7 Steps to Becoming a Happy Person Others Want to Be Around

Several months ago, my wife, Gail, and I attended an industry mixer at a conference we were attending. Almost immediately, I was cornered by an author who proceeded to complain about all the incompetent people in his life.

Two friends laughing in an outdoor café - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RuslanDashinsky, Image #15345841

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RuslanDashinsky

He grumbled about his literary agent, his booking agent, and his publisher. No one, it seems, measured up to his standards. I tried to change the subject, but he persisted.

The conversation made me feel very uncomfortable. I finally had enough and excused myself. I felt a little rude, but I didn’t want to steep in his brew of negativity.

As I thought about this, I realized how destructive complaining about others is. My author friend didn’t make me think less of the people he grumbled about; it made me think less of him.

Complaining about others has the potential to hurt you in four specific ways.

  1. It trains your brain. I remember when I bought my first Lexus. I never really noticed Lexus cars before. But suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere. This demonstrates the principle that you see more of what you notice. If you focus on people’s faults, you will find even more of them.
  2. It makes you miserable. My author friend was not happy. His humor was biting and sarcastic. He seemed entitled and discontent. His attitude was highly toxic—which was why I felt the need to get away from him. He was contagious!
  3. People pull away. One of the consequences of complaining is that healthy people don’t want to hang around you. They avoid you. As a result, you miss scores of great opportunities, both social and business ones.
  4. People don’t trust you. This is perhaps the saddest consequence of all. As my friend was complaining about others, I began to wonder, What does he say about me when I am not around. I then instinctively thought, I don’t trust him.

After I left the presence of my negative friend, I bumped into an agent friend, who is one of the most positive, encouraging people I know. He told me about all the great things happening in his life and business.

Whenever he mentioned someone’s name, he raved about them. He exuded gratitude. I didn’t want to leave his presence. It was like balm to my soul.

My second friend was such a contrast to the first, it made me realize these are two entirely different mindsets and approaches to life. The good news is that if you are a negative person, you don’t have to stay that way.

Here are seven steps to reversing this pattern and becoming a happy person others trust and want to be around.

  1. Become self-aware. Are you a negative person? Do you tend to see the glass half empty or half full? If you are in doubt, ask your spouse or a close friend for candid feedback. Negativity is costing you more than you know. Frankly, it’s like having bad breath or b.o.
  2. Assess your needs. What need are you attempting to meet by complaining? Perhaps the need for connection? Maybe a need for significance? Are there better, more healthy ways to meet these needs?
  3. Decide to change. Complaining is a habit. And like all bad habits, change begins when you own your behavior and make a decision to change. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. It will take conscious effort at first, but it will become automatic over time. You can start today.
  4. Shift your identity. The most powerful change happens when we modify our identity. When I declared myself an athlete, daily exercise suddenly became easier. What if you said to yourself, I am a positive, encouraging person? How would your behavior change?
  5. Greet others with a smile. According to health expert Ron Gutman, “smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine, and increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins.” While smiling has this impact on you, it also has a similar impact on others. This is one reason they unconsciously want to be around you.
  6. Catch them doing something right. The corollary to the principle “you see more of what you notice” is "you get more of what you notice. If you catch people doing what is right and complement them for it, guess what happens? They start doing more of it. This is not manipulation; it is influence. It too is contagious.
  7. Speak well of others. I’m not saying you shouldn’t deal with bad behavior by confronting it. I’m saying you should deal directly with the people involved rather than complaining about it to those who are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution. Your mama’s advice was right: “If you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything at all.”

While complaining about others may hurt them, ultimately it hurts you the worst. By becoming more aware and more intentional, you can become a person others seek out and want to be around.

Question: What can you do today to become a person others want to be around? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I can smile.  I’ve always been known as a serious person.  I don’t mean to appear unhappy, but I know that I can be so serious and so focused that I look this way.  I’ve heard that you use less energy or muscles when you smile than when you frown.  For me, this is a good place to start.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Jon, smiling can make a world of difference. If you make smiling a consistent habit, you will see people become more attracted to you. It’s an odd phenomenon but it works.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         So true!

        • maika

          but please only smile when you mean it! There is nothing more creepy than when someone fakes a smile. It makes me feel unwelcome, somehow.
          I know i can be very negative and critical of myself. Even my posture shows people that i am trying to protect myself. I am begining to understand how i became so unsure and negative, and i am in the process of trying to change that. I am a musician, so its normal for us to criticize ourselves and to receive criticism. However if we are unsure within ourselves, this is unfortunately reflected in the music in a negative way. I am so happy that someone took the time to point this out to me!

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Yes. Nothing more creepy than a fake smile! haha

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Selena-Dion/100003373357961 Selena Dion



      • http://www.facebook.com/JamieRenee1963 JamieRenee Landis

        This is why I write. To help others reach theirefull potential. Not with a self help group but with Jesus

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         I personally have no problem smiling. A smile is so normal for me that I have to recognize I’m doing it even when a person is telling me bad news. “My mom died. I lost my job. My wife ran off with the mail carrier. What are you smiling for, Tom? Do you think that’s funny?”

        As a matter of fact, I’m smiling now.

        I know you’re not saying this, Joe, but your comment makes me think want to add a caution. Smiling is certainly something we can choose to do and it is attractive. But we can’t be thinking, “If I smile more, people will like me and be attracted to me.”

        The attraction is a byproduct of an inner attitude that makes its way to our faces.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

           You’re right, that caution is completely valid.

          I meant it more in regards to those that always have a frown on their face. And they wonder why no one likes to be around them. Their body language(the frown or straight face) can make people standoff. I know I am more at ease with someone who is smiling than not.

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

             Yep, I knew you weren’t saying, “Do the fake smile thing so people will like you.” Your comments happened to be the ones that made me think about that. John Maxwell said, “Fake joy is better than genuine depression.” He would further that point by saying act joyful and soon you will be joyful. A smile is, at some point, a choice.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Selena-Dion/100003373357961 Selena Dion



      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Selena-Dion/100003373357961 Selena Dion



    • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

      Same here, Jon – I’m fairly stoic.  And, if I’m totally transparent, I probably complain to much.

      It seems that I have a little work to do. Nothing like an early morning kick in the seat of the pants.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I remember watching myself give a speech on video a few years ago. I never smiled! Seeing it had a profound affect on me. I smile way more now.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         Isn’t it weird to watch yourself? It’s really the best way to learn from mistakes, but it is still awkward for me at least…

      • https://www.bloggoround.com/ Jonathan Thompson

         I love to listen to Adrian Rodgers, who is with the Lord now.

        For years I listened to him on the radio, and I could sense the joy in his voice as he preached .

        A few months ago I decided to watch some of his videos and I was surprised to see that he didn’t smile that much even though it appeared that way on the radio.

        Just like you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but what comes out of it’s pages, I guess you can’t always judge a person by their face, but what comes out of their mouths.  (although I have learned that actions do backup words)

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           I’ve heard Adrian Rogers as well and understand what you mean, Jonathan. His voice does carry the sense of a smile as he speaks. I haven’t seen him speak so I’m surprised by your observation.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      I think this is more so with men. You don’t want to run around with a goofy grin on like a simpleton, but at the same time, you are certainly more approachable with a smile.  Think happy thoughts and the smile should happen naturally.

