Session #6 Positivity: 2017.9.21

Most people are about as happy as they make their minds to be.”
— Abraham Lincoln

     Handshake America went public - Worthington Public, that is - as we descended upon the already bustling Northwest Library branch. If we put a positive spin on the scene we could all agree the meeting was cozy and personal in that quaint little community room. It was actually quite the perfect room to hold the Positivity Session!

     Doug Smith, author of Happiness: The Art of Living With Peace, Confidence, and Joy, led us in truly taking inventory of the attitudes and actions in which we choose to frame our lives. It meshed perfectly with the Wooden Pyramid Blocks of Faith, Patience, and Enthusiasm that the Handshake ideal of Positivity encompasses.

 Doug Smith is holding a picture of Joseph Merrick - the person we knew as "The Elephant Man". Despite the circumstances he was handed, Merrick arguably made the best of a bad situation.

Doug Smith is holding a picture of Joseph Merrick - the person we knew as "The Elephant Man". Despite the circumstances he was handed, Merrick arguably made the best of a bad situation.

     I think there is one word in his book title that we cannot miss: Art. The fundamentals of art are skill and creativity. In terms of positivity, it is the skill to recognize when negative and accusing thoughts of the past seep into the present to drag down our confidence in what we are doing which then translates to worry and anxiety about the future. That negativity can be a weighty millstone around our necks. Creativity comes in when the recognition of negativity puts a stop to the cycle and you allow your mind to look at things from a positive perspective.

 Special guest and purveyor of positivity, Jimmie Bell, infects everyone around him with his upward attitude.

Special guest and purveyor of positivity, Jimmie Bell, infects everyone around him with his upward attitude.

     The best example I can give you is halftime of a basketball game. Built into the game is the opportunity to take whatever happens in the first half - let's say your team is down by twenty and played terribly - evaluate what you did and take a breath, and make a plan for what you will do in the next twenty minutes. If you think it's hopeless, you have already lost. If you look at the second half as an opportunity to make adjustments, play better, and overcome the deficit then you have a shot. 

     According to Doug's book description on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Art-Living-Peace-Confidence/dp/0986070807), "Through research and study, he began to understand that what the most joyful among us have in common is that they remember the past with peace, anticipate the future with confidence, and live in the present with joy and exuberance." Do we do that? Can we do that? Take a time out and honestly give some thought to what those three ideas mean to us. Go ahead. It might look daunting, but let us not make mountains out of mole hills. You've got this, I'm positive of it. :)

mDraudt