I was the guest reader at my sons’ preschool class yesterday. Before I shared my book, (Are You a Horse?) the kids had circle time. Their teacher, Mrs. Kane, went around the room and asked each of them to introduce the student sitting next to them. They are working on last names, which in and of itself is incredibly funny and adorable. Then she said, “How are you today?” Each child, on their own turn, answered with an exuberant and genuinely positive answer. The responses ranged from “Great!” to “Fabulous!” Their zeal was contagious. After I finished my book, I almost skipped back out onto the street.
Then, I bumped into a few adults. I politely asked this same question, “Hi. How are you doing?” Not one person had a positive response, the most enthusiastic was, “Fine, thanks.” Other responses were “Cold”, “Busy”, “You know” and “Could be better.” What’s happened to us? “Busy,” as our current state of being, is sad. “Cold” is obvious here in the northeast, and “You know” assumes I am a mind reader.
I do understand. We are cold and busy. We could always be better. I currently have a huge leak in my kitchen ceiling and a smashed up car in my driveway. My five year olds don’t have to deal with these things, so I guess it is easy for them to be, “AWESOME!” Adults do have to deal with these things, but we have a choice as to what attitude to adopt each morning. Studies show positive people are not only happier, they are healthier. The Twitter study released recently is a great example. You can teach yourself to be less negative.
Challenge yourself to smile and give a positive response next time someone says, “How are you?” The fact is, they are probably too busy to really care, but happiness is contagious. Brighten both your own day and someone else’s by saying, “I’m amazing! Thank you so much for asking!” You will be surprised how just saying these words out loud can change your perspective. Have a marvelous day!
Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
— Mary Lou Retton