If you haven’t noticed already, I tend to be a somewhat cynical and morose writer. That just comes from living the grind for so many years. I write from the heart and evidently my heart is filled with darkness and misery.

If you struggle with the day to day grind of life, you know how hard it is to stay upbeat and positive, especially when dealing with a miserable job. Every day is a bad day and it wears us down quickly.

So today, I have decided to take action (and by action I mean writing this post) on changing my pessimistic tendencies.

Although I don’t often practice the art of optimism, I do understand that we will never get ahead in life by being negative. Thoughts are things, right? At least that’s what Napoleon Hill tells us…

The ironic thing is that we all understand that we have little chance of success by staying negative, yet we do it anyway. Why? Becasue it’s what we know.

Can we change it? Of course, but it’s easier said than done.

Trying to change your life for the better is overwhelming when you’re drowning in a sea of misery, so I’ve found that even doing one small thing each day to improve it is a good start.

20 Ways To Make Your Day Go From Bad To Great

  1.  Smile. A highly underused way to bring joy into your and someone else’s day.
  2. Say good morning to someone and actually mean it. Most people will just try to get from point A to point B with as little human interaction as possible. Try engaging with someone, it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel.
  3. Have a conversation with a coworker about something other than work. Chat it up about the weather, the Superbowl, or your weekend. Just don’t talk about that damn job….
  4. Take an interest in someone else. People love to talk about themselves more than anything else. That’s human nature. If you can take an honest interest in some aspect of their life, you just may find a new friend.
  5. Bring breakfast to the office.This is so simple, yet rarely used (in my office anyway). Bringing in a dozen Dunkin Donuts for everyone is a win-win. People appreciate your generosity, you feel good about it, and you get to enjoy a massive amount of sugar. 🙂
  6. Pay someone a sincere compliment. This is a great way to brighten up some one’s day. I was in the elevator the other day heading up to my prison cell office and in a sour mood, when a woman who works in my building stepped on. Now, I usually will just say a quick “hello”, but instead I said “I love running into you because you have such great energy and always seem so happy”. It was a sincere compliment and I received a huge smile and thank you for it. I walked away feeling much better than I did 30 seconds prior and I’m sure she did as well.
  7. Do something unconditionally. Giving without the thought of receiving is one of the most rewarding feelings possible.
  8. Make just one persons day better. Usually all it takes is some small gesture to brighten someones day.
  9. Give your spouse or significant other your undivided attention. Yes, it’s extremely hard for us men, but we can do it!
  10. Go out of your way to help someone. Even if it’s returning someones shopping cart for them, it will be appreciated.
  11. Introduce yourself to someone. You never know when you’ll make a new friend that could change your life forever.
  12. Take a honest interest in something your spouse is interested in.(Hopefully, it’s not Desperate Housewives or scrapbooking…)
  13. Laugh out loud. Laughter is powerful stuff. I rarely do it….
  14. Let yourself be touched. No, not that you sicko, I’m talking finding something that can touch you deeply on an emotional level. For example, the movie Seven Pounds had a powerful impact on me and I found myself in tears in a public movie theater. And yes, I got called out on it by another movie goer. Him: dude, we’re you crying? Me: Uh…yea, weren’t you? Awkward silence…
  15. Take a walk outdoors and truly enjoy it. Free your mind of your shitty job and remember that there is so much more to life. I do this 5 times a day or more.
  16. Find something breathtaking to look at. I have a number of photos saved on my computer, so at any point I can pull them up, sit back, and find a happy place. Whether it’s a tropical beach in Fiji, the top of Mount Everest, or your kids playing in the snow, take a few minutes and allow yourself to be drawn into it.
  17. Use someone’s first name. People love to hear their own name. If you don’t know it, introduce yourself.
  18. Forget what others think. Be yourself completely. Let your dorkiness out and don’t give it a second thought. It’s rather liberating doing something uninhibited, give it a try.
  19. Get out of your comfort zone. I have met very few people that actively try to get out of their comfort zones. There is a tremendous opportunity for personal growth when we can do this, yet so few actually do. Find your fears and face them, you WILL feel awesome afterwards!
  20. Make a difference. There are a million ways to make the world a better place. You just need to find one!

As you’ve probably noticed, most of these ideas do not directly benefit you and that’s the point. Let’s take “you” out of the equation and focus on giving.

By giving real gifts of our time, interest, love, and compassion, we will find our days and our lives improve by default. Never underestimate the power of giving.

Here’s to having a great day!

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