Tag Archives: positive

Positivity Project Conclusion

“If there’s not drama and negativity in my life, all my songs will be really wack and boring or something.”–Eminem

What I’ve learned from this project is that stopping for a few seconds in a frustrating situation to breathe and put things in perspective, can lead to a chain reaction of good feelings. I also think taking time everyday to meditate on what I’m grateful for, helps me to not be so critical.

On a negative note: I wasn’t able to switch from my old demeanor and sarcasm to a constantly perky attitude in only 2 weeks. After I got angry or upset I’d feel bad about lashing out and it would be hard to cheer myself up again. I think I need an outlet. Boxing?

That being said, I did laugh, smile and have ton more fun these last couple weeks. Things I wanted to get done that I needed people’s cooperation were more likely to be done too. Lesson being–try being positive first, and if I do end up getting upset, try to move on.


Featured: Linh Tran

The story goes that a 3rd grader named Linh sat with a 2nd grader (me) and a 1st grader (my friend) on the bus. Years later we recount the story of how cool we thought we were having someone older grace us with their presence, but in Linh’s version she just didn’t have any friends to sit with. That’s Linh though, she never dwells in any negativity, she makes herself busy with something else and moves on. Not only that, but she rarely let’s me wallow in my self-negativity either. After a particularly hard break-up, she (super-woman-like) busted in to my parents home and peeled me off my place in front of the TV. Then she set up an obstacle course complete with egg balancing and twirling around a baseball bat. By the end of the day we couldn’t stop laughing. Linh’s friendship has always been the main conqueror of  my self-pity, so I thought for sure I’d need to interview her.

EF (Me): How do you keep an optimistic attitude?

LT (Linh Tran): I always ask myself, how important is this right now and try to see things in a larger perspective rather than just my own.

EF: What activity makes you most happy?

LT: Being involved, staying busy.

EF: When you’re feeling down, how do you cheer yourself up?

LT: Me time. Regrouping and re-focusing on what is important like family, work, friends, my faith.

EF: Is there something that you thought would make you happy but it didn’t?

LT: Being away from the people I love.

EF: I agree with you there. How about something you thought would make you upset but actually put you in a better mood?

LT: Stress.

EF: How do you cheer your friends up when they’re upset?

LT: Sarcasm works wonders.

EF: What was the happiest moment of your life?

LT: Every time someone tells me they love me and I know they meant it.

EF: What are your observations on what makes other people happy or unhappy?

LT: People choose to make themselves happy or unhappy, it takes a conscious effort to tell yourself you are happy or not.

EF: What’s something you do regularly that get’s in the way of your happiness?

LT: Not saying how I feel when it matters the most.

EF: If you were going to the electric chair, what would be your final meal?

LT:Spaghetti with meat sauce.

EF: What would you have even done to receive such a punishment? I feel like I’m getting too dark for an interview on positivity.

LT: Covering for someone who committed a crime and I believed they had a purpose here and was truly a good person.

EF:What would you tell the 12-year-old you?

LT:You will be challenged, things will be tough, but you will be successful and you will be happy in your own shoes.

EF: Who do you admire most in the area of music?

LT: Beyonce.

EF: In the area of sports?

LT: Joe Mauer.

EF: What’s your dream job?

LT: To be it all; a career woman, a wife, a mom, but to be good at all three.

EF: That sounds exactly like an interview I just read with Beyonce… If you could give someone advice, what would it be?

LT: You can do whatever you set your heart to, and I believe in you.

Featured: Ryan Wilkus

When I was trying to figure out who I knew who epitomized positivity, I thought about the cheerleaders I’ve known, or my life-of-the-party friends, but instead, my long-time friend Ryan Wilkus popped in my head as the obvious choice. Ryan is a man who has always stayed true to his passions (and his friends), plus—to my knowledge—has never frowned. I thought I’d try to figure out what makes him so happy. My guesses were: fresh air (he is currently living in his tent down in Mankato during the weekdays), lots of musical stimulation or large quantities of Svetka.

EF (Me): How do you keep an optimistic attitude?

RW (Ryan Wilkus): It sounds cliché, but I try to not let the little things bother me and look at the big picture. I consider myself allergic to stress and therefore try to take a logical approach to managing the important things in my life and the things “I” can control. I am also just giddy about the cool adventures that are in my future.

EF: What activity makes you most happy?

RW: Currently its rock climbing. I never feel more alive like when I am scaring the crap out of myself. Not to mention, I love being outdoors because everything becomes simpler.

