Positivity is Contagious

Positivity is Contagious

If positivity is contagious, are you waiting to “catch” it from someone else… or are you a carrier?


I read a little blurb about a cashier who was consistently optimistic in her attitude.

For some people, when they met and interacted with her, it improved their day. For other customers and co-workers, her attitude was almost annoying. In fact, sometimes she was so positive that it grated on those around her like fingernails on a chalkboard…

Some wondered how she could sustain this behavior. Surely her life wasn’t that much better than others?

Her secret was eventually revealed as simply being a choice. She made a daily choice to have a “good” day, and that decision translated into this ongoing optimism.


Not everything is going to be good in your day. However, your own attitude is under your control.

Will you choose to pass onto others something good?

Consider who can benefit from your healthy attitude… Is it worth the energy to impact everyone around you in a positive way? And if so…

Is your positivity contagious?

Will you decide that today is going to be good day – regardless?


Life as a symphony.

Life as a symphony.

Your life: is it a symphony or a solo?

As beautiful as a solo can be, a symphony has greater depth.

(In case you’re wondering, a symphony is a musical composition for a group of instruments with at least four distinct sections.)

Who is playing in your symphony?

Whistling alone might not be the best choice. Make your life interesting – embrace the opportunity to play with others. However, it’s also good to be playing your life’s symphony with a group that supports you…

So – who is in your symphony orchestra of life?

Is it time to audition a few new players?

A few places of encouragement:

To support this idea of not just whistling in an empty room, I’m participating in a writing challenge for the month of April and I thought I’d share some posts from fellow writers!


  • Bonnie always makes me chuckle! (I’ve been reading her posts since 2011) Everything from relationships, her grands, to trash on the beach – it’s all fodder for her way of looking at life. If you want to view Life on the Lighter Side, check out Bonnie’s post!
  • Kerry is a mom from my home country of Canada. She writes about being creative – this post has a beautiful perspective. “Choosing a hobby for which you have talent is an important part of self-care.she says. What’s your creative hobby? How do you use your creativity to glorify God?
  • in this post, Stephie is talking my language of optimism! She has great points on why expanding your horizons will help you be optimistic and why you need to be aware of your surroundings.
  • I “met” Debi and Tom from The Romantic Vineyard when we both participated in a 30-day challenge in 2011. She continues to write about marriage, and her posts are insightful and fun – Rob and I have adopted/adapted some of her dating ideas. Debi asks, Are you up for the challenge”? – I encourage you to explore the website and share it with your “couple-friends”!

These are only a few of the articles I’ve been reading in this symphony of online voices…


Go deeper and Enjoy!

Need some encouragement in connecting with others? Try this post – or this one.

Listen – and you’ll meet amazing people.

Listen – and you’ll meet amazing people.

Listen. Pay attention as people speak about their life. That’s the secret if you want to meet interesting people.

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t…

Bill Nye the Science Guy

During this week could you

enter every conversation

with the belief you have something to learn?

Listen intently.

Do you hear what people say? Or are you more interested in talking – in hearing yourself talk?

Focus on listening and you will meet amazing people.

And don’t assume you can’t learn something new about people you’ve known for years and years – humans are complex! People change over the years, and if you’re not listening to their story you’ll miss out.

I challenge you:

  • be present (stop thinking about other stuff)
  • hush! (regardless of how much you have to contribute)
  • be still and attentive (please put the phone, keys, papers, etc. down)

How have you trained yourself to listen?

Listen to people - enter every conversation believing you have something to learn. Then be prepared to be amazed.

Is there more to the story?

One of the points in the book “The Kindness Quotient” is:

Kind people don’t pre-judge.

Ronda Sciortino

Ask yourself, “Is there more to the story?” if you feel yourself heading toward dismissing or judging someone. This question will set you up to listen and learn!

PS – Include listening to your spouse in this challenge. This human you’ve loved for years (and years) can be the most amazing person in your life…

The Kindness Quotient - Listen to people and you'll be amazed at their story - it'll be easier to be kind.

If you want to read more about kindness try this article or this one. ~~~

And click HERE to learn more about the book, “The Kindness Quotient“. This is an affiliate link, which means you’ll be supporting me (at no cost you) if you choose to purchase the book. I only promote items I believe will add positively to your life.


… for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning
  

Proverbs 1:2-4 NIV

Best Friend – is that YOU?

Best Friend – is that YOU?

