Your brain wants to think negative — don’t allow it

Take a moment and think about how your brain operates. Do you pay more attention to positive things or negative ones? To which do you and your clients react more expressively?

Most people have a tendency to focus on the negative, said Roger Seip, an experienced speaker on maximizing the capability of the brain, in his 2014 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation “Train your brain for success.” This causes the brain to waste energy looking for things to worry about and contributes to a “culture of negativity” that’s especially evident among groups of people.

How do you counteract that? Be the most positive person in the room, and watch how it impacts your business, he said. Just don’t be surprised if you see pushback to that upbeat outlook.

“If I receive a call from a number I don’t recognize, I always answer with a big smile and say, ‘It’s a great day; this is Roger.’ I just love the mixed reaction I get,” he said. “It’s about 50-50. For about half the people, I can tell that my answer brightened their day. Then the other half, well, I can just hear them getting irritated. ‘Great day? Maybe for you. What are you so happy about?’ It’s nothing to get upset about, but you do need to prevent this kind of reaction from draining your energy.”

Need help conjuring your positivity? In his 2015 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation, Shawn Achor recommended three effective habits to boost happiness:

  1. Think of three new things you’re grateful for every day.
  2. Do 15 minutes of cardio every day.
  3. Write a two-minute email praising or thanking a person you know. “If you do this for three days in a row, you’ll become addicted to it,” Achor said. “This increases your social connections, and social connections are the greatest predictor of success.”
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