Kindness Counts: 9 Tips for a Kinder Existence

Kindness Counts

Every day, I pay attention. In fact, I probably pay more attention to every minute detail of my surroundings and social interactions than my brain and heart can really handle sometimes.  One thing that I catch myself paying extra, special, focused attention to is people’s attitudes. I notice when people are kind, even if just in tiny, little, minuscule ways, and it always, always, without fail, gives me a little boost, a little pep in my step, and a great big smile.

Then there are the times when I pick up on a more negative energy; attitudes that feel more like quick, sharp bee stings.  Sometimes it’s really subtle – a slightly irritated or condescending tone of voice, a less than pleasant look, or an off-putting gesture. I imagine people often don’t even realize they are being a little on the jerky side, or how their energy might affect others around them. But me? I notice. That’s just Sonia. I’m sensitive to people’s energy, and I pick up on that stuff. I think a lot of us do.

Enter the topic of kindness which I haven’t visited in a bit. I believe with everything I have that there is always a positive way to have a conversation, even when it involves a tough or controversial topic. I believe there is always a small gesture you can make to help someone feel more comfortable, always a positive way to tackle a situation, always a small way to be kind, and rarely a thoroughly good reason to be a dick. Yes, I said it.

In that vein, here are nine small, but meaningful ways to live a kinder existence.

Kindness Counts Tip #1: SMILE!

Whether it’s at a homeless person on the corner, your neighbor, the cashier at your grocery store, a fussy child, your co-worker, just SMILE! It’s free, it’s easy, and trust me, it makes a sizable difference. Most of us just want to be acknowledged, and there is no better way to acknowledge someone and their humanity, than through a great, big CHEESE.

Kindness Counts Tip #2: Show appreciation.

Take time to thank those who contribute to your life (made you laugh, did you a favor, offered advice), whether that’s  a mentor, a friend, a nurse, the bar tender at your favorite spot, an old professor, a family member, anyone. Maybe it’s just an actual “thank you” and a smile, maybe it’s a thank-you note, or a small treat. It might take you five minutes of energy, but it will give someone else a whole day’s worth of warmth.

Kindness Counts Tip #3: Respect others.

We are all different – complete with our quirks, our bad days, and our likes and dislikes. But we all contribute in our own very special way, and I believe we should respect what everyone has to offer. Never make people feel they are less than you. Never talk down to people. Never ignore them. Try to find a happy medium between what you bring to the table and what they bring, knowing neither is better than the other, just different, and equally as valuable.

Kindness Counts Tip #4: Listen.

People want to be heard. Hell, people NEED to be heard. Even if you don’t agree, just listen. Give people a turn, and then talk. Give others the opportunity to let go of what weighs on their hearts and minds. Then when they have what they need, they’ll turn and listen to you. Don’t shun people out because what they are saying is not what you want to hear. Just listen.

Kindness Counts Tip #5: Apologize.

Hey, screw up much? Of course you do. We all do, and that’s A OK! Practice self-awareness. Realize when you’ve made a bad choice, offended someone, hurt some feelings, and apologize. People are pretty easy, folks. They just want to have their feelings validated. They don’t actually want to hold on to grudges. They just want to hear you’re sorry. Screw up, own up to it, apologize, and move on. Screw up, hold on to that pride like a kid to a chocolate bar, make the situation worse, and dwell. Easy choice, I’d say.

Kindness Counts Tip #6: Be honest.

Clearly, there is a place and a time for brutal honesty, and you can’t always go around telling everyone exactly how you feel. Plus, being honest doesn’t equate to being a jerk. Instead, just be as honest as you can as often as possible. Especially in situations where people are reaching out to you, asking you straight out how you feel, give them the answer they deserve, the honest one. Don’t beat around that old tired bush, just come out with it. Don’t lead folks on, or tell them what you think they want to hear. That ends up hurting a lot more in the long run, every time. And hey, some people might not like what you have to say, but in the end, they will always find a way to respect it.

