My good friend, Robin Leonard, once gave me a small, coffee table book for my birthday entitled, "Little Things Make a Big Difference." The book is authored by Laurin Sydney, of CNN. In the book Sydney laments on how our daily lives are overwhelmed with long lists of "want tos" and "have tos." Often, the result of this is that we just shut down completely without even making an attempt to complete our "want tos." If we can't do everything on the list, we don't do anything on the list.
I plead guilty to this behavior. I begin each day by creating a list. Sitting in my leather chair in our breakfast room with my computer on my lap, I sip coffee and plan my day. By the time the list is written, I am already in a panic mode, just knowing that there aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done. The things I absolutely must do always take precedence over the things I simply want to do. If you recognize this behavior in yourself, you might benefit from a few of Ms. Sydney's recommendations on how to change your attitude. Incorporating a few positive habits into your life can cast a ray of sunshine and help clear up some of the bewilderment many of us feel on a regular basis.
* Sprinkle your vocabulary with hopeful, happy words. Brilliant, stupendous, miraculous, awesome and spectacular are a few of he superlatives that separate the upbeat personality from the downtrodden and depressed.
* We all know how good it feels to receive a compliment. The next time you are interacting with another person, no matter who or where, perhaps a waitress in a restaurant, or a clerk at the post office....pay them a compliment if they deserve it. "You have the most beautiful smile," or "Your eyes are as blue as the sky," can just about change someone's day. Try this on family members, especially teenagers, and you'll notice a remarkable change in their behavior.
* Take a 15 minute catnap. Don't feel guilty. Pull your car over into a parking space and close your eyes with the radio on...or sit in your most comfortable chair at home, even if you've got sugar and flour all over your apron. Just close your eyes for 15 minutes. You'll have a new found energy to get through the rest of the day. (Many physicians actually recommend this.)
* Let there be light! Few things can get a person down more readily than darkness. During the winter months, when the days are shortened, be sure to take advantage of sunny windows by opening the drapes or curtains regularly. Illuminate rooms at night by burning scented candles along with regular lighting.
* Talk the talk. Repeated positive affirmations uttered to yourself silently,will actually stick in your subconscious and affect your daily life in multiple ways. At first , it will feel weird. But, eventually, it will become habit.
* The bottom line is...change the way you think and the way you look at the things around you. Your new attitude will roll over into your everyday activities and you'll become a much happier and more productive person. Maybe you'll even be able to mark off some of those things on your daily list as "done!"