I have acquaintances who insist they have never seen me without a smile…. and many who believe I have a positive influence without even knowing it. My positivity comes from a deep-rooted and ingrained set of rules that I tell myself every time something creeps into my life that doesn’t make me feel like I’m in a good place.

Rule 1

Never punish yourself over what made you happy – if in that moment, what you did or said gave you joy.

Maybe it was that extra chocolate bar, that rubbish boyfriend you took back, the opportunity you missed or got in trouble for because you were doing something that, at the time, felt more important…. There are so many things that at the time felt so incredible but we looked back on them and we were mad at ourselves!

Don’t look back and think… ohhh whyyyyy?

It’s not worth it! At that exact moment, it was everything you wanted, you got some joy from that moment and it made you smile. It released endorphins that your brain needed, and remember, not everything you do has to be part of the end goal. Don’t be afraid to live in the moment sometimes, love being in the present and appreciate that moment as it was. Don’t ad lib some negative connotations, your heart led you somewhere, and I tell you now, it was the right thing for you at that time. Life has a way of setting us on the right path even if you don’t see the end solution right away.

Rule 2

Pay it forward…

I’m a strong believer that if you put more good out into the world then there is more good circulating… which in turn will reach you, or your friends and family. Give compliments, give smiles, be helpful, even to those who don’t seemingly deserve your respect or good attitude. I see this every day as I work in a customer forward-facing environment. I’m often shouted at and pushed out of the way, and required to help that same person in the same breath. Do I take it personally? No. Everyone is on their own path and journey. Everyone is pushing through struggles in their life, often struggles you’ll never be aware of. Mental health is invisible for the most part, you have no idea of someone’s story or the trials they have overcome behind closed doors or in their own mind. Being kind to someone who seemingly has forgotten what kindness is can remind pessimistic people that there is good in the world, and it’s a gift we can all share to be honest. On top of that, just remind yourself how incredible it is when a positive and helpful person crosses your path… be the change you want to see always.

Rule 3

Positive wording will change your life.

I try to include as many jazzy, happy words in my sentences as I can. It makes every sentence feel joyous and it makes the people listening feel more positive too. Your brain, when taught to use more positive language, will make you feel more positive… if all you hear from yourself is encouragement and excitement and kindness, you think of yourself as that person, you hold yourself in higher regard. Paying attention to the words you use might give you a shock. I know when I realized how much negative wording I used in my everyday conversations I was bowled over. Of course, I felt bad when everything I had to say was defeatist or some sort of retort to push back the positivity that was offered to me. It’s actually proven – they make you use positive wording in sales because of this exact effect – your response to what anyone says should be:

Great, perfect, brilliant.

It makes people feel more positive about their actions and in turn, more likely to be positive towards you.

Rule 4

Set goals you actually WANT to achieve.

So this kind of follows on from the positive wording and thinking. If your goals consist of gruelling tasks that you know you have to get done, then everything in your life will feel like a struggle. You’ll focus your whole progress on negative things that stress you out, and life becomes a series of stressful events and talks that you’re actually PLANNING for. Plan for better; share happy stories of the things you’re excited for, and people will get excited with you! Putting more of that happy feeling and positivity out into the world.

I see happiness as the ocean… there are times when the wave is building… and the water is sucked away…. the sea drags it from you…. and for a moment you can’t comprehend the strength needed to have changed the direction of that water from between your toes, why does it have to be taken? Then the wave comes…. and the water engulfs your feet again… washes over you, you’re filled with joy… and you have no idea how long it will last until the next wave drags it all away again. Some waves are big enough to knock us off our feet, enveloped in happiness, and sometimes the building of the wave, although only seconds, can feel like an age, but always comes back and it’s always as magical as it was the last time. So, even in the times you feel like all the happiness is sucked from you, just remember the wave is building, and it’s going to be wondrous.


By Sophie Carter