Kindness Counts Tip #7: Build spirits up. Don’t tear them down.

Give compliments where compliments are due. Encourage people. Support them. Help them wherever and however you can. Again, SMILE! Don’t interrogate. Don’t search for flaws. Search for good qualities. See the good in people. Forgive. Give chances. Stay positive. Don’t hurl insults at every turn, even when they are hurled violently at you.

Kindness Counts Tip #8: Don’t let ‘em harden you.

OK. So you’re throwing out all the kindness you can muster, and you are still getting nasty attitudes, rude comments, and harsh dismissals. So what? If we give into that, we only perpetuate the ugly little cycle. Be nice even when others are not. Be the positive light in Negative Alley. Don’t let ‘em harden you. The right people will appreciate it, and the harder ones? Well, sooner or later, if you just keep pushin’ through kindness, you’ll strike a chord, and soften them right up! Negative or angry people are not bad people. They just need your kindness the most.

Kindness Counts Tip #9: Be humble.

No matter what you achieve in life, what faraway lands you might travel to, how great your possessions and accolades might be, stay humble. Always remember the path you took to get there. Remember the bad days when the good days come. Remember those who helped you along the way. Never start to think you’re better than anyone. Know that things can always change. Appreciate, love and share kindness. Don’t get cocky, and don’t you ever dare think you have nothing left to learn.

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Short & Sweet: Tuesday Motivation Tidbit

Today, I just wanted to share a quick note on giving it your best. Even when life stresses you out, when people give you grief, when you start to feel like you really don’t know if you’re coming or going, or coming again, give it your best. And by that I mean give every day your best. We are human, flawed, limited by time and resources, and this just 24 hours in a day to get it all done thing isn’t changing anytime soon. So if you didn’t reach that goal today, if that dream seems like it might take just a few more weeks, months or even years, if you had an argument, if you lost a battle, constantly remind yourself that tomorrow is another day; a brand spankin’ new day full of brand spankin’ new possibilities.

Letting your day’s disappointments take over you will only diminish your chances at shining tomorrow. So always, always stay positive, take a lot of deep breathes and talk to yourself, a lot. And no, that doesn’t make you insane in the membrane even though many of us like to make that joke. I believe and know from experience that talking to yourself is one of the best ways to stay connected with your own needs, to reflect and to find better ways to tackle tomorrow. What am I ALWAYS telling you? Be your own best friend, be your own hero, be your biggest supporter. This counts the most on the not-so-good days.

Tell yourself it’s going to be OK. Talk through the problem in your head. Give yourself a good ol’ fashioned pep talk, and see how quickly you start to regain confidence even after the worst of days. Positive thought is a self fulfilling prophecy, and not the bad kind. It’s the very, very good with a cherry on top kind. Plus, you must never, ever give up on yourself no matter how many times you might fall. Those falls are just life’s sneaky little tests, and you have the power to pass them all if you believe it hard enough.

I’m off to the warm beaches of Miami for a few days, so I won’t get a chance to write until next week. I hope you all have a positively positive week, and keep those spirits up, no matter what trouble you might find. I will work to do the same.

And thanks to the folks who followed the blog this week, and all of those who’ve followed or Liked before. This space means a lot to me, and I’m grateful that you are finding value in it.

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Never Back Down from a Worthy Fight

Megaphone announcement

 

What follows is my friendly reminder, and your very special Word Share Junkie public service announcement for this week. Please pay ATTENTION, and enjoy!

I always say I’m a lover and not a fighter, and that’s true, but there are some fist-less battles that are worthy of a fight, and one in particular that I will never back down from. I am talking about the fight to be yourself, live your life the way you see fit, and obtain unequivocal, delicious happiness, whether others agree with your methods or not. As long as you are not hurting anyone, no one has the right to tell you who to be, how to act, who to love, or how to live your life. How many times do I have to say this? Apparently, a lot!

