Positively sparkling with positivity…

Hi there lovely readers! As you’ve started to identify, I’ve declared this the year of positivity. Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking – yet another of those pony tailed Yogi’s winsome ruminations on how to make the world a better place, regurgitated by Jane? Nah! Richard Branson actually.  

Have you noticed that the world’s biggest influencers and most successful people tend to be positive people? They usually see endless possibilities and empower others to feel the same, and, in turn, they actively create the ripple, the wave, the tsunami that moves the world forward.

Richard Branson penned and shared a great little piece (LinkedIn – Jan 2018) on positivity attitudes-are-contagious-yours-worth-catching the focus being on how positivity can breed positivity and how, by simply asking a question in a positive manner, we are more likely to generate a more positive response. 

Branson’s example: “We launched our three airlines Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America to provide consumers with better alternatives to existing options. But we didn’t do so by asking “Are you sick of the competition?” Instead, we asked, “Are you ready for the future of air travel?” Rather than focusing on everything that our competitors weren’t doing, or were doing poorly, we highlighted our unique offering and asked potential customers what it is they loved and looked forward to about flying.”

As Branson says, positive thinking is an incredibly powerful tool. Simply put: positive, proactive behaviour spurs positive, proactive behaviour. Let me give you an example:

Years ago I worked in a seriously toxic environment where, to have a good day, I had to consciously make it a good day. Ever the optimist I hoped that, by focusing on demonstrating positive, proactive behaviour at all times, I might just ignite similar behaviour. As Winston Churchill once said:

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

 Damn it was tough, ‘fake it ’till you make it’ was often my mantra yet looking back, I’d found myself channelling a spot of Winston with a focus on:

  • wearing a smile at all times (incensing one fellow employee enough to spit ‘christ your always so fucking happy Jane, you make me sick!’ – she didn’t do mornings well)
  • surrounding myself with the more positive folk (who ended up forming a fabulous network that remains in my life today)
  • approaching challenges and problems in a proactive ‘can do’ manner (to keep the tyrannical leader at a distance)
  • phrasing my comments and questions to reflect positive outcomes a la Branson  
  • adopting a ‘can do’ attitude (anything to keep the team’s in positive spirits flowing)  

As Branson says – start simple; find a positive slant in every question you ask, display a positive outlook and you will find that people will gravitate towards you, and go out of their way to help you succeed.   

And did I survive? Yes. Did people help me succeed? Indeed. Positivity won out, still does. 

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    Doin’ good, feelin’ good…

    Hi there lovely readers! My first post for 2018 was a nod to a few of the many positives of the year just gone – me negating the ‘2017 was a shit year wasn’t it’ mindset. On a roll with the feel goods (and a spot of stickybeaking) I conducted a straw poll with friends regarding their plans for the coming year – here’s a few of the many responses: ‘I want to forgive the sins of the past and move on’. ‘I’d like to exercise more tolerance’. ‘I’m planning to focus on my  relationships with my partner, my kids, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends’. ‘I’ll be focused on enjoying what I have rather than yearning for what I haven’t’. I’m planning a trip to a foreign country to learn about their culture’. We’re taking weekends away to get into nature’ ‘I’m detoxing by turning off my devices every weekend’. ‘I’m starting a gratitude journal’. ‘I want to perform random acts of kindness’.’I want to do good deeds’. Talk about positivity!

    Exercising tolerance? Performing random acts of kindness? Doing good deeds? 

    Not a single comment about working harder. Nada! Does that surprise you? Instead, forgiveness, tolerance, a focus on loved ones, gratefulness, learning about our global neighbours, device detoxes, reconnecting, being kind, doing good. My heart began to sing – I’d found my baby’s (the Blog) theme for 2018! A spot of sleuthing later and my reward to you?  Ten ways to get your ‘do good feel goods’ on:

    Ten ways to get your feel goods on: 

    1. Donate blood – always needed, especially after the holiday season – doing good with a choc-chip bonus cookie. donateblood.com.au
    2. Perform random acts of kindness – a little food for the homeless man, coffee paid for the guy in the queue behind you, loading that elderly person’s groceries, you get the gist – warm fuzzies all round random acts of kindness
    3. Grab that latte from a cafe supporting Cafesmart – $1 from every coffee sold going to an initiative to help end homelessness http://streetsmartaustralia.org/cafesmart
    4. Say hello to the neighbours – a quick hello, a warm smile, a chat – particularly rewarding for the elderly and vulnerable http://neighbourday.org
    5. Shop local – source sustenance from farmers’ markets, local shops, food box schemes or grow your own – health personified shopping farmers markets
    6. Get composting – live on a chunk of land? get the kit from council, grow lovely worms for the vege patch or potplants – less landfill compost revolution
    7. Walk for a cause – so many to choose from, pick one that you hold dear and go for it  fund raising events to participate in
    8. Crack a smile – it’s free and makes people either look at you with suspicion or smile back, either way, another warm fuzzy coming your way http://dayofhappiness.net
    9. Be kind on social media – call out cyberbullying by taking the opposite tact and adding to Australia’s reputation for using the most thumbs up and winking face emojis than any other country in the world – yes seriously! 🙂
    10. Exercise gratefulness – a wee note to yourself each morn or eve of the things that have made you grateful. A great little app you might like to try for this is ‘Momento’. It saves your social media shares and feel good moments in one snappy spot.

