By FDA Executive Director and CEO Drew Eason
There’s that person. The one who shows up with nothing positive to say. The comments are about how bad the weather is or how awful other drivers were on the way to the office. The person might go on to complain about work, politics, body aches and pains, etc. We all know that person. Sometimes, we are that person.
I decided a long time ago that I was going to do all in my power to be relentless about being positive about whatever action I needed to take. Relentless positive action. I even had a bracelet made to remind me of my commitment to positivity. I’ve been doing it for a long time and have gotten a reputation for being a positive person. And I benefit personally.
Being positive is believed to have many health benefits*:
- Increased life span.
- Lower rates of depression.
- Lower levels of distress and pain.
- Greater resistance to illnesses.
- Better psychological and physical well-being.
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Reduced risk of death from cancer.
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.
Additionally, people enjoy the company of those with a positive approach. We’ve all had instances where we are getting split into teams to tackle an issue and you might find yourself thinking “please, please don’t put me on Sam’s team.” Why? Because you know Sam will complain the entire time. “This exercise is stupid and won’t change anything.” Followed with multiple eye rolls. No one wants to work with a person like that. The alternative? Working with others who are ready to tackle the future with optimism and a positive approach. That’s the breakout group you see talking, smiling and even laughing as they work through the assignment. That’s the group where I want to be.
Sometimes, positivity can be mistaken for weakness. It is not. Being positive isn’t being cheery and pretending problems don’t exist. It’s more about a person’s overall perspective in life and a tendency to focus on the good in it. I know where problems are, and I address them. I just don’t do it in a negative way. It would be wrong to assume a positive person isn’t willing to address a problem or doesn’t see it. It is more likely he or she knows that being negative would likely just make things worse or, at a minimum, make the situation even more uncomfortable.
Need some examples of what a positive attitude looks like?
- Enjoying the unexpected, even when it’s not what you wanted originally.
- Smiling and being friendly to those you don’t know.
- Being the one who joins a meeting with a friendly greeting and hello, looking others in the eye.
- Being happy when someone else succeeds.
- Complimenting others – even strangers.
- Not talking badly about others.
- Be as consistently positive as you can. No one wants to guess what version of you they are going to get each day.
- Tell someone they did a great job.
- Don’t let those who are negative bring you down.
- Have a good time…even when you are losing.
- And, again, smile.
The world is full of challenges. We hear negative messages all day via social and other media. Choose to be a leader by being positive and setting a tone for others to follow. Do it relentlessly as you move your practice, office or association into action to address the challenges of the day. Relentless Positive Action
*Mayo Clinic Staff (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950)
Anyone interested in a reminder to be positive can request an FDA Relentless Positive Action bracelet! Simply email Kelsey Simmons at email@example.com.