Productivity and positivity: How I'm starting to apply positivity to my work

In recent years, I’ve read a number of books on the topic and science of positivity. One of my all time favorites, Happiness Advantage, talks about all the research behind positive psychology and how to apply the results to your personal and professional life. (The author also gives a fantastic TED talk here on the same topic).

I recently began re-reading the book, and couldn’t help but feel that a lot of its principles are fantastic for the topic of productivity. It blasts away a lot of assumptions I’ve held for a while about productivity, and I thought to myself: I want to write about this!

I’m a bit of a cynic myself, so I can totally understand if someone picked up his book, read a couple of chapters, and thought: "This is lame, and will never work for me." However, I stuck with it, and ended up really falling in love with a lot of the ideas. Ultimately, it's hard to argue with the results — I have been working smarter, and more efficiently, and I’ve felt better about waking up and getting started. (I’ve always felt that whenever I begin to snooze/dislike mornings, that there’s just something off in my energy and I need to re-center).

Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need change; it is the realization that we can.
— Happiness Advantage

Happiness is not necessarily just putting on a fake smile and thinking that nothing bad ever happens. That’s probably just as dangerous as never being happy — it ignores reality. Bad things happen. I am frustrated when things don’t work or when they move slowly. Working to build a company that sustains me is really tough, and there are many times I question if I’m even on the right track or not.

Looking at all that and thinking that everything is great is not the answer, and it’s not what positivity is all about. Positivity, at least for me, is about realizing that all of those things *can change*. That instead of sitting around wallowing in my frustration, I can identify or look for things that work. Things that are going well— and I can look at things that aren’t working, and try to figure out why. To quote the book, “Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need change; it is the realization that we can.”

I’m looking forward to writing more about my journey through applying these principles to my life as a business owner, freelancer, and human being. My hope is that you'll enjoy this journey alongside with me! You should sign up for the newsletter below and always get the latest posts delivered weekly to your inbox, on this topic and others. You will receive an email only on Tuesday mornings, and only if there’s something new to read. We promise to never spam you!

Have a wonderful, productive day!