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Celebrate your strengths.

The key to high achievement and happiness is to play out your strengths, not correct your weaknesses. Focus on what you do well. (If you are not sure what your signature strengths are, consider reading Now Discover Your Strengths which includes a web-based questionnaire, www.stengthsfinder.com, that helps you discover your own top-five inborn talents.)

Take care of your emotional well-being.

Read inspirational/motivational material on a daily basis. This may be different for each person. Some may be inspired by daily quotations, others by reading biographies of successful people in their field. Here at Eli Daniel, we enjoy the Daily Devotionals from a Purpose Driven Life.

Manage or ignore what you cannot change.

When faced with setbacks, identify what you can change and proactively try to find ways to do something about it. Be inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s words: “While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”

Learn to reframe or appreciate the contrast.

If you’re in a situation you truly can’t change, or if there are aspects you can’t change, you can reframe your thoughts and change the way you feel about it by finding benefits in the situation you face.

What opportunities might be found amidst the rubble? What strengths might you have gained by simply working through this? When you’re looking for benefits, it doesn’t mean you gloss over negatives; you simply choose to notice the positive, and focus on them.

Adapt your language and outlook.

Consider how a simple shift in the language you use can make a difference in your outlook: Do you frequently say: “yes, but….” in response to your constituents’ suggestions?

The “but” automatically negates anything you have said in the beginning part of the sentence. A simple shift to “yes, and…” might make a positive difference. Check the emails you have sent recently. Count the proportion of negative to positive words. It could be enlightening.

Become aware of your stance in business meetings.

Are you known as the “devil’s advocate”, the one who is quick to shoot down others’ ideas? Jumping in too quickly to negate an idea can derail the creative process.

Often valuable ideas are the result of an initial “crazy” thought. At meetings, even when we don’t have the floor, we are under a magnifying glass. Practice being more upbeat, practice speaking last, and see what happens.

Nurture a culture of optimism.

When you are in charge of other people at work, expect people to succeed. Even when they occasionally fail, encourage them so that they can tackle the next challenge. A simple: “I know you’ll do better the next time” can have very positive effects.

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