2019-12-10 Issue 80 Fundamental Behavior 25 Be Positive
Psychologists, through their studies on the evolution of humankind, believe that we are hardwired toward negative thinking — the fight or flight premise. While the fears and threats of today are not compatible with those of early humankind, some suggest that we remain inherently predisposed to have negative thoughts. So if we are already doomed to look at glasses half empty and give ten reasons why something cannot be done without even exploring how it can, what does it matter? We have finally found our humankind excuse; we can’t help it, we are prewired to think negatively, it is in our DNA! But wait a minute, there are people around us that don’t fit this profile; they are always positive. You know, they are the ones that are always smiling. They are the ones that everyone wants to be around and they always seem happier and more successful than people who are always negative. How can it be, when they have the same DNA as me? Are they not human? They must be aliens! But wait a minute—I think I know! I just remembered why positive people are different; as humans, we have the power to choose! I truly believe that each and every one of us has the power of choosing your attitude. The choice you make is an expression of yourself and how others view you. By choosing to express yourself through joy and positivity, you are enhancing your overall well-being while contributing to a culture that fosters optimism and success. This holds true in a family or in organizations like YKK and YKK AP.
Dr. Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and expert in the field of positive psychology, validated the theory that optimism breeds success through his work with MetLife. Seligman found that MetLife salespeople who passed an “optimist aptitude” test significantly outperformed those who did not. A theory supporting his findings is that optimistic thinkers are better equipped to handle stress and breed a feeling of positivity, which attracts people to them.
Last year, a Gatorade commercial grabbed my attention when it showed the likes of Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and even Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan recalling their failures – and what drove them to ultimately succeed. The message was clear. The ability to succeed, in these athletes’ opinions, was to choose success, to choose to move on from their failures, adjust their attitudes, be positive, and win.
Like many things in life, our attitudes are always under construction. Raising your level of attitude awareness and actively choosing to be positive is often the first step.
I am unequivocally optimistic about the future of YKK and YKK AP. I choose to be optimistic and positive because I am inspired and driven by the energy and work you put forth each day on behalf of our companies and of each other.
While doing research for this week’s massage, I came across a listing of quotes about being positive. I enjoyed them and I hope you do as well.
Please enjoy a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year!
President YKK AP America