Today, a colleague of mine commented that it was 'good to see me smiling' and we went through an interchange about how important I was for his work day, as a reminder that there are optimistic people in our working world. While he is a perpetual cynic, to hear that I had influenced (or coerced) a brief moment of satisfaction, or just less resignation, made me feel good.
Like Spiderman, with great power, comes great responsibility. If you, like me, are one of those people that other's use as a barometer for their comfort, happiness, and positive outlook, you have a responsibility to project contentment and well being, regardless of what is going on inside.
How does one maintain a sense of optimism, good humor and joie de vivre even during trying times?
1) Through an acceptance of non perfection. Taking this a step further, this acceptance should be in others, as well as oneself. Like the serenity prayer, accept the things you can not change and then move on.
2) Through an amusing (if not pornographic) inner monologue-channeling one's inner Beavis and Butthead goes a long way in keeping a smile plastered on ones face. I used this inner monologue in internal meetings especially. I can't tell you how many times I have snickered to myself when I hear things that can be taken one of two ways (my mind goes right to the gutter!) It keeps the juices flowing and makes even the most unpalatable subjects funny.
3) Through a respect for others and an understanding that they deserve to see the best of you, regardless of what your day has been like (it isn't their fault the elevator was packed, the subway was delayed, you have a sore throat, or your dog puked on your carpet).
4) Through a belief that the small things don't matter and for the big things (employment, health, family, friends),0ne should be profoundly grateful. We live in a first world country, with ongoing access to excess. What can we really be angry about?
5) Back to point number 2. It is incredibly important to see the humor in one's world, but even more important to laugh at oneself. To be a punchline (or the recipient) of a good joke is to bring a touch of happiness to others (even if it is at one's own expense).
To sum it up
A dyslexic man walked into a bra.
Have a great day!