This weekend I was reminded of this very important life-long battle by someone who takes every opportunity to take a dig at me or let me know that who I am is wrong. I’m talking about everything from my lipstick to the way I talk. And at first, I was very upset by this, but then I came back to my Super Woman senses, and realized, hey, I love who I am. I am a good person. I am living a positive life surrounded by a lot of wonderful people who really see me and accept me, and I’m just trying to do my very best to live happily and productively. I am merely trying to take the lessons of my past and turn them around into something positive that I can be proud of and then share with others to hopefully help them achieve their HAPPY. Amidst tears, I quickly had to remind myself that this kind of constant bash treatment I experienced is nothing more than projected insecurities and should never, no matter how incredibly difficult it is, be taken personally.

Again, as long as you are not hurting anyone, stick to your guns like gum to a shoe, and continue to be YOU, in every situation, under every circumstance. Define your happiness in whatever way seems right to you, and chase it. Because the truth is that no matter what you do, people who are against you or generally negative will always find a way to judge you and try to put you down. It’s simple though. They can never win unless you let them.

Some battles are not really worth your energy, and you can’t go around trying to be a super hero about every little thing. But, when it comes to your right to be you and live happily, you better fight like hell. Because when it’s all over, if you lived your life based on others’ judgments and expectations, you will have not lived at all.

And guess what? The best part is that this whole weekend ordeal actually helped me get a little bit closer to really nailing down how I want to go about my in-the-works book My Funny, Sad Life. I know now that I will make it a series of shorter books, with each one focusing on one particular topic to help others reach their full potential and live a happy life. Book #1 in the series?

My Funny, Sad Life. Fighting for Authenticity in an Unoriginal World. 

Well I’m still working on that title, but you get the gist. So thanks hate! You only continue to strengthen my resolve and propel me forward into my dreams. 🙂

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

There are No Expiration Dates on DREAMS

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When we have goals or dreams we ardently desire, we tend to get discouraged by the ticking of the clock, and the passing of the weeks, months and even years. I struggle with this all of the time. There is just SO Much I want to do, and even though I work on it all a little at a time, in-between work, errands, and life, I never feel like I’m doing enough or moving quite fast enough. But I think that’s just the nature of a passionate heart and a super over-active brain – probably not bad things to possess.  The thing to always remember is that there is no expiration date on dreams. There is no – if you don’t accomplish it by this date or that year, it’s time to give up. It’s not milk or a steak. It’s a DREAM. If you let them, dreams will die, but they never expire on their own.

So on this hectic Monday, my advice to you is to try and focus on the big picture, on the small steps you are taking each day, each week or each month towards you dreams and goals, and I will try to do the same. I think that as long as you continue to hold those dreams in the forefront of your mind and heart, and never completely abandon them, you will eventually reach that goal. Just remember to feed it, water it, and nurture it, even if it’s for five minutes today, an hour tomorrow, and a day next month. Focus on your progress, not your set-backs.  Because I have experienced it firsthand many times, and the universe really does reward effort, patience and perseverance.

That’s my quick note for today. Here’s to a happy, positive and productive Monday. Dream on dreamers!

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

3 Paths to Internal Woosah

Keep Calm

Life is like a really intense contact sport. Living it well requires attention, focus, practice, coaching and hard work. In my early 20s I feel like I was the worst player that ever played the game. As I’ve matured and worked my way through the tail end of what clinical psychologist Meg Jay calls, “the most important decade of adulthood[1],” I’ve come across three crucial paths to internal woosah. By always doing my best to follow these paths, I find I am less anxious, more confident and much happier. Check ‘em out, give ‘em a try, and let me know if they help lead you to a little more delicious internal woosah.

1. It’s not personal.

These three simple words really have the power to change your life if you repeat them to yourself enough and really practice what they preach. Essentially, the,” it’s not personal,” path to internal woosah means you have to stop taking things personally. I’ve talked about this concept before in Say no to HATE, where I strongly believe that 9 times out of 10, when people mistreat you, hurt you or reject you, it has little or nothing to do with you. That is their noise being projected onto you, but it rarely says anything about what you may have done wrong, and everything about the issues they might be experiencing.

