I loved watching Winnie the Pooh when the kids were little. My favorite character was Tigger and my favorite line was “The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs.” Well frankly, I love the entire scene with Tigger bouncing around, happy and having fun; always positive and upbeat. Then there was the Eeyore. The little donkey would walk with his head hanging down and his tail dragging with a black cloud over his head, and talk with his gloomy, depressed, pessimistic attitude, looking at the bad side of everything. Well in life I have found that everyone is either an Eeyore or a Tigger. You know I am right, because right now in your head you are placing every person you know, in your family and at work, in one or the other category.
Of course people are complex and many life factors can affect all of us, but I have a theory that each of us has selected, probably early on in our lives, the main characteristics of one or the other of these personalities. We have chosen happiness or we have chosen to be that negative nay-sayer in the family and at work. I don’t think people are one at work and the other personality at home. People select for whatever genetic, educational, family-rearing or circumstances that they are a happy person and look at the bright side of life or they do not. I do think that people can change and that is why I think there are so many studies out there about choosing happiness.
We all know that we like being around the Tiggers, but sometimes Tiggers can be exhausting, energetic and may come off as bragging too much. Really the bragging is not so much bragging to get attention; they just talk about positive, good things and don’t dwell on the difficulties of life. I also think that because they have a bright outlook, things do turn out better for them. Because they have that happy attitude they do not dwell on little things that are not perfect. For example, they do not dwell on it if the food they ordered at the restaurant was not perfect, or that someone they thought was coming to a party did not show up. They enjoy the people that do show up and they talk about the restaurant décor that was lovely or the conversation that flowed nicely at dinner.
Dwelling on the positive is a way of life. It is a lot more fun to be that person in the meeting at work who is thinking up ways to get a new initiative done or make a change, than the person who sits in the meeting telling everyone why their ideas won’t work and why the change will be unsuccessful. Likewise it is more fun to be the person in the family around the dinner table who tells a fun story or talks about plans for the family to travel or for a fun outing, than the person who comes home grumpy and makes everyone miserable. That is the family member who can only talk about the dishes not being done and the laundry piling up. The Tigger tells stories while everyone helps with the cleaning and laundry, making plans for fun adventures.
People can change, but it takes work and even if we are normally very positive we can work on being even more optimistic and helping others feel good about themselves. Try going one week without saying anything negative, including things you say in the privacy of your own car while driving. Remember that person who pulled out slow in front of you is probably someone’s 80 years old father taking his wife to church. Remember that cashier who is struggling to check you out may have learning disabilities or it is their first job. Practice patience and positivity. Try complimenting people and only giving positive feedback at work, at home and in your community, and you will see a difference in your own happiness. Making others happy and being positive works to make a better world for everyone. There are two kinds of people; the Tiggers and the Eeyores. Choose wisely.