Future-Positive Expectations!

In their paper, "How Do Simple Positive Activities Increase Well-Being?" Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kristin Layous have scientifically proven what grandmothers have told their grandkids forever. “If you are kind to others (taking positive action), you will actually feel better (positive emotion).” Positive action creates more positive actions, and also increases positive thoughts, positive emotion and positive energy.

“Happiness not only feels good, it is good. Happier people have more stable marriages, stronger immune systems, higher incomes, and more creative ideas than their less happy peers.

Furthermore, cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental studies have demonstrated that happiness (i.e., long-term positive affect or well-being) is not merely a correlate or consequence of success but a cause of it.

The efficacy of numerous positive activities for improving well-being has now been tested empirically. Experimenters have prompted people to write letters expressing gratitude, to count their blessings, to perform kind acts, to cultivate their strengths, to visualize their ideal future selves and other positive activities to improve happiness & increase well-being.”

The other day I headed out to fish salmon just 25 minutes away from our Breakaway Retreat Centre on Thetis Island BC. (Let me know if you want to have your next executive, leadership or sales meeting here.)

Getting ready to leave, as I was packing up the mountain of lures, hoochies, flashers, line, rods, net, coffee (you must have coffee), and all the other things that fisherman must have in the boat… I was starting to get excited. I chuckled and asked myself what was I getting excited (happy) about? Clearly I was not excited about all the money I had just spent to buy all of this fishing junk.

Why was I excited? It hit me! No fisherman gets up at 5 a.m. on the one day they could be sleeping in to expect-to-not-catch-a-fish. What creates this huge early morning burst of positive energy? The Future-Positive Expectation that today the fish will not only take the bait, but the ones that do will be huge.

Why do we fish?

(To catch nothing?)

Why do we golf?

(To shoot a higher score?)

Why do we jump on sales calls?

(To lose the sale?)

Why do we invest in stocks?

(So they might decrease?)

Future-Positive Expectations are intuitively built-in throughout our lives. FPEs not only guide our current mindset (thinking in the moment), but they also deliver happiness throughout the process as we personally & culturally move towards accomplishing our outcomes.