Many of us walk around carrying the heavy weight of taking every little thing personal (big offender right here), and assuming that every time we are on the receiving end of hate, or a bad attitude, it’s because we did something to deserve it, or we are not worth any better. When you encounter these things on your daily life routes, practice saying to yourself, “It’s not personal. It’s not personal. It’s not personal.” Take a few deep breathes as you repeat it in your mind, and watch how much better you start to feel. It works like a sweet, sweet charm, every single time.

It took me a very long time to realize that the hate in my life was never personal, that I never deserved it, and that it never had anything to do with me as a person, but it’s by constantly focusing on, “It’s not personal,” that hate rolls off my shoulder like butta more often these days, helping me to be much more relaxed and happy.

2. Self-awareness is key.

People have always told me that I am a very self-aware person, and lately I’ve come to realize how much that has helped me on my journey to HAPPY. To me, being self-aware means being honest with yourself and others about your weaknesses just as much as you are about your strengths.

For example, I know I am very sensitive, that I can be overly trusting and passionately emotional. I know the things that stress me out and the things that drive me. I know the environments and the people that lift me up and those that bring me down. I know I’m a good writer, and terrible at math (I can make it happen, but man does it hurt!).  I know what I like, and what I don’t, etc., etc. And I use all of this information to manage my life better. Being self aware helps me play up my strengths and make the most of my weaknesses.

By denying the things that you struggle with or aren’t the best at, you only make your life harder, because then you’re just trying to force things. So don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses. Instead, turn them into strengths by being open about them and managing your life AROUND them, not BASED on them.

3. Apologize when an apology is due.

Every single one of us makes mistakes and lots of ‘em. We are all majorly flawed, and that’s part of the beauty of life. Most people are good and usually not out to intentionally hurt others. So when you fudge up, admit it, and apologize. Constantly being too proud or feeling like you’re above apologizing, only creates negative feelings for you and the others affected by your actions. Don’t bottle up guilt or leave others without the apology they deserve. A simple apology can keep a situation from blowing up out of proportion, and can often help heal those we’ve committed mistakes against.

And if you wholeheartedly apologize for your mistakes when an apology is due, and your apology is not accepted, at least you can rest easy knowing you owned up to it, and tried to make amends. You cannot control other people. You can only control yourself. So do what’s right regardless of the response you receive, and then good or bad, move on knowing you did your best.

Also, it is important to note that sometimes it is healthy to apologize even when we believe we haven’t done anything wrong. Although you might not have meant to hurt someone through your words or actions, perhaps they were interpreted the wrong way, and still managed to hurt their feelings. It might not have been your intention, but feelings are non negotiable, and you can’t tell someone they feel the wrong way. So apologize for the misunderstanding, explain your true intentions, and leave the hurt behind. Don’t let a stubborn heart create an empty life. 

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Turning Childhood Noise Into Adult Shine

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In this blog, I talk a lot about the negative facets of my childhood, and how they’ve pushed me to fight for a life and a Sonia that I can respect and enjoy. Because I believe there is always a positive way to look at things, always a way to make a little sweet juice from a lot of rotten fruit, today I want to focus on all of the positives in my childhood negatives. With this, I hope to help you channel your inner positivity guru so that you can think through how some of your life’s negatives are actually crawling with positive goodness.

Finding ways to be more grateful in general, especially for things that are not so shiny upon first glance, is one of my proven paths to feeling happier on a daily basis. Plus, the more you practice looking at things positively and pulling strength from negative situations, the more you build up your ability to deal with problems and bad days quicker and more effectively. I don’t know about you, but anything I can do to feel joyous corn more often than I feel down, sounds like a good plan to me! Here’s a few ways I’ve turned childhood noise into adult shine.

