USA Swimming sends us a weekly newsletter. Two weeks ago this was part of the message. We think it is a concise way for us as coaches to help our swimmers when they say, "How can I stay positive?" Most of them know the value of it; they simply don't have a set of tools to do so. This has got to help...
Thank you USA Swimming and Jon Gordon!
By Jon Gordon
With the release of The Positive Dog a lot of people have asked me where the inspiration for the book came from. It was inspired by the story about a man who travels to a village to speak to a wise man. He says to the wise man, "I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is positive, loving, kind and optimistic and then I have this fearful, pessimistic, angry and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don't know who is going to win." The wise man thinks for a moment and responds, "I know who is going to win. The one you feed the most. So feed the positive dog."
We all have a positive and negative dog inside of us. It's part of our human nature. The key is to feed the positive dog and starve the negative dog. The more we feed the positive dog the bigger it gets and the stronger it becomes. The actions are simple. We just need to make them a habit and do them every day. Here are a few ways to feed the positive dog:
1. Practice Gratitude - You can't be stressed and thankful at the same time. Gratitude is like muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it gets. Take 10 minutes each day and make a list of what you are thankful for. You will fill your body and brain with costless and priceless anti-depressants.
2. Take a Walk of Gratitude - I do this each morning and it feeds me all day long.
3. Turn off the News - Starve the negative dog.
4. Smile More - It enhances your serotonin levels and uplifts you.
5. Focus on Get to vs. Have to - Read the article here.
6. Read uplifting books or devotionals.
7. Get together with a positive, uplifting person.
8. Reach Out - Call or visit someone who has made a difference in your life and thank them. (Research shows this is a huge happiness booster)
9. Write a few Thank You Notes Today - When you thank others you feed them and yourself.
10. Watch a funny movie that makes you belly laugh.
11. Take out your Telescope - I often talk about a telescope when encouraging people to create a big-picture vision for their future and dream about the life they want to create. The telescope represents our dream for the future and, according to Barbara Fredrickson; research shows this is a simple way to boost positivity. Today dream about your future and it will feed you with positivity now.
12. Be a Coach - Coaches bring out the best in others. The best coaches mentor, encourage, praise, inspire, and lead with optimism and positivity. Today, feed others and yourself with positivity by being a coach.
13. Start a Success Journal - Write down the one great thing about your day. The more you look for success, the more you will find it.
14. Decide to Make a Difference - When you help other people with their problems you forget about your own.
What strategy will you start today to feed your positive dog?