There's something about optimistic, positive-thinking people
that is contagious. It's great when they are actually around us,
but sometimes I only just need to read of their journeys and I feel
better. How can that be? I had nothing to do with their goals,
their risks, their accomplishments. I didn't do their work or
receive their deserved recognition. Yet, there is something about
"realistic optimism" in action that energizes my soul. It lets me
know potential is more than possibility when combined with hard
work and a habit of happiness. Good things result!
I've been thinking a lot about my "Sisters in Agriculture,"
those who have positively influenced me, their homes, their work,
and our industry. I found several commonalities that created strong
habits of happiness. Here is what they believe and practice.
Be intentional and careful with your thoughts.
Repetitive thoughts influence our vision and daily actions.
Actions, when repeated, become habits. Habits harden into
character. Positive thinkers want to be people of good
Count your blessings. We must consciously
look for the good every day - despite weather, markets, economy,
sickness, debt and global despair. Positive people know seeds of
happiness sprout into seedlings of creativity, gratitude, laughter
Be kind to others. Positive people know in
giving they can be happy. They experience a genuinely good feeling
that comes from delighting and surprising others. They've learned
the gift of kindness is not to be given "someday" or "when the work
is done," but frequently. And the gift is given without strings or
Achieve small and big things. Whopper dreams
became goals which became results. And yet all require work, risks,
setbacks, resources and alternative plans along the way. They also
learn that mistakes are the best teachers in life for the demand
acknowledgement, evaluation, creativity and problem solving.
Make many and meaningful connections.
Connections can be of faith, family, neighbors and with others in
and outside of our industry. Positive people know faith is the
foundation of hope and support. It is also the redemption when we
make mistakes. It allows us to experience defeat, but never alone.
Connections with others help us persevere without the vulnerability
of going it alone.
Continue to learn. One of my favorite
conversations with a conference attendee included this story. A
4th generation family business member shared, "Great
Grandpa was very skeptical of their first 'newfangled' tractor. He
insisted a team of mules be hitched to the front because no tractor
could do the work. One day Great Grandpa dozed off and his sons
unhitched the mules. You know the rest of the story." Happy and
positive people unhitch the mules and continue to learn from
mentors, rebels, trial and error, technology, research and more.
They know there are abundant resources when we choose to be a
Celebrate and laugh! They've learned that
habits of happiness create enjoyment and enjoyment brings people
together. People working together can build bridges for more
Let's be careful that our thoughts and actions develop into
positive habits. Then we too can be positive achievers with a
character of happiness.
Jolene Brown is a farmer, professional speaker, author and
champion for the family owned business. She's from West Branch,
Iowa, USA, and travels worldwide sharing leading-edge best
practices that have the power to increase productivity,
profitability and peace of mind. Her passion combined with her
fun-filled spirit and valuable information brings humor, hope and
helpful ideas to the people of agriculture. For more information
and to check out her speaking availability, contact her at Jolene@JoleneBrown.com, www.JoleneBrown.com
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