“It was a little over a year ago and I had just returned from a family vacation,” recalls positivity blogger David Pollay:
I sat down at the computer to read my email. I had “unplugged” for a few days. I was hoping that no big issues were waiting for me. I started flipping through each one quickly. I was on the hunt for anything bad.
You know that feeling. It’s great to take a vacation, but you’re afraid to return to a welcome party of problems.
After reading through about eighty emails, I had not found any bad news. It was interesting to me that I did not feel good about it. I did not even feel relieved. I felt mostly empty – the kind of feeling that leads you to grab a quart of ice cream and sit in front of the TV.
It was then that I woke up. I said, “What am I thinking?! I just missed an opportunity!” I was so focused on searching for the bad, I was blind to the good. Much of the email that I had received was actually full of positive news!
So that night I started doing something differently. And I have been recommending it to others ever since. I call it the “3 for1 Gratitude Stop.” Here’s how it works.
When you receive good news – via email, voicemail, or in-person – stop and quickly think of three things that you are grateful for as a result of this news. The 3 for 1 Gratitude Stop makes you pause to take in the good news and recognize the positive impact it has on you. It also makes you more aware of all the people in your life who help make these good things happen.
Why is this important? Consider the research of Psychologist Roy Baumeister. He found that people remember bad things more often than they do good things. If we do nothing to counter this, we are more likely to recall the bad in our life.
David J. Pollay, MAPP, is the creator and author of the international phenomenon, The Law of the Garbage Truck (Sterling Publishing). David is a keynote speaker, syndicated columnist, and popular blogger.
Pollay’s 3 for 1 Gratitude Stop affords a positivity ponderer to savor the good in their lives. As one researcher wrote, “…those who habitually savor good are indeed happier and more satisfied in general with life, more optimistic, and less depressed than those who do not savor.”
Perhaps we should learn to “savor” the positive much the same way we “savor” a fine wine or a delicious meal. We mull it over, we take our time to enjoy it, we consume it right down to the last morsel. When we are done, we lean back, loosen our belt buckles, and let out a deep, slow sigh of satisfaction. Mmmmmmmm, that’s good!
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9).