Saturday, October 03, 2009

Trying to be a more positive person

One of the reasons that I went of my vacation to Star Island was to spend some time alone to begin some deep personal rewiring. Most of my life I've been plagued by negativism. I know where it comes from (Yes, Dr Freud, it does have a lot to do with my relationship with my late mother.) However, that's no excuse for living with a aspect of your personality that you are not proud of.

Star Island helped me a lot. Unfortunately, I came back to a home and work life full of turmoil. I cannot go into the details of either, out of respect for my family on the home front, and due to confidentiality agreements on the professional side. As a result, most of the foundations I laid on Star for my own personal reworking were like fresh shoots in a garden that were trampled on by a marching band wearing combat boots. In the last month I've started seeing a psychologist in an attempt to start replanting that garden.

I've been doing a lot of reading on relationships and other self-helpish topics. Yesterday I was chatting with some friends at work about my attempt to be less negative. There was a lot of laughter since I have quite the reputation for cynicism. One friend said that there was nothing wrong with my attitude. Another quietly encouraged me to read Daniel Wallace's Yes Man (which he said is way better than the movie made of it). So, on the way home I picked the book up and started it this morning.

I've been a bit behind on my blog reading lately. So this morning I decided to try to catch up a bit. Imagine my amusement when I encountered a post on my good friend Dr Momentum's blog about strangers telling you to smile.

I do see this as connected to my starting to read "Yes Man", if only in a somewhat tangential way. In the one case there are strangers telling you to smile; in the other a stranger told Danny Wallace to say 'yes' more often. While I do not like strangers telling me to smile, or saying something cutesy like "It can't be that bad." when they see me walking around with a frown on my face, I really do not like the presumption or intrusion into my emotional frame of mind by a complete stranger.

On the other hand, I have quite the reputation amongst my work friends for acting like a goof in front of complete strangers in an attempt to engage them or to get them to grin. (OK, I will do this in front of people I know as well, but it only embarasses my friends when I do it in front of people we don't know.)

So, while I know that there is way more negativity in my personality than I would like, I am not all about the negative. Maybe I'm a clown with a dark side?

In any event there's more darkness in me than I'm content to continue with. No one's perfect and we are all a 'work in progress' whether we realize it or not. I'm just a little more focused on 'the work' right now.

Maybe I'll write a review of "Yes Man" when I finish and let you all know if I found any personally inspiring wisdom within.

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