Saturday, March 26, 2011

Positivity in the ER? Yes!


Hello Optimists,

Yesterday was a good day...mainly because it was Friday. Fridays are almost always good days, for sometimes no better reason than it just being the kickoff day to the weekend. As I arrived back at my place after a packed schedule, I took some time to relax and unwind from the day. I had to recharge for later on in the night - after all, it was my friend's birthday and she had invited me to a local restaurant and bar to celebrate! Yay! Another reason it was a good day.

Unfortunately things didn't really go as planned. As I was recharging, my roommate came to my door and said, "I have a not-so-fun favor to ask of you. Can you please drive me to the ER? I think I may have appendicitis." Oh goodness! So with that, I hopped up, grabbed my keys, and off we went. Mind you, it was just about 6pm....perfect timing for rush hour traffic in Philadelphia. Dodging the highways and traffic as best as I could, we made our way into the city and arrived at the hospital at UPenn about 30 minutes later.

I'm sure you know the routine in the ER - it seems as if more time is spent in the waiting room than actually getting seen by the doctors. I waited in there while my roommate walked in and out and back and forth to the different stations - admission, registration, triage, etc. I had a book in my car that I brought along in anticipation of the long night, so that occupied my time for a bit, but as the waiting room got a bit more crowded, I realized that I was too distracted with people-watching to continue reading. So, I put the book back in my bag and took a look around the room at the others who were waiting there along with me. Some looked worried, some looked agitated, and some were falling asleep after what had probably been a long day in the office.

As I continued to scan the room, however, I caught a glimpse of a woman's sweatshirt, and I was sure that what I had thought it read was just my mind playing tricks on me. But, sure enough, as I took a second look, I realized that my eyes were not lying. On this woman's sweatshirt read the words,

"Stay Positive"
It really amazes me how much optimism and positivity can become a part of your life once you agree to let it in. I've written many times about the countless "signs" that seem to appear out of nowhere, in the most random of places. It occurred to me that there could not have been a better place for this woman to wear this sweatshirt, as the ER is usually a place where people are thinking anything but positively.

So, I never made it to my friend's birthday party, but I was able to help another friend out in a time of need. And because of that, I was reminded to keep positivity in my life. Plus, it turns out that after many, many hours of waiting, my friend did NOT have appendicitis. Whew! 

See? I told you Fridays were good days.

Keep Smiling,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love Your Job - Be Happy at Work!

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

This past week I had the lovely opportunity to go on a bit of a getaway for spring break. I got to do one of the things I like to do best - sit under the warm sun on the beach, listen to waves crash and have endless pina coladas delivered to my beach chair.

It was quite easy to be in a good mood with all of the sunshine and clear, blue water that was surrounding me. But that good mood wasn't all from the fact that I love the beach so much - though that did have a lot to do with it! What also made it great was the positivity and happiness that flowed from the staff working at the resort. They were jubilant, smiling, and genuinely happy to help make your stay with them the best it could be - and not just because it was their job, but because they cared to see you smile, they shared the desire to create a good experience, and they placed such high importance on their role in your state of happiness. It was easy to see that they were doing a job that made them (and everyone around them) happy. I was ready to sign up for another vacation next year at the same place just because of the happy employees alone!

It was such a difference from what we are used to seeing back home that I had lengthy discussions with my fellow spring breakers about it. The air was noticeably different because positive attitudes and genuine happiness flowed throughout the resort as a result of the staff's superb service. This got me thinking quite a bit about happiness in the workplace and why so many of us here should apply this to our careers. If we can learn to make happiness a part of our jobs, we will in turn bring happiness into the lives of the clients that we serve. We already know that people respond positively to positivity, so from a business point of view, adding a bit of happiness can make you or your business stand out from the crowd.

I believe these two quotes say it best:
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. -Aristotle
You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy.     -Bob Ross 
Keep this in mind when you drag yourself to work on Monday mornings and start the week off right. Remember that being pleasant on the job and making an effort to bring happiness to the workplace will bring benefits not only to you, but to the company you work for as well.

What do you do to make your job a happy place? Does your employer do anything special to make your place of work a happy place to be?

Keep Smiling,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Be Grateful!

Hello Optimists,

I'm sure by now everyone's heard of the tragic natural disaster in Japan, and I bet we're all feeling the same pull on our hearts for those affected by it. I've been watching the news coverage since early yesterday morning when I turned on GMA to get my recap of events for the day. The show usually has some good stories to share, but yesterday, it was completely different. You could just tell from the reporters' voices that this was something very serious..and then they played some video footage of the damages in Japan, and I quickly realized just how serious it was. If anyone has any friends or family that have been directly affected by this earthquake and tsunami, my prayers and positive thoughts go out to you.

It's funny - tragedies like this make you grateful for even the smallest things in life. Out of something so terrible, we are able to get something good. We get a renewed appreciation for our life, for our friends, for our family, and for all of the little "extras" that are a part of our daily routine, however small the may be.

I thought that today would be the best day to share with you something I found on a post from one of my blogger friends over at Project Zen. The image, seen above, is a great little reminder of a little mantra that we should be reciting to ourselves each and every day. I know that sometimes it's easy to forget to do this and it's easy to take things for granted, but in light of the recent disasters in the East, it reminds us just how important it is to truly be grateful.

So as you go through your day today, and every day, remember to recite this at least once in your head:

I will be grateful for this day. 

Say it, and mean it. Take some time to review all of the things in your life that make it great, and never forget just how lucky we are to have what we have at our fingertips. Learning to have appreciation and gratitude for even the smallest of things in our life will make it that much richer.

Keep Smiling,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Positive Vandalism...?

Hello Optimists,

I will be the first to say that defacing someone else's property is wrong. It doesn't matter if it's graffiti on a wall, eggs on a house, scratches on a car, or Sharpie mustaches on your best friend's lovely face (which may be the worst kind of vandalism! That stuff never comes off!)...

But this week as I was walking through the neighborhood, I noticed some "vandalism" that I actually didn't mind. It was - believe it or not - positive vandalism. I found it as I was walking up to an intersection, and I quickly pulled out my phone to snap a picture of it so I could share it with you. It's just another one of the "signs" that pop up in my life that continue to inspire optimism....

So, here's what I saw:

There, on all four sides of the crosswalk was spray-painted, "be kind." A simple, to-the-point message painted in a place that is easily spotted by passerby's. I hope that this unusual place and method of spreading positivity and kindness caught some off guard and inspired them to be kind. 

We all know how important kindness is - it's one of the things I write about quite a bit here on OO. Never did I think of spray-painting it on the road....but I think it's a pretty effective way of spreading some optimism! 

Have you ever seen any "positive" vandalism? 

Keep Smiling,