    Now get out there and have fun embracing all those warm fuzzies including those youv’e already set for yourselves and I’ll do the same. Our tiny contribution to making the world a better place.

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      Graciously grateful…

      Well, lovely readers, the literature I’ve read thus far indicates that 2018 will be the year we will actively step up our kindness, generosity and gratefulness. Well first up, let me tell you how grateful I am that you follow my blog and for your lovely comments both on the site and in person. Motivation to continue working on my wordsmith efforts.

      For many of you, 2017 was a year you’d rather forget, and for a while I totally concurred. But why? What exactly had occurred that made me so willing to jump on that bandwagon?

      Sure – dramatic changes at work made the daily gig a whole new challenge, yet we came through with a more efficient framework. Being the perpetual solo at group gigs made the heart a little tender, yet reinforced an appreciation for liberating independence. Succumbing to the most wicked flu in years, yet realising there are folk out there dealing with actual life threatening health issues.

      Trawling through snaps from the year I suddenly realised that there were a lot more highlights than lows. In fact, I had rather a lot for which to be grateful. In the spirit of gratuitous oversharing, here’s my top 10 on the 2017 gratitude list:

      Social Media:

      Farewelling these two chaps – decision made to work in London and within one month they were gone, but not forgotten, thanks to social media. Enjoying my UK family’s winter during our sweltering summer via FaceTime. Cruising the Greek Islands on a vicarious vacation via friends’ Instagram feeds, or simply saying happy birthday through Messenger and FaceBook to make someone’s day. Thanks Pete & Mark and FB friends and fam.

      Rebellion:

      Visiting this wonderful woman, here with her son and daughter in law – her positivism despite her confinement an inspiration, her history rich with amazing experiences – and her demand for fish and chips over pureed vegetables wickedly rebellious. Thanks Jen, Ross and Mum Lyons.

      The richness of family:

      They say the family who plays together, stays together and this one’s a shining example. Here a surprise birthday and 50th anniversary celebration for the matriarch and patriarch of a family.  Over the years I’ve observed the guests of honour exercising their entrepreneurial chops while raising these kids, then nurturing their grandkids, plus the odd hanger’s on, into the fine tightly knit family they are today. Grateful for your guidance Pete, Lyn and fam, all of you! x

      Food for the soul:

      The GOMA for artistic brilliance – furry walls, Marvel comic heroes, giant sized women, fallen elephants. QPac for cultural fixes – The Play That Goes Wrong, Modern Citizens Oz Circus, Kinky Boots, the Pink Floyd ExperienceThe Kransky Sisters. The Tivoli for a Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo EchoHuman League blast from the 80’s. Grabbing movies with the Cheapskate Gang, so named for their love of 1/2 price Tuesday movies at the Blue Room, food and wine delivered directly to your seat, a lovely mid week ritual – all food for the soul.

      Friendships old and new:

      Catching up with this lot from a childhood in the rural 70’s –  the same fabulous school buddies, all of us just a tad older and wiser. Thank you Bill, Ian, Kenny, Di, Chris and Debra.

      As well, for the many precious moments spent with loyal and loving friends over home cooked dinners – celebrating enduring friendships. You know who you are.

      This lovely man:

      Drives in the country, exploring markets and savouring new taste sensations.  Chilling with Netflix marathons, debating the meaning of life, the value of bitcoin, John Snow’s potential global dominance and fixing blocked drains – the lovely man providing the lesson that independence can, in fact, go hand in hand with love and companionship. Thank you JB.

      My lifetime family:

      A day’s worth of flights to celebrate Sis and her hubby’s birthdays in rural NSW,  a chance to reconnect with the whole lovingly dysfunctional family. Flying this Mum of mine up for a holiday to celebrate our July birthdays, a small appreciation for the woman who birthed me while just a teen, then left a husband that didn’t deserve her to raise me in the west – respect for her brilliant parenting and ‘can do’ attitude. Love you fam!

      Playing dress-ups:

      Getting my 70’s mojo on while revelling in another birthday celebration, this one for that crazy guy in the pink Zoot Suit, complete with mirror ball, cubed cheese and cocktail onion hedgehogs and a rocking 70’s play list to which I knew all the words – memory intact. Thanks David and Andrew and gang!

      My daytime family:

      Having fun with the team, most of whom have been right there beside me for years, our well oiled machine dedicated to our purpose – making a difference in people’s lives. I’m eternally grateful for their expertise, guidance, friendship and support Julie, Carly, Danielle, Kellie, Deb and Maree.

      Cheap flights

      Melbourne to celebrate another dear friend’s birthday with these guys. Yo! Stewie & Clinton, Tab and Iain.

      Hay for Christmas with family.

      Sydney for New Year fireworks with the guys below – all serving as a reminder of the love for my family; of lasting friendships – and the joyful value of sharing all life has to offer.

      Grateful indeed!

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