* This post below originally appeared in The Huffington Post, where I have a column on entrepreneurship. I wanted to repurpose the content a bit and re-share it today. It seemed apropos, as we herald in the new year. As we take time to ponder which kinds of mindset, activities, and skill sets we want to hone and partake of, this post will provide much food for thought….I hope 🙂
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
— Helen Keller
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
— Zig Ziglar
A New Year’s Letter on the Power of Positivity
Dear Valued Member of the Human Race,
Welcome to the first day of 2015! It is a time of constructive chaos and introspection, where one’s inner voice asks more of you, and becomes louder overall. Where the “What If?” gets replaced with the “Why not?” so that you give yourself permission to think “outside the box” and do things differently. More creatively. More intuitively. More collaboratively.
Yet we are all creatures of habit, which is why we embrace routine and rituals that mark the calendar of our lives and bring us together, for better or for worse. That’s why we need to be mindful of our wording. That’s why we need to choose which traits and behaviors to engage in and focus on. So that we are more grateful. So that we grow.
The holiday season is a time of many good rituals, such as those that will help you be more altruistic, creative, productive, and positive. These types of rituals enable you to reboot and embed social good into your endeavors, resulting in change, and a cascade effect of purpose; the raison d’être for us all; especially in entrepreneurship.
This also results in deeper reflection on the true meaning of the pursuit of excellence, and how to be happier overall. These are two things we all aspire to; no matter where we live or what we do. These aspirations also drive our quest to work on ourselves; professionally and personally. So that we can be more, do more, and psychologically make that most important life transition….
The one where “Me” becomes “We”.
The “We” mindset doesn’t come naturally for some, which is why change can be viewed with fear and mistrust. It’s why forecasting and discerning behavioral patterns of others matters. It’s why asking questions; of yourself and of others is more than just pedagogy. It shapes the DNA of your entrepreneurial mission, service, product, trajectory, and ultimately your legacy.
Asking questions are a lifeline to harnessing the power of positivity. It provides a stepping stone to internalizing lessons from others, and to giving voice to them. So that others can learn from you and you can inspire others. It is a conduit to continuously programming your brain to be more curious. It enables you to get one step closer to better understanding the future learning process ; within and without.
It also helps you better understand the nature of the frontier we all live in. The proverbial one requiring people from all walks of life to actively collaborate to achieve joint goals and a better future for all. As Victor Hwang recently said in this beautiful commencement speech in Austin,Texas:
“Your mission–as a citizen of Austin, America, and the human race–is to remake the frontier, every day, in little ways. This requires you to be comfortable with uncomfortable things. Frontiers require strangers to come together, and form teams to achieve common ends. To America, keep the frontier fresh. And to you, may you forever thrive at the frontier’s edge, where the known confronts the unknown.”
A positive mindset, a “We” mindset, is ultimately the way one becomes more empathetic towards others and subsequently more collaborative in both thought and deed, in real time, and online. The holidays are a time of action, and a time to show concern for others’ well being. These are two things to remember to take with us in spirit as we embark on new roads and ventures in the new year.
It’s time to ask and answer this crucial question, looking at yourself through the lens of positivity, through the lens of my NICE entrepreneurial philosophy, which is the blueprint for my business book, The NICE Reboot:
Are you a giver or a taker?
Have a positively happy, healthy, productive, prosperous, and meaningful 2015!