Thursday, August 30, 2012

Power of Positivity and Passion

On the advice of one of IBM's interesting wellness programs for employees, I've recommitted myself to several things:
  • more exercise
  • more positive thinking
  • focus more on doing the right things better, not everything.
The positive thinking part comes from new research on how positive emotions can be "taught" in the sense of training the brain. "Positivity" is an interesting read, and shows simple things like meditation and a daily gratitude list can make significant impacts on our quality of life. So, after meditating on the bus for 15 minutes this morning, here's today's top 5 gratitude list:

  1. I get to listen to really great music from Coldplay on this magical device called an iPhone
  2.  My legs feel better from my killer Monday workout
  3. I got a solid 6-1/2 hours of sleep last night, first uninterrupted section in a while
  4. I get to kiss my adorable husband's bald head as he sleeps and I leave for work
  5. The weather outside is turning into that glorious New York early fall: dry, warm, delicious.
So, if I've got the more exercise down (well, maybe not yet, but definitely headed in the right direction), and the positivity is trending up, what about #3? And can that apply to your work, whether as B2B marketer or any role?

I'm in the middle of a rather significant product launch preparation. Everyone is running ragged, and the temptation for loss of balance and lack of perspective is intense. I looked at the project plan the other day. Even after 14+ years of launching new products, I still marvel at the delicate interlock of quality, deadlines and budgets that go into a successful launch. I think that makes focus even more important. It's easy to be sucked into "management by magpie", getting whipflash from too quickly shifting focus on all the shiny objects in front of you. It takes real forethought and discipline in high-stress situations to say "no" or "later". As marketers, I think it's important to not just focus on the creative, but to do so in a rigorous, focused manner. Successful creativity requires it, otherwise it's just a hobby.

So, that's why I make that gratitude list. It keeps me grounded in the values that drive the decisions I need to make every day.

That's why I exercise. It gives me energy and shuts my hyper-active brain off for a refresh.

And that's why I try to say "no" as well as "yes". It's not easy, granted. Especially since I like to say that in a previous life I must have been a Golden Lab: I'm affable and slightly portly, I love to be scratched and easily get sidetracked.

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