January 14, 2022

Tell me something good.

Right now, take a second to tell me something good happening in your life. There are no limits to the good things in life and you can pick something good about work, a hobby, or whatever comes to mind.

Are you drawing a blank?

Most people draw a blank when I ask this question. Maybe it’s a struggle to override the function of what we call the “lizard brain” to scan our environment for threats and keep us safe.

As a result, we see — and fixate on — the negative.

Knowledge work makes it easy to hide the good because so much of what we do isn’t readily visible. It’s easier to see the bad: the pile of work stacking up, unanswered emails, endless meetings (and the meetings about meetings) — all the things that went wrong in the week.

And thanks to the “Tyranny of the Urgent,” and the “Unholy Trinity” of chaos, friction, and resistance,” we’re constantly reacting.

Combine a tendency to see the negative with the struggle to see the good in an environment that drains our time and energy, and we slowly and systematically get detached from our value.

When we don’t see our value, how can we show our value?

We’re not growing, contributing, or earning recognition for our efforts. We don’t feel accepted.

We wonder if it’s worth it.

Eventually, we burn out.

All it takes to reverse the trend is taking a moment to embrace the good — the little wins that we easily overlook.

Do it now – take a deep breath and think about a small win or something that went right today. Hold on to it for a second or two and embrace the good. Maybe look around and pump your fist in the air or celebrate in your own way.

Feel the smile on your face?

BJ Fogg calls this “shine” – and it’s a key to habit formation because of how it positively impacts our brains. Even if you feel a little corny doing this, your brain registers it as a good thing. If you do it once, you can do it again.

Hopefully, you want that good feeling again.

That’s why I ask you to tell me something good.

I really want to know, and I want you to know, too. Then we’ll celebrate together.

About the Author Michael Santarcangelo

The founder of Security Catalyst, Michael develops exceptional leaders and powerful communicators with the security mindset for success.

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