Parental noise = Kick-ass fighter attitude

Sure I have daddy issues out the wazoo, and sure he’s not my favorite person in the world, but it is because of him that I have become such a fighter and life enthusiast. It is because of him that I work so hard and stay so focused on chasing and protecting my HAPPY with everything I’ve got. It’s why I strive to be a good person in every situation, and always ensure people know my word counts for something. And it is why I am dedicated to helping motivate other people towards a better life.

Plus, although his methods were not exactly material for a parenting magazine, and they definitely made life as a child and teenager pretty hard, I am grateful that he was so strict. I think it always kept me on the right track, and now, even as grown woman, I still savor and cherish my freedom every single day. And finally, although my relationship with him could use some major TLC, I have one hell of a mother. A lot of people don’t have solid relationships with or support from either parent, and I can appreciate how lucky I am to have her despite the imperfections.

Additionally, my parents live a very sheltered life. They don’t drink, or go out, or keep friendships, really. Growing up, my father believed that as long as your basic needs were met, you should be happy, and anything else was just asking for too much out of life – boooooring. This was always troubling to me as a kid who just wanted to learn, explore and grow. So I’ve made it one of my life’s missions to seek out experiences, keep close relationships, have a lot of fun, and learn, learn, learn.

Finally, life was also very controlled growing up, and now having control over my own life, where I live, how I spend my time, how and where I choose to be spiritual, and how I run my life overall, is exhilarating. And don’t you think that just because I’m 28 and living over a thousand miles away from home, that the attempt to control my life has changed. The difference is now I am not afraid to stand up for myself. My childhood taught me the importance of really living life and living it my way, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Poverty noise = Drive, Humility and Appreciation

Let’s be real. Growing up poor sucked. Hell, it still sucks, because even though I’ve moved myself out of poverty, I still deal with its backwash in many ways. For example, I’ve lived in Chicago for nearly three years and I’ve never been visited by my parents or my little sister mostly because of money. Even when I graduated from business school last year, no one came, and those kinds of things hurt.

I always have to be the one to make the trips to Miami, during which I always have to spend a lot of money, because everything’s on me. Every year, I help fund birthdays and Christmas for my little sister, and although I’m more than happy to do it for her, that kind of responsibility is hard when you’re just trying to make it yourself and managing a pretty penny in debt. From a very young age, it’s been me, and that’s it. I’ve always had to help myself, because there’s never been anyone to help me. I’ve always known that if I screw up, there’s nowhere to turn.

On the bright side (you know how I love to find it), I believe it is all of this that has made me such an incredibly driven and proactive person with quite the hustler spirit (the good kind of course). It is because of my poverty noise that I am always striving for better, and I’m never afraid to work just a little bit harder. It is also because of my poverty noise that I can still appreciate every single little luxury and even the smallest step of progress I experience. It is because of this that I cherish my education even if I will be paying it off forever! I know how easily I could have ended up on another path, and I’m certain it was worth every penny.

The Point

My point is that there is no need to wallow in childhood noise and sorrow your entire life. If your childhood wasn’t the best, why would you want to drag that into adulthood? It’s time to take a good look at how you grew up, the good (there is always a little good to consider) and the bad. Then use the bad to propel you to build a better life for yourself, do it differently and break the chain. Take those negatives and use them to make you stronger and strive for better. Don’t use them as an excuse to live an unhappy life or treat others unfairly. By doing that, you only hurt yourself and the ones you love. Don’t you want to create new patterns you can be proud of?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Motivation Contagion

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The other day I was sifting through Psychology Today when I came across an article entitled Motivation is Contagious, and I thought, yes!  Motivation contagion; that’s where it’s at. When I surround myself with positive attitudes, smiling faces, life enthusiasts and believers, I feel alive and exhilarated. On the other hand, when I find myself surrounded by the opposite of all that positive deliciosity, my body tenses up and I want to scream. Blame it on the daddy issues, or what have you, but I just can’t, and why should I?

