On a recent visit to my granddaughters in New Jersey, I noted four wooden signs on their living room wall. Each of the four signs bore one word, a city or town in which my son and his wife have lived together. They are hung in a straight column, one under another, the first being where they began as husband and wife and the last. their current town: Philadelphia, Cambridge, Rosemont, and Summit.
I smiled as I recalled each of their residences and their lives at that time. I began to visualize each residence and remembered how creatively Lisa put the home together. Whether there were few or many dollars to spend on home décor, Lisa has always created a comfortable and memorable home for her family and visitors. Each new home reflected their current and previous lives. While today they live in Summit, it is clear to me that in their hearts they continue to live in each of the four communities.
The signs say a lot. Individually each sign reflects Scott’s career advancement, change in financial status, and of course, a larger home. The signs also represent the birth of their three daughters, Alexa in Philadelphia, Kira in Rosemont, and Eliza in Summit. When I engage Lisa in a conversation about these signs and what they represent to her, she doesn’t describe the actual home or Scott’s job title at that time. Rather, she speaks of specific people in each town. She has not disconnected from them, but rather she keeps them close in her heart as though they were still next door. She talks about how the former neighborhood children have grown and quickly retrieves updated photos of them sent last Christmas. I do not hear her speak of the times when paying bills was difficult, or when the basement flooded three times in three years, or she had difficulty
with a colicky infant.
Lisa is extraordinary in her positive outlook on life, and seems to keep foremost in her mind the happy memories, the good times. In a similar way, while developing leaders at ADP for many years, I met a young sales manager who kept what she called a “Happy File”. This folder which was filled with letters from clients, bosses or peers complimenting her for the way she handled her business. Whenever she is under plan or feels badly, she opens her happy file, and boosts her spirits.
I think we relive and mull over a negative experience far too long, giving it much too much power on our psyche. I do not think we get enough mileage out of all the good things happen to us every day. I think we need to stretch the benefits of happy moments, revisiting them and enjoying them for a longer time, like Lisa does. I also think we should keep our “happy file” of good things right in the front of our minds where it is easily retrievable whenever we need a boost.
Staying in the present when good times are occurring, and filing thise memories in an easily retrievable place in our mind, will raise our SUCCESSTROGEN level. Consider the last time you laughed or were grateful to someone, or received a compliment. Enjoy reliving it in your mind and then, mentally file it, in the front of your mind…. go ahead… don’t lose it! It will come in handy one day.