Over the past year, I’ve done less writing and more reading (listening mostly) as I found my sea legs in my new job at Mason. Maybe it’s the books I gravitate to, but it seemed that no matter what book I picked up, each kept drilling the same message into my head – a positive mindset inspires positive behavior, positive teams, and positive cultures. At Mason, we’re focusing on three “big rocks:” organizational culture, inclusive excellence, and personalized learning/experience. We’ll be implementing Focus 3’s R-Factor to co-create a culture where we take care of our 20 square feet (your space) using the equation E (event)+R (response) =O (outcome) . Essentially, if you control your response to situations or events that happen, you have the power to change the event or experience of others’ and ultimately, together, this influences the entire organizational culture. If the response (R) you choose is positive the outcome (O) is improved for others. Simple, right?
Here’s a list of books to jump-start your positive mindset:
- Big Potential (my new fave) – Shawn Achor
- The Success Principles – Jack Canfield
- The Power of a Positive Team – Jon Gordon
- The Power of Positive Leadership – Jon Gordon
- Whale Done – Ken Blanchard
- Before Happiness – Shawn Achor
Let’s do this – Be Positive!
Surround yourself with positive people and do your part to be positive! Positive school districts and buildings become positive havens for our students. Not every student has been the privilege of a happy home with loving parents; school represents a second home and presents enormous opportunity to have influence and to become a success champion for students.
To be honest, I choose books that I feel will help me in areas where I want to grow. On a day when I get my purse stuck on a doorknob, step in vomit my dog so affectionately left, sit down in my car only to realize the keys are on the counter and someone cuts me off on the highway on my way to work, I expect the negative. And guess what? That’s exactly what I get. I had too many days that felt that way, and I wanted to change because I felt like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over a Cookoo’s nest or Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. Needless to say, not my best self and certainly not the leader, mother, or wife I aspire to be. Strangely, the simple act of reading books and bringing my attention back to the power of positivity helped me, well, be more positive. This may feel like, “well, duh” but it is true. Judith Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence, says “what you focus on is what you see.” If you look for the positives in situations, you will find them.
Here are some quick ways to be more positive:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Read this story from a teacher that had students keep a gratitude journal
- When something happens, try and look for the positive versus allowing your brain to default to the negative
- Don’t watch the news first thing in the morning. This sets the wrong tone for your day.
- Don’t watch the news or violent shows before bed. You are more likely to have thoughts related to what you watched.
Give this a shot. It has made a difference in my life, and I hope it can make a difference in yours too!