Monday, May 28, 2012
Today I have been struck by the power of positive talk.
Not long after I started my current job, a new guy started. We had both been at other agencies. But from the start he talked highly of our new bosses. He said how lucky we were to have the jobs, to have stumbled across the best agency experience of our lives. I had felt that way too, but when I heard him say it, my own positive thoughts and feelings were galvanised. I also have no doubt that if he were negative about our new jobs, then this too would feed my own doubts and negativity.
For the energy we put out really does have an impact on the people around us.
Lydia Netzer writes in her Huffington Post story 15 ways to Stay Married for 15 years that one of the keys to enjoying a marriage is to talk positively to, and about, your partner. That to brag about your partners accomplishments to other people, and to let them overhear you doing so will 'mean everything'. She encourages people to 'Be foolish. Be obvious . . . He'll believe the shitty, insulting things you say and the gloriously positive things.'
If you've ever felt that someone's presence can radically alter the mood in a room, you may be right. We've all felt a room light up in someone's presence (people say model Miranda Kerr endears all those around her and that she is wonderful to work with), and we have also felt someone's mood chill a room.
Dr Masaru Emoto is a Japanese author and entrepreneur who is best known for his belief in the theory of 'words of intent' - that is, the positive or negative impact of thought, written or spoken words on physical matter - specifically water crystals.
These images, captured through a microscope show water crystals before prayer (top left), after prayer (top right), love & appreciation and Thank You (bottom row). Whether you believe in the power of positive intent, certainly the water crystals in the bottom two rows are beautiful and certainly different to the first one.
Back to Miranda Kerr for a moment - she has said that she tells herself, before going to a photo shoot, that everyone loves being around her, and that she likes everyone in the room - that they all think each other is fabulous. And it works. People genuinely like working with her. Miranda Kerr is beautiful, but then so is Naomi Campbell. Yet one model is married, successful and with a beautiful baby. While the other swings from outrageous contracts with luxury brands to tabloid scandals about violent outbursts and abuse of the people around her. I can guarantee that on the days that she rocks those headlines, Ms Campbell is not telling any positive stories about herself or anyone else.
Today I stumbled across a TED talk by celebrated writer Neil Gaiman. In an address to a graduating class of university arts students, he attributed some of his success to being positive, to approaching a task as someone who can already do it would. Coming from a man who turned death into an adorable gothic chic with an ankh as her symbol in his much-loved Sandman series, seeing things with a positive spin should be no surprise. But it is this positive outlook that has led him undeniably to do the very things he always wanted to do - to write a novel, a comic, a TV show, a movie.
So, seize the day with positive intent. Listen the language you use about yourself and others. Let people hear you be positive about them. As Gandhi said 'Be the change you want to see' and throw your positive thoughts and words out to the world. You never know - the fuzzy edged world around you may start to take dazzling shape and reveal spellbinding designs, like Dr Emoto's water crystals. At the very least, you'll start to feel a little more like Miranda Kerr and a little less like Naomi Campbell, and that has to be a good thing for those around you, even if it doesn't sell newspapers.