You know that person that always seems to be happy? How do they always stay so positive? How is it that they can make you feel a little better, just by being around them? I don't have all of the answers to these questions, but I am very glad these people exist. I try to surround myself with as many of them as possible, because their enthusiasm for life is infectious.
It is so easy to look for the bad in things, but why do so many of us spend the majority of our time doing just that? After a Jazz/BYU loss, people overreact like crazy. Even when we win, so many people find something to be unhappy about. In some of our jobs the only time our boss talks to us is if there is a complaint, or you need to improve at something. If you are doing your job, then you are doing what you are supposed to. Why would you take the time to compliment, say thank you, or recognize the things others are doing?
I often wonder if I compliment my students enough. We work so hard at making sure what we are doing looks like, and sounds like it should. Then when they meet our expectations, we just say in our heads, finally, and move on without a second thought. Sometimes I think we are scared that if we interrupt it, we will ruin the moment.
I know the times I receive a sincere compliment it does much more to motivate me than when someone tries to tear me down. There is a time and a place for constructive criticism. If I'm doing something wrong I want to know so I can fix it, but how often we err on that side, and not on the positive. Last week I got a short e-mail from a parent thanking me for making this a good year for her son, and it brightened my whole day. It only took her a moment, and was a little thing, but for me, it meant a whole lot.
I was going to do two examples of how I could think about my life, and how it was going. One paragraph that was positive, and one that was negative. I wanted to show how your attitude can make the same exact thing very different. I had to stop though, because even after allowing myself to think negatively for just a moment, it got dark and depressing really fast. I can't let myself even think like that for a minute.
There is so much bad in the world, the news is full of awful things. Today was an especially hard day with the news of the shooting. However, there are SO many more great things going on out there. We can focus on the bad, and let it take over and paralyze our lives. Or we can make the best with what we've got, be grateful, and focus on the good. I can promise you that the positive one is a lot more enjoyable.
I hope that each of us will try to be that person whose infectious happiness brings joy to all of those around us. Life is never as bad as we may think. The sun will rise tomorrow, and if we learn from all of our yesterdays, we will have a lot of wonderful tomorrows.
I would like to challenge each of you to think positively today, compliment someone, and find a way you can serve and make the world a better place, even if it's just for one person. If all of us did these small simple things everyday, think of all the good we could do.