10 Traits of a Positive Thinker: #9 CALMNESS
The 10 traits of a positive thinker, according to positive psychology author Scott Ventrella, are as follows: 1. Optimism, 2. Enthusiasm, 3. Belief, 4. Integrity, 5. Courage, 6. Confidence, 7. Determination, 8. Patience, 9. Calmness, 10. Focus.
This blog addresses Calmness in Leadership. If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you may be a leader who role models calmness…
- Do I uphold a practice 1-2 times daily of re-centering myself?
- Am I able to control my worries and resentments from impacting my work with others?
- Do I learn from challenges and avoid getting bogged down by post-mortems?
- Do I keep my fears away from setting and achieving my goals?
- Am I willing to hold myself partly accountable when a team member does not meet expectations?
Poet Edwin Markham said, “At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky is a place of central calm.” This means that power is derived from centrifugal forces, which is central calmness. As humans, we, too, may derive an emanating power from a central calmness.
At the heart of every problem is the seed of its own solution. Problems are life makers. Without problems, you do not have life. What does that mean, you may ask? The only place that has hundreds, even thousands, of people who have no problems are those 6 feet under…meaning, in the cemetery. I can assure you they are not worried.
The word “worry” is an antonym to calmness. It is a derivation from an Old English word, wyrgan, which means “to choke, strangle, or torment.” In the past, when I worried, my husband would say to me, “Why do you step on your neck?” I never liked that phrase, and it would stop me dead cold to examine what he thought I was doing. If we are victims of worry for long periods of time (e.g. longer than it takes for a storm to pass), then we are metaphorically choking and strangling ourselves. That very action prevents us from optimizing our creative powers to emerge from a challenging situation. Our emotions have effectively performed a “system override” thereby disabling us to put our noodle to good work! Positive thinkers love life and carpe diem with something wonderful to celebrate it.
Remember, attitude is more important than fact. You “give your power away” if you show anger because anger is a secondary emotion to pain. Anger in the workplace has most probably been triggered by someone or something and you can increase your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) by recognizing (i.e. self-awareness) what those triggers are and acting to remove the dysfunctional response to the trigger. Positive thinkers will attack problems with positive attitudes.
Positive attitudes include creativity, energy, compassion, inquiry, and trust. Negative attitudes include worry, anger, anxiety, envy, and insecurities. Once any of these negative attitudes take hold of you, they work steadily to produce negative results such as loss of energy, loss of creativity, loss of enthusiasm; and, ultimately, loss of health.
Prolonged worry has the physiological effect of lowering the white blood cell count, which weakens the immune system. Consequently, you become more susceptible to viral infections, such as colds. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, so it is imperative that we arm ourselves with positive thinking in order to repel away the negative forces and maintain a healthy body.
A healthy body begins with a healthy mind. Keep calm and carry on.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.
Norman Vincent Peale, Why Some Positive Thinkers Get Powerful Results (New York, NY: Fawcett Columbine), 1986.
Scott Ventrella, The Power of Positive Thinking in Business (New York, NY: Fireside), 2001.
©Rossina Gil, 2013