I’ve worked so hard to bring the happy, hopeful, laughter-filled Sonia to life – the one I always knew lay under the environmental oppression – that I simply refuse to let anyone or anything get in the way of that, and I’m burning to help you get there too. The more I come across others on this same path to light – as I increase my social media efforts, research optimism and positivity, and increase my general attention to all of life’s little motivators – the more excited I get to keep going with this blog, keep pushing through with my book (man, it’s a lot harder of a process than I thought!) and keep spreading my corn.

Sure, there are people who don’t get it, but then there are all of those wonderfully wonderful emails, text messages and social media comments I’ve received throughout the last two years or so of this journey towards healing and living light, letting me know I’ve made a difference in someone’s day or life. Those are the comments that remind me that there is a need out there for a whole lot of motivation contagion, and I am well equipped to fill this need in anyone who will listen.

So when you’re feeling high on life, when you find a way or reason to believe better is possible, or when you just have a good day, I urge you to share, share and then share a little more. Don’t worry about folks who will find it annoying or try and throw a negative at your positive. Push through that because it is those people that need your HAPPY the most. And when someone says or does something nasty to you, breathe, take a step back, and think about whether you want to give power to negativity or whether you want to let positive take the score.  Because like I heard somewhere a few weeks ago, when you treat people with love and respect, they react and they rise to the occasion (or something like that, but you catch my drift :)).

Just as a little example, this morning, I let a car pass me on the highway on my way to work, and the guy proceeded to give me an enthusiastic thumbs up through his rearview mirror. It made me smile, it put me in an even better mood than jamming to Coolio’s Fantastic Voyage (classic!!) on the 90s station already had me, and I’m still thinking about it now.  It was a small gesture, but motivation contagion is best accomplished by small gestures that add up and snowball into bigger ones.  Plus, here’s a little secret, the more you make an effort to motivate others, the more you end up reinforcing the HAPPY and motivating yourself!

How will you spread your best today?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Say No to HATE

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Can you read that? It says, “Keep breathing people. It gets better. One day at a time.” Hey, even bathroom walls can be inspiring sometimes, and I thought it was a great way to kick off this post! Here it goes.

Some people might say I’m restless. I’ve moved relatively often, and I’m always looking for the next step, trying to make a new friend or find a better opportunity. Then again, I think most of us in our 20s or even early 30s are in this stage of searching for what fits. Fortunately, I can confidently say I’m in a pretty great, stable place right now. I will never stop looking ahead or cooking up my next step, because I’m a dreamer and a doer, and that’s what we do, but I’m content with my job and career, my home, my life, my friends, and my general surroundings, with the occasional tweaks of course.

Now, after a good deal of work to get to this great place, I feel like I’m more of a fighter than I am restless. I fight and hustle for the surroundings I want. I work to be in the places and around the people who bring me up, not tear me down, and I know exactly why that is. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in an emotionally abusive environment. But I’m not a child anymore. I don’t have to accept hate, and I work every day to move away from the sources of negativity that I simply refuse to be a part of. My life won’t be about that. I’ve firmly decided it.

Sometimes we find ourselves in less than desirable situations, and we feel stuck. We feel like we owe something to the people or surroundings that are bringing us down, and so we stick around as our souls slowly deteriorate. We justify staying maybe because it’s easier than leaving, it won’t rock the boat or it will keep others satisfied with us. But you really have to snap out of it, and realize that you always have to look out for yourself. I fiercely believe, and have really come to learn, that if you don’t take care of you, no one else will. Someone I once dated said to me, “If no one will be nice to you, at least be nice to yourself.” Maybe I’ve shared that phrase with you before, but it’s because I found so much power in it. I used to think he was selfish, but now I understand exactly what he meant.

I say if you don’t like me, that’s cool, because I do, and I’ve always got somewhere else to go.There is always a new place to live, a new friend to make, a new person to date, another job, another city, another way. If you don’t feel good or right where you are, don’t stay there for anyone else. You have to fight for the life you want, or it will slowly but surely slip right out of your hands. I’ll never forget an article I once read about hospice workers, and what they heard most often from their dying patients. They said the thing they regretted most was living their lives for others, and not for themselves. And you don’t want to have that regret, do you?

