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How to be Happy when you get a Flat Tire!

All too often we let a small event in our day affect our mood and negatively impact the rest of our day. Why not accept that which we cannot change, and change that which we can… and have a positive attitude about it all? We’re so much happier when we do!

Check out this short video about how I chose to see getting my flat tire through a positive lens, rather than letting it put a damper on my day! =-D

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Purpose motivates us more than rewards

I wasn’t very motivated to work on something this morning, in fact I’ve been procrastinating on it for a week. You’ve done it, we’ve all done it. It reminded me of what Dan Pink had to say about motivation in this video, one of my favorite TED videos.

Most business executives think people are motivated by money and tangible rewards. As Dan tells us, there are greater sources of intrinsic motivation, one being the feeling of purpose, which he defines as the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. That’s what ThinkGood is creating, folks.

Watch the video to learn about all three intrinsic motivators and let us know what you think.

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Time is of the essence

I work as a sales and office supply associate in a busy office supply store, whose familiar advertising slogan, up until very recently, was, “We Make It Easy.” Our goal, at point of sale (at the registers, the last point to impact their perception of their overall experience and the customer service they received) is to provide the customer a personal, pleasant, comprehensive and speedy checkout experience. Customers desire and expect this.

As a whole, people don’t find waiting in line to be appealing, and when their time is limited, they find it downright frustrating, even aggravating. “Why isn’t there another person opening up?” I’ve experienced a relatively small number who resort to being impolite, and, fewer who are verbally rude by all estimation. Of course, there are more people who face such temporary delays with calm, patient understanding, leaving those who don’t to stick out like a sore thumb.

When the store experienced a week-long period of fluctuating internet service, then intermittent loss of service for the greater part of two consecutive afternoons, right during peak business hours, there was high anxiety among staff about how customers would react to the inevitable longer lines due to slower processing. The consensus was that it would be “a nightmare”. I thought about what could happen differently, though. I decided to think & speak with a positive attitude, and I set about briefly letting people know why there was a delay, that we were working hard on fixing it for them, and that we apologized for any inconvenience.

Additionally, I decided to engage, humor and, as needed (for those who became a bit impatient or even grouchy), distract, the waiting customers from the slower pace. I chatted with a couple of groups of 4-5 customers, observing that it was “kind of like the ‘old days’, when we had few or no automated equipment to expedite purchases, and without all of our current electronics, the pace of life was slower in general, and we had time to say hello and even talk to those around us.

Nowadays, this happens less and less, because we are in a hurry and on our phones, thinking about work, etc., preoccupied and even stressed. Then, I stopped talking. As I rang customers out, albeit, still slowly, I watched and listened.

Then something wonderful, and a bit unusual happened . . . Complete strangers picked up the conversation begun with those ahead of them, and were, instead of impatient or unpleasant, cheerful, chatty, asking about each other’s days, commenting on each others’ purchases, of kids’ school project supplies, and chuckling while bemoaning the upcoming challenge of getting said project done after a last minute rush for poster board and markers. One customer even said to me, “Thank you for all your help! I hope the day gets better for you all here!” “Better for us?”, I thought. Here she was waiting in line for nearly 10 minutes, and she wished US a better day? Now that, I thought, was AWESOME.

So, go out on a limb and be positive in the face of a tough or negative situation; do it in front of people who might have reason not to be positive at the time…and see what happens. You—and they—might well be very pleasantly surprised, and all walk away smiling, eager to pass that smile to others!