Best friends. We read and hear about that concept quite a bit. It seems like an elusive, never-to-capture ideal. There are movies, books and social media posts touting the idea… but what does “best friend” really mean?

Best friend means something different for everyone.

I’d imagine your “best friend” job description would look different from mine. In fact, there’s every chance we’d all have a unique set of criteria on our list… And that list has changed and will change as long as we’re alive.

Is there any chance one living person could meet all our human “best friend” needs – always?

Join me over at Angie’s Forum!

I did a guest post over at my friend Angie’s site – click to head over there where I explored 10 ways to be your own best friend!

Will you agree with me? Or am I way off base?

Add your ideas to the 10 ways to be your own best friend over there! (click the photo to go there!)

Be more kind than necessary.

Be more kind than necessary.

Be more kind than necessary – you never know who needs your kindness and when.

Kindness chips away at isolation … and from what I’ve been reading in social media, people are feeling alone. Lonely.


We have the power to measurably improve the world around us through kindness.


~ Rhonda Sciortino

What if you made kindness a habit?  Habits are unconscious – they’re the showcase of our character. (And scientific experimentation suggests that if you do something for more than 30 days it becomes a habit.)

What if kindness became part of your character? Could you improve the world around you through your character?

Continue to be who and how you are,

to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. 

Maya Angelou

10 Simple Ways to Be More Kind

1 – Smile.   A friendly face can make a difference in a bleak world.

2 – Be generous. Give without expectation of return.

3 – Start the conversation. Make a connection – ask a question and then listen.

4 – Give compliments. Everyone has good qualities! Let them know…

5 – Share what you love. Bring extra & pass it around.

6 – Adjust your tone. Sometimes it’s all in how you say it…

7 – Exercise patience. Remember – everyone is fighting a battle, even if it’s not apparent.

9 – Let it go.You don’t always have to win, do you? If it won’t matter next week… let it go.

10 – Be careful. Hearts are tender, even if the outside is crusty. Be more kind, regardless.

What would you add?

I’m sure you can think of other easy ways to exercise the character quality of kindess…

Let’s “UP” our kindness quotient this week – Be more kind!

Want to read more about the benefits of being kind?
Click HERE to learn more about the book, “The Kindness Quotient“. This is an affiliate link, which means you’ll be supporting me (at no cost you) if you choose to purchase the book. I only promote items I believe will add positively to your life.

10 ways to be more kind than necessary - learn more at PositiveThanksLiving.com
Curiosity and questions spark relationships.

Curiosity and questions spark relationships.

Curiosity and questions. Get curious. It might take a relationship to the next level. Sure, being kind is important, but maybe curiosity holds an even greater power? Curiosity may even develop into empathy for others.

It’s about asking questions – the right questions.

Curiosity and Questions Spark Relationships

In 1997 five researchers published a paper. It described an experiment they set up where strangers took turns asking each other 36 specific questions in exact order.

At the end of the experiment, it was proven by feedback that these questions created a sense of closeness.  In less than an hour, some of the former strangers even exchanged contact information to continue their budding relationship.

Research in this area had already shown that a key pattern in developing a close relationship includes:

  • sustained,
  • escalating,
  • reciprocal,
  • personal self-disclosure.

The researchers developed their 36 questions to make this happen.

Questions?

The study, “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings”  is here. You can read about how they designed the experiment and all the details in how they administered it. I found it really interesting to read.

I imagine it would be fun to do this with your long-term friends and your spouse. Curiosity and questions will create a spark in those relationships also – and sometimes our long-term relationships might even need a spark!

The “Sharing Game” – 36 Questions

Curiosity and questions – if you just want the questions themselves, you can find them below. Within the experiment, the questions were given in three sets. See the appendix of the paper to read the exact instructions on how the game was set up.

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a perfect day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Set II

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Set III

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “we are both in this room feeling…”

26. Complete this sentence “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.


These questions were developed by ArthurAron – State University of New York at Stony Brook, Edward Melinat – California Graduate School of Family Psychology, Elaine N. Aron – State University of New York at Stony Brook, Robert Darrin Vallone – University of California, Santa Cruz, Renee J. Bator – Arizona State University — for the paper “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings” 

Would you be curious enough to try this experiment?

Does this experiment spark your curiosity? Would you try these questions with someone you don’t know well? What about your spouse? Or relatives? Would you want to feel more close to anyone in particular? Curiosity and questions spark relationships – a winning combination!