So what if people judge you for leaving, try to guilt you into staying, or attempt to justify the very actions that are making you want to leave? If your gut, and let me tell you, that sucker is very knowledgeable, is telling you something is off, then go. Search for something better, for a place that will bring your spirits up and just fit better. How many, many times have I heard I’m too sensitive and it’s just me, or, “I’m just like that. Don’t take it personally?” I’ll tell you. Too many. Possibly my favorite is when someone tries to tell you the way you feel is wrong. It’s a feeling! It’s not fact, and there is no such thing as a wrong feeling – a wrong idea or action, sure, but never a wrong feeling. The way you feel is the way you feel, and you have a right to express those feelings. People don’t always mean to make us feel a certain way, and I get that, but the feeling is still real.

If someone can choose to be a bully, be hateful, rude, derogatory or downright mean, then I can certainly choose to walk away from it. I don’t have to accept hate, and I never will again. For years, I thought I had to. Maybe I even thought somehow I deserved it. But I don’t, and you don’t either. No one does. That hate is all theirs, not yours, and you can say no to it. A plain and simple, “NO!”

Like everything else on the road to HAPPY, turning your back on hate can be incredibly hard. Hate is often manipulative and can sometimes come from people you love, and that’s why it can be so hard to take a step back and really see it has nothing to do with you. I’ve had to walk away from jobs, family members, roommates, cities and friends, and it hasn’t been easy. The backlash hasn’t always been pretty either. But I’m committed to building a positive life surrounded by positive people, to smiling as often as possible, and to simply feeling good. I deserve it. I know that now. And if something or someone is making me feel uncomfortable in some way, I have every right to walk away. I still work on this every day, because I can be a bit of a people pleaser, and of course I want everyone to love me (we all do), but I’ve come a long, long way from the hate that used to envelope me, and now I can’t imagine life any other way. Unfortunately, life involves hate, and I accept that, but whenever possible, I can walk away from it, and I will.

How will you say no to hate today?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Positive Patty Always Wins

OK, maybe not ALWAYS, but let me tell you, Positive Patty seems to win a lot more often than Sour Sonia ever did. I don’t know if it’s cosmic karma or what, but ever since I jumped on the positivity wagon, things in my life just generally seem to go the way I want them to more often.

It’s simple things like beating another applicant for a great apartment, finding a sweet parking spot late at night, getting a break on a bill, selling myself well enough to get a pretty raise right when I needed it most, or just having a delivery come right when I need it.

Back in my Negative Nelly days, I feel like every little thing just seemed to go wrong. The negative thoughts seemed to snowball, and have real tangible effects on life events. Now positive thoughts seem to be having the same effect. Woah. This is much, much better!

It might sound a little kooky, but it seems like that whole, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it,” deal is pretty real. By no means am I suggesting nothing ever goes wrong in Sonia’s world, because it does. But even when that happens, I find that thinking positively helps me turn around that negative situation much faster, and turn it into something much better than what I originally hoped would happen.

And, if you don’t believe me, a stress management article on MayoClinic.com states that positive thinking and optimism actually provide a variety of health benefits like:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Speaking of positivity, hope also seems to be a helpful little tool in this life deal. The topic reminds me of a University of Manchester study I once wrote about in relation to hope and success entitled, Can hope get you further than smarts, grades and personality? The blog talks about a three-year study that investigated hope, intelligence, personality and grades in relation to achievement. The study actually found that hope often wins over the other factors when predicting success.  Isn’t that something?

It looks like we really have a lot more control over our lives than we think. So perk up, clear those negative thoughts, and watch how positivity, hope, and all-around good vibes suddenly start to make things just a little easier. It’s sure working for me, and I’d love to see it change someone else’s life too!

Sonia, Word Share Junkie