Joyous Joy 23: Bringing Out the Best

I’ve been planning to write this post for a very long time. The timing never felt right. My usual posts are in response to real-time events. This post is about a theory I developed years ago and has changed me forever. This gem of wisdom provides a rapidly growing seed, that once planted, helps you achieve consistent happiness.

When I moved to NYC 5 years ago, I was miserable.  Really, really miserable. By moving, I had the opportunity to completely change my life and developed a principle to guide me; a golden rule of sorts. Hell, it’s turned into the official Kate Forster mantra.

Repeat after me: “I surround myself with people and situations that bring out the best in me.”When I find myself feeling grumpy, I aim to figure out exactly why. Am I trapped in a phone conversation with a Negative Nelly? Am I out with a group of people whose minds are so closed that I’m feeling claustrophobic? Am I witnessing blatant ignorance that keeps sending me closer and closer to “the edge”?

I then revisit my mantra. If this type of behavior is in fact the cause of my unhappiness, I first try to infuse the situation with some positivity. If this fails, I simply excuse myself from it. I cut the phone call short. I tell my social cronies that I have other plans to get to (which might seem like a lie, but they don’t need to know that my plan is to get to a positive place – ASAP!). If a negative atmosphere becomes perpetual with these people, I just downgrade the amount of my time I’m willing to share with them – and sometimes eliminate them from my life all together. The best part of this tactic is then having more time to prioritize time with the people that DO bring out the best in me!

What about you? Are you surrounding yourself with Negative Nellies, Catty Cathies, Ignorant Iggies or Closed-minded Clarrisas? Are you putting yourself in less than enjoyable situations? Are you staying in them while you feel your happiness draining? If yes, I suggest you ask yourself why.

Who are the people in your life that make you the happiest? Who make your best qualities shine, like kindness and generosity?

Give them a shout out! I am sure they’ll feel loved and flattered!

Annnnnd…if they’re not yet following my blog, send them a link to this post. I’d love to help even more people bring out the best in themselves!