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Well, it’s not just a man thing. I struggle with smiling mainly because I am just a very serious person and am always processing something in my head. It pushes others away though. People don’t want to be serious all the time.

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          I can be the same, Kari. When I’m focused or processing something, I can look angry or upset and don’t even realize it. 

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Yeah, I have what I call my “introverted wrinkle” between my eyes, and my kids joke that I could hold a pencil in it. I can’t seem to get it to go away now, I’ve had it so long. It deepens the deeper I think.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

             That is hilarious!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            The fact that it is 100% true makes it so.

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

             I typically am not serious or serious looking (as I told a friend who said, “I’m smarter than I look,” “Well, I’m as dumb as I look.”), but I have had a friend or two ask, “Is what I’m saying bothering you, Tom?” Why? Because I sometimes do get a serious scowl on my face when I’m processing what the person is saying.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         I’m a man. I can’t stop smiling! Sometimes that has gotten me in trouble though…haha

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           I know the feeling, Brandon.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Tourville/504893219 Jason Tourville

         Agreed, my wife says I look like a scary white man when I don’t smile.

      • Rachel Lance

        I know what you’re saying, Kelly, but I think I’m an exception to your theory. I am a fabulous combination of shy, introverted, quiet, studious, and daydreamer and it rarely occurs to me to smile if I’m not actively engaged with someone. i know that I can give a stand-offish or intimidating impression but that’s certainly not my heart. I’m definitely going to start with practicing the fine art of smiling more!

        • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

          I think this group is telling me that I need to stand corrected. Obviously, there are lots of non-smiling ladies, and smiling men out there! Who knew? *smile*

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      I am really focussed when I play the piano, you should see my face. Sometimes being focussed, our natural reaction is to squint. I know it is possible to change those facial associations. It just takes time.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         Maestro Squinter!

      • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

        Someone once told me to raise my eyebrows more often – it makes you look more pleasant and helps you feel better.

        • Rachel Lance

          That’s an interesting tip – I might just give that one a try while I’m working on my smiling. Thanks, Michael!

        • maika

          maybe you will just look more surprised, hahaha!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

       Haha! I wish I could be serious sometimes, but it just doesn’t work. When I try to be really serious, I just laugh on the inside.

      Where ever I go, I am always thinking of funny pranks to do…hmmm…

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Jon, I cannot tell you how many times I have been told “Tim, you need to smile more.”  I definitely need to relax more.  

      • http://www.learntodobusiness.com/ Kenneth Acha

         That sounds like something someone would say to me. Smiling more is a great habit to cultivate

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       So smiling is less tiring. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

      As to the serious face, I know I sometimes listen to a person so intently he or she thinks I’m scowling. I had a friend who was expressing her thoughts stop and ask me, “Do you have a problem with what I’m saying?”

      I didn’t. I just looked like I did (evidently, ‘cuz I wasn’t looking).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Selena-Dion/100003373357961 Selena Dion



  • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

    I can start each morning with an hour on the treadmill or exercising to a workout DVD. I always notice a difference in my attitude after working out. Reading helps too. I replaced my morning and evening TV news viewing with reading while on the treadmill. It’s allowed me to read two books each month. I’m currently reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin that has given me many ideas on how to change my inner and outer world in a positive way.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Exercise is a great way to change your attitude! I’ve found it helps release stress and makes me relaxed. Have you had the same experience?

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        Yes. A 1-hour walk on the treadmill or around the block makes me feel relaxed and changes my attitude. I take a 30-minute walk during my lunch hour, which also helps too. 

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I totally agree with this. It makes a huge difference.

        • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

          I remember reading in one of your previous posts that you were concerned or worried about something, and your wife told you to go out and run. It worked for you, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Thanks for that post. 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         I can’t wait to develop a new regular routine, once we get planted in Florida…

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          You won’t regret it Jeff! It’ll create energy you never knew you had.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I’m so busy right now with the move and all, but once we get in place, I’m developing a biking/running routine. 

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I’ve had a routine before, but I let it slip when it turned cold…  Fair weather runner…

          • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

            I started a routine two years ago.  Has been great. Go for it.  

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I’m planning on implementing a little more consistency this spring!

    • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

      Interesting that you mention how working out effects your attitude – I expressed the same thing to my wife yesterday.

      My attitude is dramatically different throughout the day when I workout in the morning. I haven’t figured out if it’s because I’m more on my game or if I’m just tired enough that I don’t react to challenges.

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        I am with you Michael.  Have to get workout in almost every morning.  Even on the weekends at times.  Helps me be more engaged when at home on weekends. 

    • Andrew Inge

      I read while on a treadmill also.  But if I read a regular book, after running for a period of time my eyeballs start to jiggle.  I got a NOOK, was able to enlarge the print and it made a world of difference.  Turning pages with just a quick touch of the pad was a big help too.

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        This is a great idea! Never thought of doing that. I’m gonna try it the next rainy/cold day we have. (Prefer running outside if I can.)

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        To read on the treadmill, I linked about 10 strong rubber bands together and linked the ends with a paper clip. So when I’m on the treadmill, I’ll wrap the rubber band contraption around the head of the treadmill and stick my book under it. I have to adjust it for each page to see the text, but it’s not a big deal. 

    • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

      Reading has such a huge impact on our thought lives. Years ago, I went through a tremendous change in my thought processes, and it largely came about because of the books I chose to read. “The Happiness Project” is a great one for ideas, and I also learned a lot from Rubin’s writing style and approach to research.

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        Someone once said that after college, the only way we grow is through the books we read and the people we meet. Maybe that’s why graduation is called a “commencement.” The school is trying to tell you to get movin!

        • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

          Could be. Unfortunately, too many people stop growing at that point. My oldest has a passion for reading that we instilled in him at a very young age, really since he was born. Our youngest game into our family at age 9, and he did not have a passion for reading. We have some making up to do, but he’s definitely making progress in that area. It’s too important not to push that in him. So, what I’m saying is, that this “commencement” idea with regard to reading needs to start very early in life.

    • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

      Gretchen Rocks!

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        You bet!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       That’s a great book. Just thought about it again yesterday.

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        Barnes and Noble also sells a Happiness Project diary. It’s about the size of a small phone book that allows you to enter five new thoughts on each page–one for each year. So when you look back each year on the same date, you can see how you’ve grown since your last entry. 

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          What a great idea. Sometimes we don’t realize the progress we’re making. Thanks for sharing it, Steve.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       That book is on my list…

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Steve, I agree.  If I do not workout early in the morning I am down.  If I am down I am typically more negative.  

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        For me, it’s like magic. It’s like the worries of the world just fall off after an hour. And if you read while you’re on the treadmill, the time goes by really fast. 

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Being honest and genuinely interested in people attract others to us. That’s what I go for today. Good post!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Being interested in others is a surefire way to attract others. In fact, that is one of the principles in How To Win Friends and Influence People.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon


  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I struggle with being one of those negative people… It can be so easy to fall into the trap of complaining about someone or something and the words slip out.

    Thanks to my wife, I have been on guard and try to watch my speech more.

    Here are the things I have been doing:

    I stop myself more often than not when I want to say a negative word about others.
    I will walk away from conversations that turn overly negative.
    I have limited my time with those that I find negative.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Joe. This is a great strategy, especially your response to negative people. Life is too short!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      “I stop myself more often than not when I want to say a negative word about others.
      I will walk away from conversations that turn overly negative.
      I have limited my time with those that I find negative.”

