Accentuate the Positive

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive.  Eliminate the negative.  And, latch on to the affirmative.  Don’t mess with mister in-between.

“You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum.  Bring gloom down to the minimum.  Have faith or pandemonium’s liable to walk upon the scene.”

— Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, 1944

Well, 2020 has certainly been an “interesting” year.  We will remember it as the year of the murder hornet, the year that Merriam Webster gave the nod to the word(?) “irregardless” (Oh, the horror!), the year that we finally acknowledged that until Black Lives Matter, no lives matter… ah, yes, and we found ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen since 1918.  Not to mention economic turmoil, many out of work, and a contentious political climate driving massive polarization. With the dawning of a new decade, I originally expected it would be a “clear-sighted” year, one that would give us all a sense of growth and renewal.  That’s not really what happened, is it?

All that said, some wonderful things have come from 2020.  I have to start with the Kansas City Chiefs becoming the victors of Super Bowl LIV!  I finally started cooking meals at home – and my family actually (mostly) enjoys my recipes!  I became certified to teach virtually and learned some synchronous and asynchronous do’s and don’ts to keep things interesting for my students.

So, though it’s easy to spiral into a dark abyss and as down in the dumps, filled with the blues as any of us have been this year, I am confident that some good has come from it, too.  My encouragement to us all is to find those positive notes.  This is not about taking on some “Pollyanna” type disposition and sweeping under the rug anything that isn’t about sunshine and rainbows.  Instead, it’s about seeking that silver lining.  It’s about identifying the upbeat, the optimistic, indeed, the positive!

Lost your job?  I know, it’s can be tough to change careers – in good times and in less good times (like during pandemics!).  It hurts.  Do your grieving.  Go on – get it all out.  Once that is done, take any residual resentment you have, pack it in a big empty suitcase, zip the case closed, tuck it under your bed, and never bring it out again.  Others, especially prospective employers, don’t want to hear about it.  Be prepared to put on a brave face, share all the reasons you loved your last position, what you learned from it, and express your keen interest in new opportunities.  Find the positive!

On the outs with a friend with whom you don’t see eye-to-eye politically?  Give her a call.  Invite her to a politics-free virtual happy hour.  Share recipes.  Talk about the latest Netflix series you’re watching.  Recall a favorite memory of an activity you did together.  Tell her… show her… she is an important part of your life.  Keep things positive.

Deep breath.  Big smile.  Accentuate the positive.  Happy Networking!

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