September 1, 2021
The Virtuous Cycle
We frequently write on issues related to positivity, optimism, etc. We believe that to be an optimist is to be a realist, and the world is just too wonderful of a place not to embrace all that it has to offer!
Yes, there are many concerns that can significantly affect our thoughts, actions, and quality of life. Fires out west. A devastating hurricane in the south. Afghanistan. COVID. Political strife. Global Political tension. We can go on forever.
There are numerous factors in life that are beyond our control, however, it is in our discretion to simply choose on which to focus, and hopefully, it will be on those things that are within our control.
One way to counteract negative factors around us is to create a virtuous cycle to help us remain focused and become our best selves. As Benjamin Franklin said, “there never was a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.”
Creating a virtuous cycle is empowering and enduring. It often results in greater contentment and success in our lives. It is an upward spiral of potential and progress.
- Surround Yourself with Great People. We tend to take on attributes of those we associate with. These social connections influence how we think, feel and behave. It’s easy to be negative and a cynic; much more difficult these days to be an optimist – that is a gift. Choose to be around positive people and allow their perspectives and disposition to rub off on you.
- Praise Others. Be liberal with complimenting others and slow to criticize. In our day this is much easier said than done. Direct praise (you are a great friend) is much better than comparison praise (you are a better friend than Linda). Combine gratitude with praise for the optimal effect (I appreciate how you listen and give me good advice). Direct praise increases another’s self-worth and your individual potential.
- Avoid Negativity. We don’t always agree with others. Everyone has virtue and shortcomings. We can choose to focus on the positive qualities of others (and ourselves) rather than their flaws.
Circumstances may influence us, but they don’t have to compel and define us. We may choose to act positively, rather than be acted upon by negative externalities.
©2021 The Behavioral Finance Network. Used with permission