      I like what you said. I just can’t stand to be in negative conversations. It makes me cringe.

  • http://byrdmouse.com Jonathan

    Just smile more. It’s only one step but it makes such a difference. The wonderful thing is that it changes your mood, too. Plus it makes lots of folks wonder why you’re smiling.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      You’re absolutely right. I’ve even been known to make myself laugh outloud, even when I didn’t feel like it. But that’s just between you and me. ;)

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         Same here!

        • http://byrdmouse.com Jonathan

          I can actually tickle myself but that’s a different matter. I almost never do that when I’m mad.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Haha! That’s awesome!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I’m not sure I necessarily want to be a person others want to be around. I’ve always been hopelessly awkward at social situations, and I fear that the more popular I am, the more often I’ll get invited to these things. Sure, I could decline all the time, but rejecting invitations tends to be taken as arrogance (“It seems we’re not good enough for him to spend his time with”). 

    As to people complaining about others, I’m always astounded by those who launch into these laundry lists of grievances about their spouses or girl/boyfriends. This draws more attention to their own limited partner selection skills than it does to those flawed partners themselves. 

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Peter – 

      You remind me of my son. I’ve always known he’s an introvert, and I’m understanding him even better thanks to Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (her TED talk is excellent, too: http://youtu.be/c0KYU2j0TM4)

    • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

      I totally get not wanting to be around others. I am terrible at social situations, mostly because I just can’t think quickly enough to have what I feel are intelligent conversations. But, I’ve learned that being by myself all the time is a sure way to become more negative. I need others in a lot of ways. I just try to limit my social interactions and make sure I get recharged before and after. I also prefer situations with only a few people rather than a huge crowd.

  • Vicki Cypcar

    Wow!  Well said.  Now I understand why I  shy away from people who gossip and complain  and I gravitate to people who are positive and fun to be around.    Negativity is toxic to be around, and I have always thought the same thing too – that if they are complaining about someone else, most likely they are doing the same about me. 

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      “Negativity is toxic to be around.” Amen! Words to live by.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       So true, Vicki. Whenever I hear a friend talking negatively about someone, I always think, “It’s just a matter of time before I become the subject of their complaint!”

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    Yesterday you talked about the importance of writing down big goals–would that be a recommended step in #4 (shift your identity)?

    Great list. I definitely can tell the difference in my demeanor when I’ve been around positive or negative people. Another thing I’ve noticed is that negative people get annoyed by me when I mention positive aspects of the thing they’re complaining about.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have written these down in a list of Daily Declarations. (I plan to write on this soon.)

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

         Awesome! I can’t wait to read it!

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    I’m with you.  I have a hard time being around negative people for an extended period of time.  There is one mom at my son’s school that I tend to avoid because every word that comes out of her mouth is negative.  It’s toxic.  I often have a mental battle with God when I see her because some times He’s asking me to go be a light and all I want to do is run away from her. :)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Been there! I wonder if Michael’s second step “Assess Your Needs” could be helpful in this situation. Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from a negative person. But sometimes, if the relationship is strong enough, we can ask the questions that will help the negative person determine what is fueling their negativity.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    Pardon me if I sound like a broken record, but as I have focused on God’s absolute love in my life, being positive has become my mojo. I think of how much He loves us and I can’t help but to smile and laugh. As far as others go, my attitude had become that everyone is loved by God, so my objective towards everyone is to share that love (mostly by actions) and to be a blessing to them. I do, however, have to be careful of dominating conversations in my positiveness, so I purposefully ask questions and give heartfelt compliments.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      If you are a broken record, Patricia, keep playing! You are right and He is the source of my joy too.

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    I hope I am more of the positive person than the negative; the encourager and not the complainer.   I know I like being around positive people much more than complainers.  You are right:  complaining is a habit, and it can be changed.

  • http://www.scottwimberly.com/ Scott Wimberly

    This was awesome. I feel the same when around folk that complain and are negative. They will wear you out if you allow them to do so.  Most of the time all they need is a little shift in perspective.  Thanks for an awesome blog, good stuff!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1398138107 Dale William Melchin

    I’m going to do all seven things, but one at a time, because my strengths finder tells me that if I try to do all 7 at once I’ll crash out. ;-)  Thanks Michael, your posts are always an inspiration to me!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Good idea, Dale. :)

  • Cherleygrogg

    I like to think and strive to make other people’s days and their lives, just a little better. Sometimes it doesn’t take much effort. Other times I have to look a little deeper. Your article was interesting and made me think of who I could bless today. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I am going to think of the same thing today.

  • dee

    thankyou for this post. I have found myself engaging in negative conversations with my mum on the phone and at the moment my life seems all about negativity. I am finding it difficult because a lot of people have let me down or stab me in the back do i talk highly of these people or just say nothing as if i havent noticed. 
    x Dee 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      It’s especially difficult to be positive when one of your chief relationships (parent, spouse, etc.) is constantly negative. I know you’re not the only one. Do you have any advice for handling those kinds of phone calls/conversations with a family member?

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Just a thought … when the kids were at home, we would have dinner together. In an effort to get them focused on the positive, we would ask them “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”
        Sometimes, they would say, “nothing” or “I don’t know.”

        Gail would then say, “well, if you DID know, what would you say?”

        This was often all it took to keep the conversation from going in a negative direction.
        By the way, Gail’s number one strength is “positivity,” so it’s been fun to watch her through the years. Her attitude is contagious!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Love this. Great idea. And yes, Gail is a bright light wherever she goes, one of those people I look forward to being around. She should guest post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthewsbc Ben Matthews

    Great reminder this morning about the importance of being positive and affirming.  One my favorite bible verses is Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  I look forward to encouraging those around me today!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that verse too. I even have it memorized.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Great verse Ben! I too am an encourager,  Michael’s post was right on this morning.  Have a great day.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       Great verse to use as a reminder!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I went on a youth trip with a group of highschoolers a couple years back. The girls and I made Eph. 4:29 our motto for the week. Every time we caught each other speaking negatively, we’d shout out, “429!” It ended up being one of the best youth trips ever.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I love that! I’m going to use that somehow.

  • Francarona

    I think I go to the negative side by default. I have to work at positivity. Thanks for the reminder!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      That’s the first step: “Become self aware.” I tend to fall to the negative side by default as well. Intentionality will be especially important for us!

  • http://www.christinefaour.com/ Christinefaour

    This article is very timely for me, in that I have been speaking negatively about a co worker. From this moment I will start to have good thoughts about her and I will choose to say nothing rather than make a negative statement.
    Thank you so much.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Thank you for leading the way, Christine. Inspiring for the rest of us.

  • cindyphi

    My beloved yoga teacher used to say, “If you’re happy, alert your face.” :D

    P.S. If I could figure out how to change it, I’d change my username to Cindy Phiffer!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You can change your username by logging into Disqus.com. You have to do it yourself. Thanks.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      That reminds me of the children’s song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.”  It always struck me, how could you be happy and not know it?  But I guess sometimes we do have to let ourselves, our face, and our hands know when we are happy.  *smile* Have a great day Cindy!

      • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

        Great song, Kelly! Now let’s all do the Hokey Pokey. That’s what it’s all about!

