to just say, “Hi.”
18. Smile at them.

According to an article in Tech Times, research indicates people who perform acts of kindness may help reduce their stress level and improve their outlook.

Put simply, doing a random act of kindness can turn your crappy day around. And that’s a win both personally and professionally—for relationships, productivity, and ability to deal with whatever comes your way.

I’d say that’s a worthy investment of just seconds or minutes each day, how about you?

Your turn! What random acts of kindness have you done lately?

Image of young girl with thumbs up is courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nixing Negativity for the Good of Your Business

Negativity is a downer and productivity drainer – just like Dan Waldshmidt points out in the article I shared inThumbs up, Thumbs down my G+ post below.

At least it works that way for me, but in that G+ comment stream, one of my connections pointed to an article on Lifehacker (originally posted on Linkedin) which indicates that isn’t the case for everyone.  While “strategic optimists” look ahead to the best outcomes when planning to meet their goals, “defensive pessimists” envision what could go wrong and plan how to avoid those things.  How are you wired? Good news: studies showed that both types of people are equally capable of achieving. They just find their motivation to act in different ways.

Personally and professionally as a solopreneur, negativity makes me less motivated and less productive. I stay conscious of hurdles and risks, but envision a positive outcome.  And while it’s not always easy or possible, I do my best to minimize exposure to chronically negative people.  You know the type, the chronic complainers who can’t seem to find anything good about anything or anyone.  Thankfully, they’re fewer and farther between than they are plentiful!

https://plus.google.com/109275472958903148502/posts/UYnC6XeF6rA

I agree with Waldschmidt that avoiding negativity is a must – but we should never lose sight of reality in the process.  Those “Pollyannas” who are sunshine and rainbows forever…well, that’s just not natural! It’s not a weakness to feel down at times, get frustrated, or feel scared. It’s human nature. But dwelling on the downsides can be a major anchor to your small business if you consistently focus on what’s wrong rather than doing what’s in your power to put things on the right path or move in a new direction. 

Are you a strategic optimist, defensive pessimist, or somewhat of a hybrid? What impact does negativity have on your motivation and productivity in your business?

Image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

By Dawn Mentzer