“Hold your breath, Make a wish, Count to three”
. . . And upon whispering those immortal words, Willy Wonka invited his guests to explore a world of pure imagination.
We’ll borrow upon Mr. Wonka’s sentiment as we usher out an indelible year, and welcome in a new era, one in which imagination is the fuel that can power your dreams, and in the process, create your future.
Imagine, if you will, what it means to live a rich, fulfilling life. Chances are, many of the pieces are in place, beginning with what’s already inside: hope, desire, passion, strength, love.
No global crisis or external influence can extinguish the light you bring to the world around you.Tweet
Imagination builds on that light, forming ideas and concepts not present within reality or defined through title and position. It is Blue Sky at its best, bestowing an ability to face the unknown through a lens of insight and creativity.
Primed with the power of invention, Thinking becomes a catalyst for influencing behavior and experience, providing us the perfect mantra heading into another year of uncertainty:
Just Keep Thinking . . .
The ellipse in our mantra is intentional, serving as a reminder that everyone’s path will be unique. Only you know what’s in your heart, and where your thoughts will take you. Be encouraged to discover something magical, go ahead . . . change the world. There’s nothing to it.
As always, we’ll be here with a few thoughts along the way:
Make the Right Choice – Think Positive
Nothing good ever came from a negative thought.
The spirit of autonomy that accompanies Free Will provides inherent opportunities to choose. When it comes to choosing an outlook on life, make the right choice: Think Positive.
Consider perspective as an ability to view objects and occurrences in the world as they relate to each other.
An Optimistic Perspective is one of curiosity and light, seeing the positive among relationships rather than the dark or negative connotations of fear and suspicion.
I confess to being an Eternal Optimist. Which gives me the confidence to go on record in stating everyone has the potential to accomplish greatness, to choose a path of insight and awareness. Optimism reflects a deep trust in yourself, while working to promote trust in others.
It begins with thinking positive thoughts. Which is not always easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Exactly, what were you thinking?” or “What made you think of that?!”
Positive thinking can be difficult to explain. We’re relying on impulse and intuition, intangibles carried forward from our imagination. Trust that it is the right perspective, emanating from a point of “What if?” and slowly working its way toward a tangible, workable solution.
Think Kind Thoughts
I had to shake my head the other day when an article referenced Kindness as “the new trend in society”. Even though kindness has been considered a virtue since the beginning of time, my positive perspective welcomes a renewed focus on generosity and determination to care for others.
Kindness offers an opportunity to influence the quality of life around you. Consideration for the well-being of others without expectation of reward or benefit has a curative, almost therapeutic property.
As the continuation of positivity and optimism, even small acts of kindness and generosity will promote similar behavior among individuals, teams, and work groups. People tend to be happier in an environment of kindness. Its contagious . . . in a good way.
In such uncertain times, kindness can prove more difficult to manage than positivity. Human nature will place our safety and security, and the well-being of those closest to us, much higher on the hierarchy of needs and desires. But that makes kindness more critical than ever.
Think of one thing you can do, each day, to brighten the outlook of someone around you. Could be in your circle, or beyond. This is as simple as saying “Good morning”, holding or opening the door for someone, or sharing a compliment that you might have otherwise kept to yourself.
Note how that simple act of kindness makes you feel. You’re not expecting reward or praise, yet the happiness experienced is an intrinsic benefit. Continue the process, always work from the heart rather than forcing an interaction out of necessity.
Over time you will notice the change in behavior of those around you. What may begin as reciprocal kindness toward you, will hopefully influence their approach to treating others with kindness and respect.
Think Like a Leader
As mentioned, imagination is not defined through title and position. Neither should Thinking Like a Leader.
A leader is defined as: Someone working to create a better tomorrow for those looking to them for guidance and direction. That includes you, me, and everyone else trying to wake up tomorrow in at least a slightly better position than today, which could mean with our family, our career, or life in general.
This, again, begins with thinking positive thoughts.
The first aspect of behavior I champion with a group of leaders is optimism, the power of a positive mindset. Survival is something we’re all concerned with. No one wants to follow a leader that begins with the perspective of “We don’t have any of the resources necessary to be successful.” Buzz-kill on the spot.