        Having a couple children’s songs at the ready can improve my mood quickly. Hymns, too.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon


  • bryonm

    I have some wrongs to make right today.

    • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

      Go Bryon! Don’t let the sun go down without it.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Do it! Thanks for sharing this, Bryon.

  • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

    I especially love point 6 as it is actually very easy to catch someone doing something good and finding stuff ground you that simply works. If you watch out for it there is so much more good out there. IF I was to guess I’d say that 98% is good – if not more. It should really be an easy task to focus on that instead of that tiny portion that is not ideal.

    And being a positive person there are always ways to influence those things for the better.

  • Hmwest

    Thank you for for the reminder, Michael. I am a naturally positive person, but I’ve allowed all my recent challenges to convince me I’m a complainer. Today, I am going to decide how to love that stepdaughter, choose to enjoy my job, and set big goals in life that I can get excited about. :)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      As an aside, let me just encourage you by saying that being a stepparent can be one of the most difficult challenges to your positive attitude and sense of self/worth. My guess is you already realize this. :) The fact that you’re choosing to love in spite of the difficulty says something about your determination and character. Keep going!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Your first #1 made me laugh, because it was the same way after I named both of my children. I chose names I thought were pleasantly unique (not strange).  Suddenly I met tons of people with those names. It was like I had started a trend, but truly I was just seeing more of what I noticed, (like your Lexus story).

    I live my life by the principles you outlined.  I feel blessed and joyful, and I believe it shows. Life is too short to be unhappy. And I had my share of that in my childhood.  Now I choose (and that is the difference – you CHOOSE it) to be happy.  In my life, in my marriage, in my family…with the help and grace of God.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       It’s interesting that you write “my share of that in my childhood.” At times, being the oldest of six kids, I felt short-changed at Christmas and other gift-giving moments, thought a lot of what I missed out on because my parents had to provide for so many mouths. But I look back now and recognize what I had with a greater sense of appreciation.

      I’m not trying to dismiss your childhood experience at all, Kelly. I don’t know the troubles you faced. It’s just your comment brings to the surface how I viewed my lack as a child and now, as an adult, I see my abundant blessings during that same time frame.

      For me, I’ve grown into a better focus, seeing things from the past that I didn’t see at the time.

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Thanks for your insights, TNeal. My mom was a mentally-ill, alcoholic and prescription drug addict. So, while I have come to the place of acceptance and forgiveness, I have not really found the blessings, per se. Although I can say, what “man meant for evil, God meant for God.” My testimony is strong and I pray many may come to Christ because of it. He is my perfect parent. So that is a blessing indeed! Amen.

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           Kelly, I appreciate knowing your story better. My mother was an alcoholic but I tended to be oblivious to some of the obvious signs. She was neither mean nor abusive, just “sick” a lot. While I was in college, God delivered her from alcoholism, but I remember, during a conversation among my siblings, my younger sister sobbing from the pain she experienced during her middle school to high school years because of my mother’s addiction. I admire, from a limited observation point, how well you’ve articulated your faith. I still remember your guest post here and thought how courageous of you to stand on this platform. You did well and have served as an inspiration for me. God bless–Tom

          • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

            Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! And what a blessing that your mom found recovery. I pray your sister may be filled with God’s love and acceptance enough to fill the void of her childhood as well.

  • Jennifer Sienes

    I think you nailed it! After having worked nine years in a gossip-riddled school, I learned that bad behavior can be a magnet that lowers morale and defeats productivity. That’s not the role-modeling the students needed.

  • http://devotionstoinspire.com/ Eagle777warsaw

    After 17 years experience in a public middle school office, I’ve watched the atmosphere of the office ‘change’ over the years – just because of the influence of personalities of office workers.  Only once has a ‘complainer’ had a profound impact on us, but once was enough to demonstrate how a critical attitude CAN impact the entire school.  Thank you for the reminder of just how important my attitude can be.  My battery is recharged to be more positive and to notice the GOOD things in the people around me.

  • http://www.jozeca.missionsplace.com/ Jozeca Lathrop

    Smiling is such a key. I did a 2-week project in which my goal was to smile at every person I met. What responses I received! I’m generally a very positive person, but have learned that “the tongue has the power of life and death” – listening to someone complain about authority or leadership can truly sow poison. From that standpoint, I think we also need to be aware of stopping those conversations and confronting them before there’s major damage.

    • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

      Great project, Jozeca. I like smiling at people while commuting. Catches them off guard. A smile and a wave can do wonders for a frazzled commuter. Both of us.

      Love your name! What can you tell me about it? Where is it from? I have not heard it before.

      • http://www.jozeca.missionsplace.com/ Jozeca Lathrop

        Thanks for the comment, Dan. It’s interesting for me, now that I’m living in a different culture, to determine what is appropriate when it comes to smiling. While it may not be “culturally appropriate” in the US, I feel reasonably comfortable defying the cultural norms while in my own culture. Outside of my own culture, I feel I have to be a bit more reserved.
        My name came from a book entitled “Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy.” I only recently finished reading the book myself; it is about a Yugoslavian woman during World War II. It was very inspiring to read about this woman of prayer after whom I was named.

  • AmericanWriter

    OK Michael,  this is the first time I have made a suggestion to your blog (which I love and have recommended to all in the known-world), but might I suggest a word substitution. It is not what you “focus” on, but actually what you “value” which garners your attention. Or maybe still your word “focus” is correct if the definition of focus is: Vision + Value = Focus.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the input. I’ll have to think about that.

  • LivewithFlair

    Definitely cultivate wonder and beauty wherever you are!  I’ve been praying to find the beauty in the worst of circumstances as the task of the Poet.  I’m also teaching college students that the workplace can quickly become a culture of complaint, slander, and entitlement.  If a person celebrates, blesses, and humbly receives instead, that worker will truly “shine like a star. . . in a corrupt generation.”  Bravo for a great post!!!  

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      How have your college students responded to you? I’m curious if they’ve experienced the power of negativity/positivity and if they see a need to change their world.

      • LivewithFlair

        Yes!  So much so here at Penn State that I actually teach a unit on “rules of civility” in writing.  We talk about how to be kind and use a tone that communicates respect, believing the best about a person, and recognizes the dignity of the audience.  There’s a section Iwrote on “building rapport” in “How to Write with Flair” http://www.amazon.com/Write-Flair-Heather-Holleman-Ph-D/dp/1453721207 that we use.  Positivity changes the communication climate so people can actually listen and find common ground.  Negativity makes people jump ship.  I think they like this unit, but it’s SO HARD to be kind in argumentative writing.  Have you talked about this in your coaching?  I saw that you were a communications coach!  How cool!!

  • Michele_rodberg

    Michael, I loved your post and it is always so important to be reminded of how vital it is to focus on the things that help us emulate the fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Patience, and Self Control. The greatest of these being Love.

    I think being  “grateful” and “thankful” are some of the greatest ways we can bless God. When we focus on the things we are thankful for, we don’t have time to focus on the things we are not. 
    I believe being negative and scrutinizing others is only an outward sign of an inward issue: anger.

    I once told my mother, “Life is too short to be angry with people, but it is also too short to spend time with people who make you angry”.

    So, I say all this to say. I too needed to hear this today. It is so easy to get caught up in a spirit of negativity, ungratefulness, and anger. May God help us all  love one another today and the days to follow.


