Posted by: jmwilsonmga | January 17, 2012

Three Special Things : Appreciating the Goodness

I love my job.  I think the insurance world is fascinating and interesting.  I work with intelligent and thoughtful people.  But, I can’t say that I’ve always felt that way.

Years ago, when I first started in my position at JM Wilson, I really didn’t enjoy most of the people I worked with.  I felt they were demanding and some even had an unbreakable sense of entitlement.  It wasn’t just my job that surrounded me with pushy people, my volunteer positions did too.  I served on two professional volunteer boards at the time and they were loaded with nonsensical volunteers.  My dysfunctional family was more than I could handle.  Why was everyone always so demanding?  Gripe, gripe, gripe.

Then one day, I had the honor of sitting in on a professional presentation given by Erika Oliver, local author and presenter.  The book she was promoting was called, “Three Good Things, Happiness Every Day, No Matter What.”  Erika started her presentation by sharing with us that she was a “recovering pessimist” and that she worked very hard, every day, to turn around her thinking and appreciate the goodness around her.  We received a free copy of her book that day (thanks, Kalamazoo Human Resource Management Association!) so I thought, what the heck?  I read it that night, cover to cover.

I quickly realized it was me.  Not everyone else around me, it was ME!  I was receiving from the world what I was giving to the world, negativity and a pessimistic attitude.  And I set out to make a change, that very day!  Here’s how I changed my life:

  1.  My daughter and I recap our day by sharing our three “special” things that happened to us that day.  We’ve been doing this since she was three and she is now eight, so it has certainly evolved.  Some days, our appreciation is rather profound and other times it’s pretty simple.  One day not so long ago, my daughter’s three special things were:  “tomorrow is vacation, tomorrow is vacation, tomorrow is vacation!”.  Fair enough…those were mine that day, too!  This has also become my family vacation’s night time ritual (and it is so much fun to hear everyone’s appreciative perspectives)!!
  2. I decided to turn it around.  Instead of saying, “I am not getting sick, I don’t have the time to be sick!”, I now turn it around and say, “I feel really well today and I’m certain I’ll feel even better in the morning”.  You get what you give, so give the world a positive thought.
  3. I surround myself with positive thinking people who make me feel better.  I avoid those that do the opposite.  Be a fountain, not a drain…and remember not to step too close to a drain or you might risk falling in.
  4. I realize that when I am being annoyed, I’m also probably annoying someone.  (Another great book recommendation:  “How to Deal with Annoying People”, Kimberly Alyn).  I consciously realize when I’m pushing too hard, my standards are too high for the situation, or when I’m being unrealistic with my expectations.  A strength overused quickly becomes a weakness.

You’ll also quickly realize that these ideas work everywhere:  at work, home, out with friends, on a date, in the grocery store (just to name a few).  Best of luck and here’s hoping I make your “three special things” list today.

About the Author : Wendy Ballast, Human Resources Manager

Wendy has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 2005 and currently serves as the Human Resource Manager.  She oversees all human resource functions including, but not limited to, recruiting and retention, benefits administration, policies and procedures, employee relations, and payroll.  Wendy loves that every day is different.  She loves to travel and is fortunate that she is able to do so, and get paid for it! In her free time (if she has any!), Wendy serves on three Volunteer Boards; enjoys reading with her daughter, Abby; volunteers with the Parent Teacher Organization at her daughter’s school; plays golf; and travels with her husband, Dan.

Connect with Wendy on LinkedIn!

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2012 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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