As a father of four, I’ve probably seen the Disney movie Bambi a hundred times. Yet one line in particular caught my attention as I was recently watching this animated classic — again — with my youngest child.
After chiming in on newborn Bambi’s walking abilities (or lack thereof), Thumper is prompted by his mother to repeat a lesson shared by his father earlier that morning: “If you can’t say something nice,” the somewhat reluctant bunny recites, “don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Considering the current state of our country and world, what’s being said by public servants and private citizens alike, and how it’s all being covered in the news, I found this to be timely advice. Our words and actions matter because they have the power to set the tone — to lift people up or to tear them down.
There’s been so much negativity over the past year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to move forward. I’d like to see more of the lifting up, and a movement that brings us together — whatever our differences — to create a more positive culture.
With that in mind, I’m inviting every reader and Life Time member to join me in channeling the power of positivity throughout the month of June to see what happens. I believe an effort like this has the potential to change our communities, our country, and even the world — a little if we do a little, and much more if we do a lot. The more of us who get involved and stay engaged, the greater the impact and the reach will be.
Together, we can begin to transform into a healthier, more constructive society by choosing to focus on what’s good every day. It might be one thing, it might be several — the opportunities are endless. Here are just a few ideas that come to mind:
• When you wake up each morning, rather than jumping immediately to your to-do list, direct your thoughts to a few positive things that are happening in your life. Say thanks out loud. Research shows that being specific and authentic when it comes to gratitude can positively affect your physical and emotional health, and even bolster relationships.
• Keep an eye out for acts of kindness. When you catch anyone anywhere doing something for the greater good of others, acknowledge it by thanking that person. Better yet, perform your own acts of kindness.
• Rather than falling down the rabbit hole of negative news, seek out inspiring stories; choose to share and talk about those at gatherings instead of the other stuff.
• If you find yourself obsessing about something that’s dragging you down, aim to redirect your thoughts to find the good in the situation. Maybe that wrong left turn allowed you to discover a new park you want to visit with your family. Your uncle might drive you crazy, but he’s always the first to help when you’re in a jam. You get the idea.
• Like Thumper, commit to saying only positive things out loud and sharing posts or status updates that inspire those who see them.
• Tell others about your efforts to be more optimistic and ask them to partake as well. Spread the word!
Imagine our world changed by the end of June — that you might, for instance, be able to turn on cable news and see politicians crossing party lines and talking encouragingly with one another about how they can work together.
OK, I’ll admit that may be hoping for a little too much, but wouldn’t it be nice?!
In the meantime, I’m committing to practicing more positivity in my day-to-day life and I would love for you to do the same. Let’s see if our efforts can create a positive movement and contribute to a healthier, happier world. I believe they can.
Starting June 1, share your efforts with us using #thepowerofpositive and tagging @lifetimefitness and @experiencelifemag on whatever social platforms you use.