EF: Is there something that you thought would make you happy but it didn’t?

RW: Taking chances and putting your self out there is always prone to failure, but its only a failure if you don’t learn anything from it.

EF:How about something you thought would make you upset but actually put you in a better mood?

RW: I am often times a reserved person(recluse at times) but most of the times I decide to socialize it is more fun than I predicted.

EF:What was the happiest moment of your life?

RW: I don’t really have one happiest moment. I try to live day by day and enjoy all of them. But to be honest, this summer has been the best time of my life……..so far.

EF: Who do you most admire for having a positive attitude?

RW: My biggest influence lately is my friend Lizzy because she lives by the seat of her pants and her heart.

EF:Where do you want to be right now?

RW: In the mountains.

EF: If you were going to the electric chair, what would be your final meal?

RW: My fathers homemade pronto pups and a glass of 1919 root beer.

EF: Who do you admire most in the area of music?

RW: Derek Trucks. He is one of the most amazing guitarists.

EF: In the area of design?

RW: Mother nature, Nikola Tesla, Frank Loyd Wright. Too many cool designers to list.

EF: What’s your dream job?

RW: An audio electronics engineer designing any kind of audio equipment. Or a mountaineering guide…….who knows maybe both.

EF: What would you tell the 12-year-old you?

RW: Don’t stop exploring!

EF: If you could give anyone advice, what would it be?

RW: Live the way that makes you the happiest. Then it will be a life not wasted.

Hard To Be Light

It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light. (G. K. Chesterton)

Things I’ve had trouble keeping a “light” attitude towards this past week:

  • I order a movie from On Demand but Xfinity is telling me it can’t access it. After getting the run around for an hour (and hung up on once), I was told to simply unplug the box and plug it back in. It took all my composure to remind myself that she is not to blame for the whole process. Then I said “I’m glad there’s such an easy solution! Thanks!”
  • When I needed a developers help on a project at work, but people are trying to leave for the holiday, so they say “not my problem”.
  • I thought Logan and I had plans to hang out (since we’ve rarely been home at the same time), but instead of coming home from rugby, he went out with his teammates until early morning. I was able to force myself to text him something about being glad he’s making friends and to have fun.
  • When I didn’t feel well on Friday but no one was there to bring me water and medicine.
  • I was in the airport bathroom and a cleaning woman moved her supply cart so I could get the paper towels. I was about to say “thanks” and ask her how her day was going, but as I started to say it, she was midway through hocking a loogie into a garbage near my arm. I wasn’t able to maintain a smile for that one.
  • When I had to end my vacation for a 6:30 flight and didn’t even know if anyone was able to pick me up on the other end because Logan’s phone was off. He picked me up, and I was able to see how blessed I was to have been able to visit my family and friends for as long as I did.

I noticed the thing I get the most angry about on a regular basis is when I get home from work and the house is a mess. Instead of getting mad this week, I’ve instead just been doing the chores around the house. The result has been that I’ve gotten way more help on a regular basis than when I get mad. I also am more likely to receive (I must admit) much craved praise for my hard work, and dinner made for me, etc. I also noticed that if I let people do things their own way, on their own schedule, the world doesn’t end.

Shocking. Completely shocking.

Positive Playlist

My final paper my senior year at college was about how your mood can be affected by the music you listen to, and also the affect it has on the way you process information. In the same way that being around positive people makes you feel more positive, music can lighten your mood. I’ve always felt that instinctively from being involved in music. In High school I would listen to Matchbox 20 to bury myself deeper in a bad mood. Before tests I always listened to complex music Mozart or Chemical Brothers to prepare my brain for analyzing lots of information together. When I’ve pushed myself too far through bad relationships, there’s nothing that calms me as much as Jack Johnson.  I got an A on the paper by the way.

Here are some of my top favorite songs from my “Positive” Playlist:

  • Just Fine—Mary J Blige
  • All Right Now—Free
  • Keep Your Head Up—Andy Grammer
  • Touches You—Mika
  • I’d Like To—Corinne Bailey Rae
  • The Whip—Locksley
  • Motown Philly—Boys 2 Men
  • ABC—Jackson 5
  • Let Her Dance—The Bobby Fuller Four
  • Turn My Swag On—Alexa Goddard
  • Feelin’ Groovy—Simon & Garfunkle
  • Hey, Hey We’re the Monkies—The Monkies
  • I Am Not My Hair—India Arie ft Akon
  • Crocodile Rock—Elton John

I’d love to hear what music you listen to in order to improve your mood.