How to Fight for Bright and Win

You’re always thinking about something. Often it’s negative.

Dark is magnetic for at least three reasons:

First, it’s likely you have a loud inner critic. Additionally, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi says, “… worrying is the brain’s default position.”

Second, “Nothing is as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.” Daniel Kahneman. That means your loud inner critic and other negative thoughts seem more important than they really are.

Third, Bad is stronger than good.

  1. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones.
  2. Bad information is processed more thoroughly than good.
  3. The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones.
  4. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.

Fight for bright:

This week I’m intentionally thinking about praiseworthy things at least twice a day. When I walk in the morning and at 3:00 p.m. (I’m setting an alarm.)

It all begins with noticing.

Praise is noticing with approval, appreciation, or gratitude.

15 praiseworthy behaviors:

  1. Honesty when mistakes are made.
  2. Receptiveness to negative feedback.
  3. Staying focused on tough issues while avoiding drama.
  4. Finishing. Notice when someone reaches a goal or completes a task.
  5. Positivity. When someone energizes others, notice it.
  6. Kindness.
  7. Trying again.
  8. Reaching high. The pursuit of excellence inspires.
  9. Going the extra mile.
  10. Taking action without being told.
  11. Strengths. “You’re really good at … .”
  12. Positive impact. Notice how one person’s actions impact other people.
  13. Transparency. Be grateful when someone reveals their heart.
  14. Solution-finding.
  15. Sincerity.


This week’s leadership practice concerns thinking only. I typically give affirmations in the moment. I’ll still practice gratitude walks.

This isn’t give praise week. I’m committing to think praiseworthy thoughts twice a day for a week. It’s nothing more than thinking. 

What praiseworthy things might leaders think about?

*I may write down a few praiseworthy thoughts in a journal, but I’m not committing to it.