“You have to train your brain to be positive just like you work out your body.”
-- Shawn Achor
Brothers Bert and John Jacobs did not have the easiest of lives growing up. Their father had a harsh temper -- the result the brothers say of a losing the use of his right hand in a car accident.
There was a shining light in their house, though -- their mother, Joan.
At dinner each night Joan would ask each of her six kids to tell her about something good that happened that day.
"As simple as mom's words were, they changed the energy in the room," the brothers wrote. "Before we knew it, we were all riffing on the best, funniest, or most bizarre part of our day. She showed us that optimism is a courageous choice you can make every day, especially in the face of adversity."
My late father, Bob Gilbert, who was an elementary school principal, used to do the same thing with his teachers. He would slip a note to random teachers each day that said “What’s good?”
When Bert and John grew up they used their mother’s inspiration to start a t-shirt company. It was a tough go at first as they literally sold the shirts out of their car. But they remembered their mother’s lesson and persevered. Their company “Life is Good” is worth $100 million now.
Today, start a routine where each day you ask yourself, “What’s good?” Ask your kids that question every night when you tuck them in. Ask your spouse or significant other every night before you go to bed. Keep a journal where at the end of each day you write about at least one thing that was good about the day.
And what about those days when you think nothing good happened? Well, those are the days when this exercise is most important. If you look hard enough you’ll find something and in the process you’ll be training your brain to see the good each day.
Win Your Day!