My mother often said, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. My father would quickly add, “then sell the lemonade at a fair price for a proft”. It sounded like a good way to live until I grew older and realized how many lemons there really are in the world.

Advancing technology has made it easier than ever to find life’s lemons. Newspapers, radio, tv, the internet, and close-to-real-time services like Twitter allow us to fill every waking moment with lemons.

So why is it that we often insist on spending the conversations we have with those around us on negative things? Why do we choose sour remarks and biting tones when we could stir in some positive remarks and make some smiles? Don’t we all have enough lemons to make our daily lemonade without seeking them out?

5 ways to spread positivity

  1. Practice pleasantries – A non-grouchy “good morning” to coworkers or adding “I really appreciate it” to required “thank you’s” are good steps away from negativity.
  2. Share some positivity – Find a good story each day and share it with at least three people. As you become known for being a source of good conversations and uplifting news, don’t be surprised if people flock to you!
  3. Save the lemon for later – When something is bothering you, don’t obsess and let your concern spill over into your conversations. Instead, take a moment to write down your next move to improve and put it in a safe place. Come back to your “lemon” when you are able to commit your entire focus on promoting a solution.
  4. Slow down your response time - In our jiffy pop society, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to respond immediately. There’s a reason “promptly” and “instantly” are defined separately in the dictionary. One implies the care while the other is only about speed. Making an effort to produce thoughtful responses even if it means simply breathing fully before speaking, will work wonders for the quality of your conversations. Eliminating the lemons will also help avoid tension caused by a thoughtless response.
  5. Learn to laugh with others - A joke or situation doesn’t have to be enormously funny in order for you to take joy in it. Instead of shrugging off the next joke your friend tells or trying to top a story, laugh. You may soon find that your sense of humor has expanded to find a smile in things you would have frowned at previously.

Being aware of the lemon in your mouth is a constant project. It’s easy to slip into negative conversations. When you begin to taste the bitter citrus, you’ll know it’s time for some positivity!

If you heard some good news today or have a funny or uplifting story to share, please do so below!

Image: Konstantina

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