At Deutser, our whole reason for being as a company is to help – to help leaders and people in need. I have been at a loss of what to do with the constant news and endless emails regurgitating the critical steps needed to remain healthy. They are vital for us all and for the slowdown of COVID19. However, they do little to reignite the spirit and provide hope and a connection to what is ahead – regardless of how different it will be. And, that is why in some small way, I wanted to share a tiny glimmer of hope – to me, in the darkest times, is where positivity comes to the forefront.
Chaos and uncertainty have found us. All of us. It is fascinating how indiscriminate these unwelcome visitors are across all of society. And, how abruptly they have changed our daily lives. These uncertainties have names – COVID19, bear market, oil surplus, food insecurities, and the list goes on. Rest assured, they are visitors – meaning they will come and go – however, it is discomforting that none of us knows how long they will be with us. So, just as any intruder in our lives, we are faced with a choice: give in, give up or give a fight. That is where positivity comes into play.
Positivity is the glue that binds us to our desired future state and helps us stay connected to our dreams, to our goals, to what is important in our lives. In times like these, we have choices to make, yet, most of them are coated with a layer of deep concern and worry for what may be in the future. That is a future of which we have little control today – so why not embrace the one thing we innately have in a limitless quantity – positivity.
Many people confuse positivity with being upbeat, optimistic and happy. Our research for the past two decades shows that the positivity composition is far more complex, and its components are malleable. The 5 elements of positivity are: inspiration, mindfulness, happiness, optimism, and gratitude. Each of these elements vary daily based on what is happening in our own individua l world. We have created many tools to help people see their future through a lens of positivity.
With most of us quarantined or relegated to our homes and wondering what the future will hold, we feel it is an obligation and privilege to share our work – and give people some tools to rethink their new current state. We don’t expect everyone to try everything, but we are hopeful that something here can help you get through a challenging moment or set up your day to be something more.
We also hope you will share it with your coworkers and teams (wherever they may be) or a family member to create a discussion at home to create new powerful connections based on positivity, instead of fear.
1. Positivity as the Glue (Positivity Quotient™)
We can be positive even in a day we are stressed, fearful or unhappy. We have created the Personal Positivity Quotient™ to help you think about your positivity daily, measure it and create action to impact it in a meaningful way. This is a great exercise for individuals and family members.
Exercise: Map out your Positivity Quotient™ by evaluating each of the 5 components on a scale of +10 to -10. Then add the totals up and divide by 5 and add the scores together to get your daily score. Each day your score will vary. Ask yourself what is driving the high scores and the lower scores.
2. Protecting Your Energy (Circuit Breakers)
One of the most powerful exercises in Leading Clarity focuses on understanding the 13 things that impede the flow of our personal energy each day. When we are attuned to notice and understand what is blocking our natural energy, we are able to re-open space for the energy to flow, allowing us to make better decisions while removing the uncomfortable feeling of being stuck without a pathway forward. This is a great exercise for individuals and family members.
Exercise: Map out the 13 Circuit Breakers on the Energy Grid below. After plotting each of the Circuit Breakers on the grid, evaluate those that are in the overload and acute. Don’t simply give in to them, think about ways you can acknowledge them in the moment and move them aside. In addition to doing it on your own, try it with your teams, even working remotely. And, with your family. Ask the basic questions to open energy pathways, human connections and openness for what is next.
3. 5 Daily Actions Totaling 12 Minutes (Happy YOU Year)
Positivity is within our reach, but it starts with each of us and how we frame, nurture and protect our mind. There are 5 daily actions that take 12 minutes each day – set your trajectory, intentional mindfulness, ‘pick one’ leadership habit, gratitUde, and positivity quotient™. Individually, each exercise is powerful, but collectively, it sets the trajectory for your mind and day. This is a great exercise for individuals and family members.
Exercise: Spend one minute on each of the exercises and eight minutes on the mindful, meditation exercise. Then, chart your positivity each day and put your intentions into action. Take it a step further by asking yourself questions about each exercise – what you are going to do and how are you going to measure your success.
4. Intentional Baggage Carrying (Purposeful Positivity)
We have a choice about what we carry with us and what we give out to the world. This exercise encourages letting go of things that we do not need to carry forward with us to the next day or week; bringing forward only select things that we must carry with us (not our to-do list); and identifying things we are most grateful for in our lives. This is a great exercise for individuals.
Exercise: Write down 3 things you are planning to let go of in the coming week. Write down 5 things you are planning to bring forward in the coming week. Write down 10 things you are grateful for in your life. Then, place an imaginary suitcase by the door you typically enter and exit from most frequently in your home and make a mental habit of leaving your baggage behind.
5. Morning Habits (8 Morning Clarity Exercises)
Good morning! That is the way our day starts – until we think about the challenges of our day, watch the news, check our feeds or get information that derails us. We introduce 8 daily habits that can not only start your day but influence how you experience it. Like many things, this is about getting back to the basics – and leaving technology aside as you inhale the goodness of the day ahead. This is a great exercise for individuals.
Exercise: Consider 1 or try them all. These are basic habits that can get your day and mind set up to succeed at whatever the day throws at you.
6. Gratitude for the Leader of YOU (1 Daily Grafformation™)
It is easy to find things we are grateful for about others in our lives – we often start with family, friends, significant others, children, health…it is much harder to look inward with this same exercise. Because you are the leader of you, regardless of who you are or what you do, it is imperative for you to embrace and celebrate the things that make you unique. We owe it to ourselves to dig deep and reflect on the special things about ourselves each day of the month – in writing and with spoken affirmation. This is a great exercise for everyone!
Exercise: Each day write down one thing that you are grateful for about YOU. You and only you! The challenge in this exercise is that you cannot repeat what you are grateful for at any time during the month. Go 30 days with 30 messages of gratitude about you. After you write the one gratitude down, turn it into a positive affirmation or what we call a “grafformation™” – say out loud the gratitude: “I am grateful for me and my ____________. It makes me “me” and for that I am thankful.”
Each of these exercises is available for free download on my website. This is the first time that we at Deutser have made our library open for people to use outside of our Clarity Institute, and we hope you find long lasting use.
As we search for what is ahead, we will continue to write, to create, to hope, to plan, to connect, to dream and to share. It is at the heart of being in clarity.
In health and hope,