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.
- Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones.
- Bad information is processed more thoroughly than good.
- The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones.
- 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:
- Honesty when mistakes are made.
- Receptiveness to negative feedback.
- Staying focused on tough issues while avoiding drama.
- Finishing. Notice when someone reaches a goal or completes a task.
- Positivity. When someone energizes others, notice it.
- Trying again.
- Reaching high. The pursuit of excellence inspires.
- Going the extra mile.
- Taking action without being told.
- Strengths. “You’re really good at … .”
- Positive impact. Notice how one person’s actions impact other people.
- Transparency. Be grateful when someone reveals their heart.
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.
If you look for good you will find good and if you look for bad you will find bad….
That’s the truth Patrick. So now we just need to determine our focus. 🙂
I support you in focusing on the positive. Best to find a word to replace the “fight” for bright. It’s a negative word. I enjoy your daily posts and have shared my favorites with coworkers and friends. Thank you, Dan!
Thanks Shelly. Interesting suggestion. I wonder what terms might fit the bill?
“Struggle for Bright”
(we all have to do it);
“Affirm the Bright”
(leaves no question concerning any worldview);
“Achieve the Bright and Succeed”
both emphasizes genuine achievement over merely acting (just “doing” it ritually, or simply “being” it) …
What praiseworthy things might leaders think about? Attendance at work, events, attitude upon arrival, appearance as dressed appropriately for the project, perhaps not being so critical of others or being judgemental, just accept them and grow with them, understanding others, who they are and what they do? Learning how to encourage and support your team or associates in work and life.
Now you’re cooking, Tim! I’m totally committed to the power of noticing small things. If we wait for the big stuff, we end up waiting too long.
We are working to integrate some of the key concepts in the Selfless Leadership model with our team building game to build a full day workshop and your list of praiseworthy things is spot on. If more leaders would focus on more positives, it would certainly improve effectiveness and overall workplace culture.
It would be nice to see more of this in the schools, too.
Good list. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Dr. Scott. Yes! Schools, homes, churches, healthcare…. hmmm, I wonder where it wouldn’t be effective to spend a little more time focused on praiseworthy things. 🙂
How would an act of forgiveness improve the situation?
Love that question, Paul!
I would support staying focussed…, honesty and transparency. I would add one more praiseworthy thing- helping others to become leaders. Leaders creates an environment that support building leaders. This creates a pipeline for leadership development. I also think that leaders exercise their power without showing their authority. Leaders need to show authentic humility. All the points suggested by you are great and covers almost everything.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. YES! Make a list of everyone on the team…identify the ones who are committed to help others become leaders.
How wonderful it would be if every leadership team was committed to help others become leaders. Imagine a corporate team that has conversations about current and potential leaders. Imagine the corporate team coaching/mentoring leaders.
Perhaps one of the questions corporate teams should ask each other is who are you developing.
Excellent set of ideas and points. So much of quality/regulatory systems is designed around looking for, finding and fixing errors that looking for and pointing out success, effort and good process gets ignored.
Yes indeed! Some find their complete identity in finding and fixing errors. Some leaders have no idea what it means to focus on opportunities.
Problem fixing is important. It is also working in the past. Opportunity-seizing is a forward-facing opportunity.
Great 15 which shouldn’t be difficult, they should be easily and naturally practiced although, I do wonder with sadness, how many people would truly practice and acknowledge them.
I’ve heard myself saying to people who have worked alongside me, getting through a tough, difficult situation methodically and calmly, if I come out smiling, even crack a joke at the end of it, I’m happy, feel as if I’ve achieved something, it maybe wasn’t as tough as I thought it was going to be or was made out to be.
Thanks Thinker. This stuff has to be simple and easy if we have much hope for growth in these areas. 🙂
“Bad is stronger than good.” I wrestle with why that is true – it certainly appears that way. They say it takes 5 (or 7 or some number) of positive comments to outweigh a negative one. Is this something we learn? Does it tie in to how we feel about ourselves to begin with? Why do we seem to buy into the negative comments more than the positive ones? As for bad parents being stronger than good parents – I tend to think that this is the appearance rather than the reality. The squeaky wheel usually is more noticeable. Just some thoughts…
How about “Delight in the Bright” rather than “Fight for the Bright”?
Noticing and gratifying these behaviors is not only a positive but it can make this behavior repeated over time. People respond very well to positive reinforcement.
On another note, some days it is so difficult to stay positive but you must completely shift your mindset and make it a routine to stay positive and always find the good in the situation.
Hi Dan, Thanks for great tips, I am new in boxing and really learn too much from your sharing 🙂
15 praiseworthy behaviors <3
Keep it up 🙂
Thanks Aanna. Best wishes with boxing. I hope you come back soon,