Leaders are expected to innovate, to be creative and intuitive . . . to use their imagination. Why wait for a job title to contribute?
While you may not have as much experience, or the education of someone in a leadership or management position, you are just as invested in creating that better tomorrow.
Build on positive thinking and resist the urge to see yourself as a victim. That can be tough, especially today when there are so many external forces to manage through. It may begin with feeling gratitude for what you already have.
Tall Tim Example: It’s the Holiday Season, amidst a global pandemic the likes of which no one in our lifetime has experienced. Armed with a short list, I’m shopping in a Big Box store at 7:00am, because in less than an hour you won’t be able to move through the aisles, let alone think or breathe.
Mine is a frantic search for mascarpone cheese, perusing the Deli Counter just as an associate chooses to air her grievances to another co-worker. The subject was fairness of her schedule, and the fact that she had to open the store two mornings in a row, meaning a call-time of 4:30am. Her voice was loud enough for me to hear quite clearly, although there was never a glance outward on her part to see if customers were close by.
This isn’t offered in judgement, rather from the perspective of an observer.
I don’t know the associate’s schedule or the fairness of Department routines. I do know (a) there are hundreds of thousands of people without jobs, impacted by the pandemic, (b) that store was preparing for what most likely will be its second busiest day of the season, and (c) in a retail environment, once the doors are open, the customer must remain your focus above all else.
Positive thinking should have influenced choices made by the individual. First, a mindset of gratitude for having a position of employment, then choosing to express her frustration in a more discreet setting. Instead, two co-workers and at least one customer were exposed to negativity, the impact of which I continue to share today.
Its doesn’t require a title or position to make great, positive choices. It takes the proper perspective, a willingness to serve as an example for others to follow.
Think In Small Bites
As the catalyst for influencing behavior and experience, Thinking carries the responsibility for managing the enormity of imagination. Visualize the Big Picture, then work toward realization in the form of Small Bites.
Thinking in small bites, or manageable steps, allows you to celebrate the process of accomplishment. Daily victories help support a positive climate, building a culture capable of generating perpetual positive thinking and kindness.
Attempting to bridge a too distant gap between initiation and accomplishment exposes your climate to risk of negativity. If the end is beyond line of sight, if progress is unable to be tracked and measured, hope and positivity can fall prey to pessimism and despair.
Just Keep Thinking Game Plan
For many, the turn of a Calendar Year is celebrated by the purchase of a new calendar. Twelve months of cute puppies or kittens will give way to gorgeous flowers or stunning landscapes.
There has to be more.
That’s why our Just Keep Thinking Game Plan for 2021 will have us fixating on “Pickles” (PKLS):
|P||Think Positive||Carry an Optimistic Perspective of curiosity and light forward from our imagination. Trust that it is the right perspective, emanating from a point of “What if?” and slowly working its way toward a tangible, workable solution. Make a list of everything you are grateful for. Carry it with you as a reminder when negative thoughts and feelings surface.|
|K||Think Kind Thoughts||Kindness is contagious, in a good way. Think of one thing you can do, each day, to brighten the outlook of someone around you. Could be in your circle, or beyond. This is as simple as saying “Good morning”, holding or opening the door for someone, or sharing a compliment that you might have otherwise kept to yourself.|
|L||Think Like a Leader||Leaders are expected to innovate, to be creative and intuitive . . . to use their imagination. Invest in creating a better tomorrow for you and those around you. Build on positive thinking and resist the urge to see yourself as a victim. That can be tough, especially today when there are so many external forces to manage through. Refer to your Gratitude List to keep a positive mindset.|
|S||Think in Small Bites||Be patient with the process. Think in small bites, or manageable steps to allow celebration throughout the process of accomplishment. Daily victories help support a positive climate, building a culture capable of generating perpetual positive thinking and kindness.|
Celebrate with the style or flavor of pickles that will make you happiest, even consider adding those to your gratitude list.
Continue to think positively, be kind to everyone in advance, become a leader in your environment, and celebrate small accomplishments.
Do you have a “Pickle” that you’d like to share? I would love to hear your stories of Positivity, Kindness, Leadership, or Small Bite Success. Just type into the comment section below or send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Safe and Prosperous New Year to everyone!
Thank you for spending 2020 with Tall Tim Talks!