I did a couple of experiments not too long ago, one at a speaking event and another on a conference call for work. The results had everything to do with the power of attitude, and the findings will help make your home an awesome place to live.
You Smile, They Smile
First, the speaking event, one where Wendy and I were speaking in front of about 300 parents. Wendy and I were at the front of the room as people ushered in. Wendy seems to always be smiling, but my countenance is sometimes droopy. I don’t do it on purpose, but it just is. Sorry if I appear grumpy. Maybe it’s my beard or my Polish nose. I’m usually quite chipper!
At the beginning of the ushering, I made a mental note at how open the crowd was. They were no more chipper than I appeared. Then we put bigger smiles on our faces. Wendy really put a big smile on, and I consciously smiled more than my grumpy countenance. Almost instantly we noticed a change. Before (with subtle frowns) the people were just as droopy as we were. After (with smiles) they were happy and optimistic about the talk they were about to hear.
Perhaps this was anecdotal, but I think not. Attitude is contagious. If you smile, your friend will smile. That’s just the way it is.
Gloom to Bloom
The second was in a conference call I was in, one that wasn’t going to be fun. The event I helped set up was not filling as we had projected, so the meeting was about what we needed to do to get registrations up. The anxiety was high, and there was a subtle temptation to grumble about the droopy numbers. “Man, this really stinks! What are we gonna do?” It started as a downer.
I had this idea of attitude on my mind, so I was determined to stay upbeat and focused on solving our problem. I had thought the meeting would be exhausting, but after a few breakthrough ideas rolled out, we got excited and formed some action items we were sure to work. We left within an hour with an exciting task list and renewed enthusiasm. You couldn’t have told anyone on the team that we had a problem. We were gung-ho ready with solutions!
Your Family’s Attitude
I share these thoughts with you because so often I see gloomy families. They’re plain-old grumpy. Spouses snap at each other, kids fight with one another, and the love of God is as foreign to them as oil is to water. It’s sad to witness, and it is far too common in families. I don’t believe it needs to be that way.
Our family isn’t this way. Sure, we’re not perfect and we have our down times, but overall there is laughter and joy all around us. The Jeub home is a fun place to be! I’ve sometimes been at a loss when people ask how to get to this point. “Gee, I don’t know, we’re just happy people, I suppose.” But perhaps I’ve figured out a couple reasons here in this post:
- Put a smile on your face. Turn that grumpy countenance into a happy one. It’ll spread to others!
- Seek solutions to problems. Instead of “oh no, this stinks,” think, “hey, that’s interesting” and resolve to solve the problem.
I hope your day is an awesome day filled with joy, peace and (most importantly) love.