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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 35 July 2001

Make optimism your best friend

You wake up an hour early fully revitalised after a refreshing nights rest.  The train/bus waits for you, your favourite coffee shop has your usual breakfast order waiting for you piping hot. When you arrive at work a stunning bouquet of flowers are waiting for you on your desk a note attached from senior management letting you know how appreciative they are of your efforts.

Well it would be easy to remain positive if life was as fairy floss perfect as this but in reality more often then not your morning starts like this; 

You wake up twenty minutes late, your only clean shirt is missing three buttons and you have run out of milk.  The train/bus is late, the line up for a take away coffee is backed up out the door and in your frantic rush you have forgotten your diary and mobile phone. To top it all off that presentation to senior management you thought was tomorrow is actually today, make that twenty minutes ago!

Okay this may or may not be a slight exaggeration but lets face it we all need a little injection of positivity into our lives to help us deal with those difficult moments.
Stephen Juan author of Accentuate The Positive writes that happiness can be learnt.  Behavioural science research proves that optimists are healthier, happier and more successful then their counterparts, the pessimists.  Although life rains down the same on both, optimists weather the storm better.

Famed psychologist Dr Martin Seligman author of the much-read book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life has come up with a number of suggestions for learning optimism.

Keep an adversity List

Adversity is a sure roadblock on the path to happiness.  To keep check of adversity and to evaluate it effectively Seligman suggests you write down the negative events you experience without the emotion, review your notes weekly and look for patterns that cause you to come unstuck.


Don’t allow repeated negative thoughts

The trick here is to teach yourself to think of other things whenever those negative beliefs come to mind.

Argue with yourself against negative beliefs

By cleverly disputing the negative beliefs that surround your encounters with adversity you can move from reactions of dejection and giving up to proactivity, and happiness.

Be factually correct

Learned optimism is about accuracy. Ask yourself ‘where is the evidence for my belief?’
For example, you might have decided that you want to be CEO of a global company by the age of 30 but when you reach thirty you are still quite a few rungs away from the top of the corporate ladder so, you feel like a failure.  But the real fact is there are more CEO’s aged fifty than thirty.

Become skilled at generating alternatives

Pessimists are very skilled at latching on to the worst possible explanation for what happens.  Optimists look for all possible causes contributing to a problem in order to dispute their negative beliefs.

In essence the only way to permanently turn that frown upside down is to consistently take a seemingly negative situation and look for all the positives.

So are you a glass is half empty or full kind of person?

Personally Speaking

Well the economy is on the mend and we have experienced the first full year of GST.  Phew, made it!

We have had a busy month with the media this month.  Interviews about workplace issues with Radio Bondi-Fm and 2GB, joint promotions with MIXFM and two interviews from Nine to Five magazine all in Sydney.
We all attended the Australian Telemarketers and Customers Service Association (ATA) awards and had a ball.  Congratulations all nominees.  Your call centres are very proud.  (Irina and Al, you are both the dancing queens).

Until next month, take care, Sam

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