  • Kimberly

    Michael, I found your blog about three weeks and enjoy it every morning. Often, especially after reading the comments, it sets the stage for my morning reflection, etc.  Today’s post simply made me smile. One of the things I am grateful for every single day is that am naturally a positive, happy person. If your readers who find this to be a challenge choose just one of your suggestions and living it for the entire day, they will start to get hooked. It’s simply a fun way to live and it’s contagious even within yourself. For example, stopping someone on the street or in the store and giving them a compliment (a sincere compliment), or catching them in the act of doing something well — sure, it makes them feel good, but the feeling that you will have? You can’t buy that — there’s no prescription for it.  It is simply a wonderful way to live. Have fun!

  • Robert B

    Hi Michael –

    Reading this post, it struck me that when I first started reading your blog I was looking for help and advice on becoming more productive. The unexpected (and far more beneficial) side effect has been to make me far more aware of when I’m sliding back into cynical complaining, and to encourage me to work harder to be positive. That’s a long slog for someone like me, but your advice has very helpful in that regard. So, thanks.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’m so glad the content has been helpful for you, Robert. I’ve experienced the same (unexpected) benefit.

    • Rachel Lance

      What a great journey – thanks for sharing, Robert!

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    I take the subway to work, and every day I see sad faces.  I make it a point to have at least a pleasant look on my face, and smile at people that make eye contact.  

    Simple, but it can make a world of difference in people’s lives.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I think those simple exchanges do add up!

      • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

        I have always thought it would be a fun study to see how the exchanges pass along.

  • Ryan Ervin

    Thanks Michael. I was very like your negative friend and have had to change. It’s hard, but very rewarding. It’s affected my prayer life greatly. In changing, I had to start focusing on
    1. Shutting up. Just don’t say what is currently natural to say.
    2. Say a quick prayer for the person. This gives perspective and, honestly, it’s very difficult to tear down someone you just prayed for. “Lord, help me love him now.”
    3. Build up. Tons of Scriptures on that one.

    Thanks again Michael. Great post!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great points! Love the idea of shut up and build up—that sounds like a blog post to me! And the fact that you have prayer in the middle of it—fantastic! Do you have a favorite “build up” verse?

      • Ryan Ervin

        Thanks Barry. It’s certainly a work in progress, but this is very fruitful work. I also liked Michael’s admonition to just smile. That’s VERY helpful.

        Proverbs is a goldmine for speech and every chapter has something to say about it. 15:4 says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness breaks the spirit.” It either gives life, or it takes it away. It’s important.

    • Rachel Lance

      Great next steps, Ryan, thanks for sharing.

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    When I first browsed through A Complaint Free World, I told my husband that we needed to buy two or three…dozen…so I could give copies to all the whiny people in my life who drag me down with their incessant negativity.

    But as I read further, the author had the audacity to suggest that of all the negative people in my life, I might be the worst offender!

    That ticked me off. So I decided to prove him wrong by taking his 21-day challenge. I even ordered his silly purple bracelet, just to show how good I’d be at the whole no-complaining thing.

    I invited my students to hold me accountable for switching the bracelet each time they caught me complaining, criticizing, or gossiping. I expected them to be witnesses, verifying my status as the most positive, optimistic, uplifting person I know.

    Instead, they were my mentors in a long lesson in humility. 

    And astonishment. I was a completely clueless compulsive complainer.  (Creative, too. Within the first week, the class of ’09 added “no sarcasm” as a special requirement for Mrs. G, by a 28-to-1 vote. I almost had to quit talking altogether!)

    That was six years ago. Every January since, I’ve taken the Complaint-Free Challenge (http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/) and invited my students to join me. Together, we’ve learned and grown a lot together. It’s a great exercise for #1, Becoming Self-Aware. Putting on the purple bracelet is a sign of openness to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and leading, opening me us to #2-7.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Thanks so much for your great story and transparency! What age were are the students you teach?

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Barry — 

        Glad you enjoyed it!  I teach high school sophomores and seniors. For the last two years, I’ve upped the ante by donating $1 per bracelet switch to charity. My students have literally jumped at the chance to add tally marks to the board and love calculating my “investment in positivity”!

        • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

          Hats off to you, Cheri. Thank you for being a great teacher. Keep challenging your students. You are shaping the future. I honor you and all other teachers. Thank you.

          • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

            Thank you Dan!  Your support means a great deal. It’s an honor to interact with amazing young people every day. I’m certain I learn far more from them than they’ll ever learn from me!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love this story. I bought the book and the bracelet too when it came out. It was a great challenge!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Cheri, you are such a good storyteller. You have a great sense of perspective and it shines through in your writing. If I wasn’t smiling before I read your comment, I sure am now. Thanks for the marvelous lesson and the link. I’ll have to check it out (but don’t let my wife know about this).

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Tom —

        You are generous with your affirmations!  (And mum’s the word!)

    • Rachel Lance

      Love it, Cheri! I so appreciate the life lessons you incorporate into your classroom experience. I hope my kids are blessed with a teacher like you.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Currently, I am in the middle of an “experiment” to become a more positive person. My tendancy is definitely toward negativity, mostly directed at myself. But, I refuse to stay that way any longer. I’ve enlisted my kids’ help, and they are totally on board with my encouragement experiment. Although it’s only been a few days, I find that I am definitely looking for ways to be more positive. So true that your mind goes where your focus lies.

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Three words Michael…

    Robert D Smith…and we know what the D stands for.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      He is actually the second person in the post! He is definitely the most positive person I know.

      • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

        I had a hunch, and everything said about him is true. 

        #5 Today I wil choose to be happy- Traveler’s Gift

  • JsHuston

    Thanks for the reminder … it is far too easy to get in the complaining mode … reminds me of the great John Wooden, No complaining, No whining, and No excuses.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Love that John Wooden Quote!

  • Jamierhea316

    Build up and be an encourager to my husband and guardian
    Child. I love what you say about calling ourselves “athletes” or “positive”
    Perhaps it will aid me in the many endeavors I am facing.
    It’s a blessing to have found your sight and the useful tools
    Set forth to help me learn everything from scratch. Being
    Intentional and happening to things! It was by any person,
    Word of mouth or advertisement I stumbled onto this path.
    It was completly divine and I’ll not be taking it lightly. Thank
    you for keeping God to first and the center of your walk and
    In turn help others with the gifts He has given you!

  • http://exciramedia.com Shannon Steffen

    I smile all the time! My networking group has requested to see the “Shannon Smile” because my smile, literally, takes up my whole face and lightens up a room. It should because I spent money on braces when I was 30 years old after having one of the worse smiles ever. Believe it or not, I started to smile for the first time the day after I got the braces and, not only did my personality change at that moment, but I noticed how people just gravitated towards me – even with a metal mouth. :)

    It’s been 7 years since I’ve gotten the braces taken off and I continue to smile. Honestly, there are a lot of things in my life that would cause a normal person to frown all the time but, to me, every day is a gift from God. I truly have nothing to complain about and I go out of my way to help others realize their own silver linings.

    However, I am a natural empath so negative people do have a huge effect on me. My tool has been to continuously smile no matter what they say. Yes, I know it may seem rude if they are telling me a horrible story but, with time, they will start smiling for no reason and their whole demeanor will change.

    Patience is the key but becoming self-aware is the door of opportunity. 

