I recently finished the book, The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity by Jon Gordon. I first heard of it because a friend of mine was in charge of the Copy editing - I wasn’t interested in it at first but the more he talked to me about it, the better it sounded. The book tells a story of two dogs that live within each of us. One is optimistic, happy and smiling. The other is resentful, sad and scowling. Daily, with each situation, challenge and opportunity, we can choose which dog to entertain.
The book proposes that entertaining the “positive dog” has many benefits, including whether you will ultimately be happy or unhappy. According to the author and the studies he references in his book, a few other advantages of having a positive mindset include better health, more friends and stronger relationships, higher individual and team performance, and quicker and better decision making.
The book outlines an 11-day action plan for becoming more positive. For the full 11-day action plan, I’d recommend reading the book. However, in this article, I’d like to highlight three general activities that I’ve found to be helpful in pursuing a more positive mindset.
Take a walk outdoors
While this may sound simple, regularly getting outdoors and taking a walk can drastically improve your mindset. The book recommends that while walking, reflect on all of the things in your life for which you are grateful. The more you do this, the easier it will become. We all have many things in our lives for which to be thankful, and it’s important we recognize and appreciate them.
Acknowledge and celebrate success
If you are anything like me, you have been guilty of forgetting to celebrate success, but it’s important both in our personal and professional lives. At the end of each day, I try to write down three “wins.” These “wins” could range from small (e.g. a great conversation) to large (e.g. a new service launch). The important thing here is that it’s a daily routine. If you are a leader in your firm, it’s also important to acknowledge and celebrate the success of your team and those you lead.
Surround yourself with positive influences
Being exposed to negativity has never been easier. So it’s imperative we are aware of what negative mindsets we are exposing ourselves to. Two main avenues for negativity are people and information sources. From a people perspective, being around as few negative people as possible is always better. Weed them out of your life as best you can. That being said, it’s certainly not always possible. However, only allow negative people to teach you what not to think and do. From an information source perspective, be mindful of the news you watch, the gossip you join in on and the negative words you allow to go on around you.
Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean being blind to realities or just having happy-go-lucky thoughts. It means focusing on the good, or potential good, in any situation. This is even more important in environments that are undergoing rapid transformation. I think we can all agree, the accounting and tax preparation professions, and our firms need to transform rapidly to continue to grow. Having a positive mindset will help us create our future.
“How we perceive people, events and situations determines our reality.” – Jon Gordon
About the Author
Jon Hubbard, Director of Business Development at Boomer Consulting, Inc. is certified as both a Kolbe™ Consultant and a Five Star Client Service Consultant. He is an enthusiastic speaker with experience providing leadership for multiple facets of BCI’s overall sales, marketing and communications strategy.