One of the awesome (and completely unanticipated) perks of my job is that I get to connect with some great folks around the world. Sometimes via Twitter, sometimes via office communicator and sometimes just by reading their blogs. Any way you look at it, I get to engage with smart, creative, talented, funny, darn-good–cooks… running out of adjectives for awesomeness people on a regular basis. Yep, I’m one of those blessed people that LOVES their coworkers. Many of these folks blog and have passions outside of work – I’m working on this slowly – but I enjoy reading about their passions as inspiration.
One of the bloggesses that I find super inspirational is one @LuckyAndi who blogs at Polish My Crown. Last week she wrote a post, “Situation / Crown Polish,” which is amazing and everybody that knows me should read it. This post relates closely to my theories on optimism, or being Obnoxiously Optimistic always. Here’s the deal – there will always be lemons in life, and you need to lemons to make lemonade. Andi writes, “So, we all have those ‘off’ days or moments or situations. Crown polishing is a reaction to those experiences – a new mindset and outlook!” You all know those days? Project positivity and seek out the joy in every little thing, even the not so great. You’ll perk right up.
Case study? Yes, I have a case study on this based on life-math. I do real math at work, I do life math in my head (life math is the act of stating illogical mathematical equations and data points to make a life story better). Here we go:
Case Study: I love Snow!
Background: As a resident of the northernmost parts of Illinois, a severe disliking of any and all major weather patterns is in my blood. After all, it is always polite to talk shit about the weather when all else fails.
Hypothesis: Pretend you love snow and you will trick yourself into liking it.
Test period: started while in college, living in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, two blocks from the Mag Mile and some spectacular Christmas decorations.
Methodology: wake up super early in the winter to loud jams, go for a walk when the sun rises and say good morning to every single person you see. Let their positive reaction dictate your mood for the remainder of the day. Quadruple points if snow is involved or if it is so cold outside that breathing hurts. After a few weeks of this, my college roomie and I calmed our winter walks but continued with a lively holiday celebration that lasted long into February. On snowy days, walk outside and say out loud, “Wow, isn’t the snow so beautiful?” to a stranger. They’ll agree. Say to someone else, “Phew, I love it when the air is so cold it sorta hurts my lungs to breathe it – reminds me I’m alive!” My favorite one? “The wind paired with the negative temperatures gives me a terrible windburn on my face, but I pretend it’s just like a sun-kissed cheek glow.”
Results: People will assume you are bat-shit crazy, but after one winter of trying my damnedest to love the coldest months of the year, I found myself anxiously waiting for the next winter.
Life-math: One winter of falsifying emotions leads to a net sentiment around zero – (negative thoughts in your head + positive thoughts out loud = neutral feelings towards snow). Anyone with a poor brand reputation can relate, the first step out of the negativity is neutrality. By winter two, I looked forward to it and was so excited when the lights were being put up in the city. By the time the first snow hit? I was dancing around like a little kid. My love of snow and winter has grown roughly 50 percent each winter since.
Happy December y’all!