  • Christi Borden

    I have always tried to be the kind of person I would want to hang around with. I was brought up by very positive grandparents whose unconditional love helped me become the person I am today. I observed my mother’s bi-polar self-destruction and learned early on that her fun, manic side was the one I loved most and did my best to ignore or avoid her sad, depressed side. I tend to do this today as an adult: I am drawn to effervescent and bubbly people and avoid anyone reminiscent of my depressed mom. This is a great list. Another wonderful resource is Hard Optimism by Price Pritchett. A short, easy read that I keep handy to constantly remind me that true optimism is not always easy…you have to work at it but it is well worth it.

  • Cindyshuff

    Great post! Aren’t we all a little Jekyll and Hyde about complaining. thanks for the reminder and pointers. It is a retrain your brain . “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anything excellent and if anything is worthy of praise let your mind dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

    • Vuewide

       Excellent view – an alignment with joy and well-being.

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  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I find when I call someone out about being a glass half empty person, their retort is often that they are just being a realist.  Here is my retort back:
    “The only time a pessimist is an optimist is when they call themselves a realist.”

    I’m not sure if I read this somewhere or if I coined it.  

    I do not recommend using this comment with your spouse :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a GREAT comment. (But I won’t use it with my wife!)

  • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

    Right on, Michael.  Twenty-five years ago, I attended a Dale Carnegie class based on the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.  The course outlines all your main points.  I loved being around so many positive people so much, I volunteered to be a part of the next three courses as a graduate assistant.  I watched lives transform before my eyes as all the complainers stood up to share two minute talks about recent events where they applied new ideas such as “avoid criticizing, condemning or complaining.”  On graduation night, significant others were invited and it was these people who were most appreciative about the changes they witnessed.  Some people were on the brink of divorce and we observed a complete transformation.

    Happiness is a choice and it is contagious.  My number one post on my blog this year is entitled “50 Reasons why I’m Happy.”  It fits with your message.  If any of your readers would like to use it to make their own template, here it is…


    One last observation about “happiness.”  Take a look at the profile pictures of your community leaders on the right.  Their smiles or grins reflect an aura of happiness.  Those expressions are a great first impression of what your blog is all about.  Gold stars to your team.  May your day be filled with happiness.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing this, Michael. Thanks also for your kind comments about our Community Leaders. They are the best!

  • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com Ngina Otiende

    “Complaining trains your mind – if you focus on peoples faults, you will find more of them”


    I have organized couples events in the past and to say the truth, and I think I noticed and focused on a whole lot more “fault” than was necessarily.

    It wasn’t easy yes, (compared to other “simpler” events like Singles events e.t.c) but I think focusing on the difficulties more, just ensured they resurfaced in the next event I organised (cos my mind was trained to notice)

    Like Michael says, there is a way to confront and sort out difficulties without complaining about them. 

    I think fear, even passivity can make us take the “easier” route of venting, instead of doing the harder work of confronting and correcting. I know am guilty :) But  I’ve received my light-bulb moment. :) 

    Awesome post Michael, as always.

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com Adam Rico

    Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning” lays this same principle out beautifully. Even in the worst of circumstances there is always the ability to choose our attitude. The people I admire the most are the ones who “should” be negative because of their circumstances but somehow they are always finding the beauty in the chaos. Thanks for the post Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I loved Frankl’s book. One of my favorites!

  • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

    Thank you for writing on this subject. I agree. Negativity is toxic.

    I’ve found that a practical step toward moving from a negative, complaining frame of mind to a more grateful frame of mind is prayer. Prayer that pours out the complaining, worries and frustrations. Prayer that asks for wisdom, love and help. This type of cleansing, vulnerable prayer can move a heart and mind from negativity to hope that God will work. And God does. He begins with our heart to spread grace.  And when our attitude is a fragrance pleasing to God, our words and actions honor  God’s work in the situation.

  • http://www.communicationartistry.ca/ Marnie Hughes

    Terrific post, Michael. I once heard that we are a compilation of the 5 people we spend the most time with. No wonder you’d rather avoid the negative and hang out with positive – you’ll be a mosaic of who you’re with!

  • Mylife Onestoryatatime

    Thanks for such an enlightening post. It was a great reminder to check my attitude at times. We live in Crazyville with undesirable neighbors so it’s easy to forget and bend other ears.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lamosova Martina Lamosova

    first of all thanks a lot for this post. i came into my mailbox in the right moment. i think is so easy to be nice and positive, when all is going the way we like and people are nice to us. the challenge is commin when somebody just starts with this “neg talk” or just trying to argue and trying to point on your fault. I am still working on my patience and to be objective and dont take things personaly and keep smile on my face. it helps a lot not to take conversation/situation/person talk personaly, because i am not like soo much involved emotionaly and my back reaction is at least polite.  so what i can do better :)? not judge anybody and just take people the way they are  and just simple pick up who am meeting or talking with.   :). and yes with big smile  :)

  • Ron Mazellan

    I deeply appreciate what you wrote today. Being positive and hopeful fosters a contagious joy as you pointed out so clearly.  Although many lead lives with what is going wrong instead of moving forward with what is going well.
    My thanks for recalebrating my day.

    Ron Mazellan

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  • Nancyq

    Awesome post Michael.  I totally agree.  If I am negative around all my customer, they will no longer be my customers.  I love this and will input these strategies into my every day life.  Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are a VERY positive person, Nancy. This is what makes you such a great instructor.

  • helloheady

    I’m a big fan of this post.  Will be working on applying these steps to my life.  Go Win!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    True Mike!

    Philippians 2:14 puts it this way: “Do everything without complaining or arguing …….”.  In John 6:43, it is said “Stop grumbling among yourselves”.

    The Bible reminds us that complaining and grumbling as not a way of life.  It is important for us to take the message and implement that in our life.

    To over such negativity, I believe we need to be intentional in changing our attitude. We need to change our focus so that we become completely positive in approach.

    We can develop the habit of positive visualization in us. Secondly, we must decide  to associate with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who display mojo spirit with their lives.
    Thirdly, we should careful enough to feed our mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make usfeel happy and more confident about ourself and our world.

    Then, we will be become a lovable personality and everyone would like to spend time with us.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       Love those verses!  Such important reminders!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thank you Jeff

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happy Person Others Want to Be Around

  • http://gregdespres.com/ Greg Despres

    Great post!  I am convicted…I wish you would have taken one step further and talked about the once positive person turned critical and negative.  Maybe it is in here, however, even without it, this post is fantastic and will reverberate inside the walls of my mind for a long time I hope.

  • http://www.cdenning.com/ Chris Denning

    I think this is something everyone wants for themselves, but they don’t think about it often. Just like anything else, it takes intentional action and thought to grow into a more happy person, and I definitely think self awareness is HUGE! Great post, 


  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    I think the big one here is choosing to be happy.  Will you be everyday?  No.  But you won’t sink into the mire like you would if you choose to be negative.

  • http://www.daninfocus.com/ Dan Stratton

    Amen! This is so true. As a manager, I have to watch my mood even more. I notice my team’s mood will mirror mine. Some days, it is better for everyone if I stay in my office or even home. One thing I do to improve or mask my mood is to whistle. It is hard to whistle through a bad mood. Any tune will do.

