The Power of NiceI am not a nice person by nature, in fact, sometimes describe myself as "perpetually pissed off". I once asked my mother, "When did I become to angry?" And her reply was, "You were born this way." It isn't that I am mean, I have a matter-a-fact attitude and I don't like to beat around the bush. I am incredibly sincere and honest and I always believed that was more important than being nice.
If you're reading this and you've met me in the past few years, you may be thinking, "What is she talking about, she's always nice to me." That is because I've done a lot to change. I learned the Power of Nice.
The recession had a life changing impact on me and everything I do. It changed my outlook on many things including how I treat others. I've written a few blog posts on my experiences and observations regarding the recession. I had a feel-good experience with the recession. I found myself surrounded by people who had a "We're all in this together" attitude. People who helped each other in any way they could.
During the recession, I had more time on my hands and I was able to help people and do things for others. When it comes to favors, I have a rule - never do anything for anyone expecting something in return. I found myself getting repaid many times over, the nicer I was to others, the more they wanted to support and help me.
Here are some of my learnings, some things that help me stay positive and be nice, take from this what you will. Let me get a little Deepak Chopra on you now.
- Smile. Remember, I said I used to describe myself as perpetually pissed off? Almost daily someone would walk up to me and say, "You need to smile more." This made me want to punch the strangers who approached me in the face. No one says that to me anymore. I smile all the time. It may sound trivial but a smile makes a huge difference on your outlook. (Let's hope I am still smiling in February, in the dead of another Chicago winter)
- Wake up early. This is a tough one for me because I am a sleeper. I need a minimum of 8 hours to be fully rested and I can easily go for up to 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you're going to wake up early, you should probably also go to bed early. I just feel so good when I am up and tackle the day before the craziness of the phone and emails starts.
- Exercise. I don't get as much exercise as I should but when I start my day with a run or a long walk on the lake, my thoughts become organized and my thinking is more clear throughout the day. My brightest ideas come to me when I am running, it is my meditation. When I am really pushing myself physically, and I have to keep my focus off of dying, my mind goes to a place where I concentrate on struggles or issues I am dealing with in my work life. Exercise also gives you a sense of accomplishment and you feel good so you're happier and nicer!
The best revenge is living well.If someone is really horrible to you, think about it this way - they're probably just horrible and it would suck to be them. Stick to being nice, getting caught up in the drama of nasty people will only bring you down and keep you from achieving any sort of satisfaction or goal.