Positivity and Productivity

Everything was going well. But I was so cranky.

I love my work, training business people to improve their communication skills with colleagues and clients. It truly is my passion.

Yet even the Champions for Change can get grumpy.

This year began with several exciting new projects. It was so much fun. I started working longer and longer hours with little time off, inspired by the work I love. After a few months, I began complaining about little things to friends and family.

I was so cranky at this point that I even found myself annoying. Something had to change.

One evening I came across Katherine Hurst’s 24 Hours Without Complaining Challenge. The challenge reminds us to look for solutions and for the gifts in situations instead. Ironically that’s what I help people do in training but evidently, I needed the reminder now.

My officemate web designer Mark Pridham and I agreed to take the challenge. We even placed a Cranky Jar in our office to remind us to donate if we complained.

It was exactly what we needed.

We shifted focus back to the positive. Now I’m sure that a two-week Hawaiian vacation would have been good too, but choosing positivity is something you or I can do anywhere.

Plus, it has fabulous consequences. I felt clear headed and more energized. And it’s not just me. Researcher Shawn Achor found that, “Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.”

Imagine that.  You and I get to be happy, more fun to be around, and more productive with that one decision.

Are you ready to join the challenge? Go 24 hours, a week, or choose to live the challenge and stop complaining entirely. Let me know how it goes.


Catherine Doucette MEd, CTDP delivers customized business communications and leadership programs with measurable results. Topics include management issues, communication styles, difficult conversations, presentation skills, mentoring, productivity, managing conflict, business writing, and more.

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