  • Justtina11

    I try to say “Thank You” at least 50 times a day to someone.  Starting with God first thing in the morning for giving me an opportunity to make today special.  We all have the same number of moments in each day and it is entirely up to us how we use them.  I try to make each and every one of them count in one way or another.  We aren’t allowed “do-overs” 

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Jon Gordon said: “Complaining is like vommiting, you feel better but everyone around you feels worse”

    • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

       Wow. That’s a vivid and apt metaphor.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        The first time I saw it I had the same reaction, LOL.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Whoa, that is right on!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        That’s what I think and it really makes you think.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Perfect metaphor!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        When I read it I was like, wow. I shared it on my facebook page and it was shared by others a bunch of times.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I love your final step: “Speak well of others.” It has such power to change the other person, but (more importantly) my perspective of the other person. I’m going to be more intentional in speaking well of others, regardless of whether he/she is present or not. It changes my attitude, builds trust with the person I’m talking to, and hopefully encourages the person I’m praising. 

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Michelle — 

      Your point about speaking well of others changing your own perspective hit home. 

      Although I don’t usually complain aloud about other people, I am an expert “muller and stewer” on the inside. 

      Even when my negativity isn’t verbalized, I still “hear” it over and over, and it narrows my perception of the other person, sometimes reducing them to a caricature.  

      So as I catch myself cooking up another batch of mull-again-and-stew, I’m learning to stop myself and ask, “What’s the real issue, and with whom do I need to set a problem-solving appointment?”

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        I do the same thing, Cheri. I really noticed this a few years ago when I discovered those little daily annoyances with my husband/children were changing how I felt about them and ultimately treated them. Sobering.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    Great Post!

    I definitely intend on smiling more today. It does a world of good for me. I believe that this may be the catalyst to doing a world of good for others today!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    A complaining attitude is a rut I know I fall into occasionally.  My negativism seems to have outside influences.  Another step can be to identify those influences and eliminate them.  For example, in college, I loved reading Stephen King.  But one day, my best friend told me that when I read those books, my attitude stunk.  I stopped reading that particular author (and a few others like him) that day and haven’t looked back.  It’s helped my attitude tremendously, and it’s just one small item I eliminated.

    Great stuff today!  Thanks for posting!

  • Dr. Randy Dignan

    Great blog!  I always remind my congregation and the many crowds I speak to yearly that we do not have to let our circumstances dictate to us how we respond…  But!  Rather, we can enter a room and with our smile, spirit, and attitude we can be a room changer and dictate our positive happy spirit to circumstances and those around us!  Making it a great day!

  • June

    What a great, positive article!!  Things we ALL can do!!

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    I tend to laugh a lot so I smile often. The power of a smile is amazing! For folks who are having an off day, that one simple act can put a positive spin on an otherwise difficult time.

    One thing I try to do in awkward situations or when around naysayers is to commit to “taking the high road.” Speaking negative about something or someone only fuels already distorted beliefs.

    (I’d be curious how that author thinks his diatribes help his platform.  …Or garners friends.)

    Such great points reminders! Thank you!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      It’s amazing how something as simple as a smile really helps.

  • Gerry Mcintyre

    I’m sharing this article at work. Very insightful and relevant to all

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I guess not all times I catch myself on a negative conversation. I find self-awareness the most difficult step to take. Once I become aware that I’m engaged on this type of conversation it will be easier to continue with the following steps. Well put in the first place.

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    Such an important reminder, particularly for those of us in the shifting publishing arena. I see three types of folks: those who remember the “good old days” and complain about today’s changes and shifts, those who remember what publishing was and are trying (joyfully) to adapt to the changes, and those who don’t know the past (are new to it) and joyfully embrace what’s new.

    I’m part of the second crowd, though I’ve sometimes languished with the first. The truth: whatever industry you’re in, it will change. People will disappoint. Expectations won’t be met. You’ll face struggle. Will we give in to disgruntled thoughts or become like the little engine that could (trusting in the God who can)?

    I don’t want to be a whiner. I want to emanate Jesus, and He was so very irresistible that regular folks couldn’t get enough of Him. Kids clamored to be on His lap. The more we’re infectious and grace giving like that, the more folks will be attracted. 

  • http://bbcjc.com/ Dr. Randy Dignan

    Life is just too short!!  I am reminded that every morning I wake up I have 500 reasons why I am going to have a great day…  But, there is also 500 reasons I can have a bad day…  I just decide to focus on the 500 reasons that help me make it a great day!  Twelve spies went to the Promise Land and saw the same things…  Two came back with a different report than the Ten!!  I ask myself often am I one of the Two or one of the Ten?  I want to be more like Caleb and Joshua!  God bless y’all and make it a great day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The twelve spies are such a great example of these two types of people. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.revtrev.com RevTrev

    You’ve got some great advice for people. I help people overcome negative thoughts, emotions, and situation…and you’ve got me thinking in a new and better way. 

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I have always enjoyed encouraging others and being uplifting. In college, though, I noticed I had become more sarcastic and negative. The guys in the dorms were always railing on each other (even thought most of the time it was jokes) and it had an effect on me without me realizing it at first. Since then I have been working hard on speaking positively of people and encouraging others to do the same.

  • http://frugalportland.com/ Frugal Portland

    So true! I really agree that mindset is everything. A friend of mine told me via email to “have a dynamite day!” — tell me that’s not a good way to get started!

  • http://sidekickgraphics.com/ George Gregory

    AWESOME post! We can choose to make things happen. Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of “I’ve generally noticed that people are about as happy as they choose to be”. We are free to accentuate the positive, be grateful, to speak well of, and look for the best in others. Thanks for helping to start my day on a positive note!

  • http://www.justcris.com/ Cris Ferreira

    I am not a complainer, but I do complain sometimes. For some reason, sometimes it feels irresistable. Like you said, I have to be intentional in not complaining about a person to others. Thank you for yet another excellent post, Michael.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I am the same, Cris. Most of the time, I don’t complain, but when I get around other people I fall into the habit. It isn’t them, it’s me. I plan on using Michael’s tips to help change this.

  • Believe2c

    Man, you really got me on this one!  I feel like a heel reading this because I was oblivious to  what complaining has done to my life and to others as well.  Thank you for not just identifying the issue but offering solution.  I will take heed to my ways. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. This is the wonderful thing about the power to choose. Everyday, we can wake up and make a better choice.

  • http://twitter.com/LionLeader4 Chris Chandler

    Thanks for this Michael. I’m sending it to my team. 

  • Wendy Claussen

    Years ago I attended a conference and one statement made there has stuck with me…”if you are in a positive mood and enter a negative atmosphere, it will take only 7 seconds to become negative yourself.” As an educator, that statement taught me to stay away from the teacher’s lounge! 

  • R Doobay

    I like to focus on peoples’ strengths, seeing how I can learn from them

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Great perspective. There is always something to learn.

  • Jbkuhndog

    Thoroughly enjoyed this and read it at a very opportune time.

  • Shaimaakhidr

    I can thank 3 persons i am not used to thank today- with a nice smile- for agood thing they did.

  • http://twitter.com/JesseDLane Jesse D. Lane

    Leaving ” :) ” everywhere… does that make me a happier person? 

