“The Positive Dog” by Jon Gordon Part One

The lessons in this book are simple yet powerful. The author’s own motto is “Simple if Powerful”. This falls in line with the idea of asking yourself “Is this useful?” as in “10% Happier.” You could easily read this book in one sitting and it’s well worth the effort. Positivity affects not just ourselves internally, but those around us. Negativity is toxic. It easily infects our environment. If you’re not careful, it can take over and it can sometimes be impossible to recover. Similar to how Stephen Colbert says that you cannot be afraid if you’re laughing, you can’t be distressed when you’re laughing. Humor, smiling, and a good mood are medicine. Practice them, and trust me, it takes lots of effort and practice, and everyone around you will benefit.

  1. Simple is powerful.
  2. 11 Benefits of Being Positive:
    1. Positive people live longer. In a study of nuns, those that regularly expressed positive emotions lived an average of 10 years longer than those who didn’t.
    2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments.
    3. Positive, optimistic salespeople sell more than pessimistic salespeople.
    4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure.
    5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions, whereas when the ratio approaches 1-to-1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce.
    6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges, and adversity.
    7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture, which helps them identify solutions, whereas negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems.
    8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can’t be thankful and stressed at the same time.
    9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level.
    10. Positive people have more friends, which is a key factor of happiness and longevity.
    11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and receive pay raises and promotions and achieve greater success in the workplace.
  3. One negative person can create a miserable office environment for everyone else.
  4. You have to feed the positive dog inside you and starve the negative dog. The more you feed the positive dog, the more it grows. The more you starve the negative dog, the more it shrinks and weakens. You become the dog you feed, so feed the positive dog and your big problems will give way to big blessings and a bright future.
  5. Too often we wait for something in life to make us smile. We wait until we feel positive and a smile happens. We wait until we feel positive and a smile happens. But you don’t’ have to wait to feel positive enough for a smile to happen. You can generate a positive feeling by smiling. Your smile can be the source of your positivity, not just the result of it.
  6. Studies show that laughter improves your mood, reduces stress, boosts your immune system, relaxes your muscles, and adds joy to your life. Laughing is a priceless, free drug you can feed yourself anytime you want to feel positive.
  7. You want to start your day thinking what is good in your life, what you are thankful for, what you appreciate.
  8. I find that the more I’m thankful for the little things, the more at peace I feel and the more positive I am.
  9. When you are grateful for the gifts in your life, big and small, you always find more things to be grateful about. I have also found that abundance flows into your life when gratitude flows out of your heart.
  10. One dog loves the rain; the other dog hates it. Their perspectives determine their thoughts, feelings, and, ultimately, how they act for the rest of the day. It’s like that with everything in life. How we perceive people, events, and situations determines our reality. That’s why I often say that we don’t live our lives based on reality. Nope. We live our lives based on our perspective and our perception of reality.
  11. Little stories are our beliefs and philosophies about life. You tell yourself many little stories throughout your life based on your belief system, attitude, and approach to life and these stories feed you either negatively or positively and define how you think and act.
  12. One of my favorite way to change the story you tell yourself is to say “get to” instead of “have to.”
  13. Humans say the words have to all the time. If you hear them talk they say I have to take the dog for a walk or I have to go to work or I have to pick up the kids. Knowing what I know now, after reading Jade’s book, I would tell them you don’t have to do anything. You get to take me for a walk. You get to rub my belly, since I give you so much love while you do it. You get to go to a job while so many are unemployed. You get to pick up your children in your car, because you should be thankful that you have children.
  14. When you feel blessed you can’t feel stressed. When you are thankful you activate the part of your brain associated with positive emotions. You think more clearly, make better decisions and you feel better about yourself and everything in your life.
  15. The No Complaining Rule: instead of letting complaining generate negative energy, we can use it for a positive purpose. We can use our own complaints as a signal, letting us know we are feeding the negative dog, and then, in the next moment, we can think of solutions and feed the positive dog instead. Each time we catch ourselves complaining, we can say, “Okay, I don’t like this. I’m not happy about this. So the, what do I want? What will make me happy? What thought will bring me peace instead of frustration? What positive actions can I take to rectify this complaint? What solution will address this problem? Every complaint represents an opportunity to turn something negative into a positive and we can use complaining as a catalyst for positive change and positive action in our lives, at work, and in the world.”
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