    Great post and great tips.
    Today I will smile at everyone I see, thank people who are being positive/happy instead of just noticing when they are in a bad mood, and say good things about people behind their back, any chance I get.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    People like to be around others who encourage…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Icouldbewriting Lynn Nicholas

    I will make a conscious effort not to equate cynical, cryptic comments with intellectual humor.  I’m realizing how it can come across as negative rather than insightful.

  • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

    I LOVE this post!  I’m known as a pretty optimistic person and reading this entire article made me feel fantastic.  The world can use more smiles, that is for sure.  Positivity is contagious…start infecting people!  :)

  • Reena

    Thank you! i have been following your posts for a few months now and find then very helpful and inspiring, but have been too shy to say so. But each point in this post struck a chord as it has been something I have had to deal with in others and in myself too. Awareness, self evaluation and intentional actions go a long way in keeping a positive perspective on things.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for speaking up Reena. Your comment encouraged me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Tourville/504893219 Jason Tourville

    Was reading something by DL Moody and he said (& I paraphrase), God can only use those who are filled with hope.”   His point was that God can’t use those who are moping around.  Complaining about others is like “Moping Around” in personal conversation.  The other negative affect of Complaining about others is that you might become a sermon illustration or a blog topic ;)

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com/ Anne Marie Gazzolo

    I can be more nurturing, supportive and cheerful. That is already part of who I am, but I still complain, though that is getting less because I know how poisonous it is. I love being around cheerful people who are always up. There are three people at the office who are. Balms to the soul indeed!

    God bless, Anne Marie

  • abdul krishna

     The oldest crowned spell caster by the goddess who cast spells designed to surround you with positive energies,rid you of negative energies and draw towards you prosperity,love,peace….giving you the life you deserve or choose to live. Prophet of goddess as he prefers to be called is an expert at complex and urgent situations be it love,happiness,money and so much more. With every spell, I first cast a purifying cleansing spell,more commonly known as a curse removal spell,which will help remove any negativity swiftly that might prevent your spell from working. E mail me today at prophetofgoddess@yahoo.com or spells.prophetofgoddess@gmail.com or view my website at http://www.prophetofgoddess.com for a better life.

  • Joy Collins-Brodt

    I think it is so necessary to encourage people as much as possible. It’s so easy to send negative feedback. Good works constantly gets lost in the jumble. So emphasize #6, meet a correction with affection. Then people will really be willing to improve and learn. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Joy, your parents blessed you with a name that provides “instant accountability” for your attitude.   Good for you for recognizing it!

  • http://www.videosnapcast.com/ Spencer

    I try to laugh more. I find laughter helps with that self-awareness factor, putting me in a more positive mood.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      So true, Spencer!  Laughter is like smiling on steroids!  

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Michael, great post. 

  • Amanda

    As usual, you are amazing!!! This is great advice, applicable not only to business, but overall life, especially in regards to parenting. Thank you!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Very true about parenting, Amanda!  My objective is for my kid to learn the value of a great attitude early in life and watch what he can do with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JamieRenee1963 JamieRenee Landis

    I like what you said Mr. Hyatt. it somehow goes with my morning studies and prayers. I have been directed towards 2Thess 2:11 vs. 10-“and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrightwousness. ” vs13-17″ But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through santificaton by the spirit and belief in the truth, to which he called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditons which you were taught, whether by word of our epistle. Now may the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”
        `I hope you do not mind, but I would like to share what the Lord put on my heart with you and your readers. If I am out of line please let me know. since the posts go in order, the top one will be the second part to this. JamieRenee landis

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Looking at the number of comments, you’ve struck a cord with folks. I’m a volunteer baseball coach at the high school (one who has more to learn than teach, but, hey, you got to get out there). Baseball practice started on Monday but I didn’t join the players on the diamond until yesterday.

    One kid was learning a new position and looked confused so I pulled him aside and talked things through with him. He came away understanding the position better. But, as I talked to him, the player said, “Our coach last year didn’t know what he was doing.”

    Because of the negative tone he’d taken, I chose to cut that line of conversation off immediately. “We don’t need to go into last year. We need to focus on this year.” I’m thankful he turned his attitude around and didn’t stay in that critical frame of mind.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That was great leadership on your part!  You may see little or none of the fruit from your investment in those kids, but you are definitely making the world a better place through coaching them!

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         John, thanks for the affirmation. Being present and in conversation with young men are things that energize me. I’m certainly in learning mode from a coaching perspective. I haven’t even coached Little League (we were in Russia during what would have been my son’s Little League years-which does remind me that I did work with a Russian youth leader to teach neighborhood kids how to play the game-I guess I’ve got more experience than I realized). All this simply to say thanks for the encouragement.

  • cabinart

    Last week I met a woman who has been unemployed for awhile. Later I thought of several avenues for her to pursue, so I called her. She had a negative comeback to every suggestion! It made me realize that she doesn’t want to work, that nobody would want to hire such a Downer-Bummer, and that one simple conversation with her caused me to want to go lie down for awhile. 

    Isn’t that just an awful way to live and act and think? So, I prayed for her.

    AND, this post made me realize why I want to hang around this blog – very positive, encouraging, inspiring, and energizing! Thank you, Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      What thing I learned a long time ago (sadly) is that some people are just addicted to their problems. For some reason, they get a sense of significance from them. It’s really tough to help someone who doesn’t want help. Thanks.

  • http://1minutedailyword.com/ Steve Martin

    This is an awesome post!

    We all want to make the world a better place. What better place to start than with ourselves and our own attitudes. What else can we really control, anyway?

    Thanks, so much.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      So true, Steve.  The first and hardest step to leadership, is leading ourselves.

  • RickRodman

    Wow….this really rattled  my cage !!  I find myself  going into complaint mode when I become overly absorbed with currant affairs ,surfing from one news channel to another . ” If it bleeds it reads ” is how most news is presented, this has a negative effect on my attitude . A little less television and radio talk shows should HELP ! (:

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Rick, you’ve picked up on a great point!  The people we hang around and the stuff that we listen to (i.e. radio/TV) are powerful influencers of our attitude.  As the saying goes, “Garbage In/Garbage Out”.   We all need to be aware of what we let into our lives.

  • Miranda

    I’ve learned something new today: deal with the problem directly, rather than turn around and complain. Otherwise, just say nothing. No point spitting out negative talk. I like that! Plus, I really could use more smiling.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Good for you, Miranda!  You are going to see some serious benefits making both of those changes!

  • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

    Michael, based on so many of these comments, I think it’s safe to say that the world is a happier place today because of the action taken by many people as a result of your post today.  Beautiful!!

  • http://DesignStudios-Inc.com/ sue k

    I love the idea of creating a habit of speaking well of others. Many years ago, I went on a “negativity fast” regarding my husband. I have never regretted that lenten season. It taught me a huge lesson – how we think and subsequently speak dictates how we love. I still remind myself to try to always see through the eyes of Jesus – He who is always loving and good.

  • http://chadlower.tumblr.com/ Chad Lower

    The way you describer the first author made me immediately think of gossip. I would have (and have in the past) excused myself from their sinning.

  • Sri

    I work with a group of guys and starting to realize that all we ever do at lunch is always complaining and talking bad about whoever was not present at the moment. Recently I started trying to change the topic every time I catch us doing this but it seems to get harder. Have you experienced this type of behavior? What would you recommend?

  • http://twitter.com/muralidharanj Muralidharan Jayaram

    I can move away from negative people and stop
    being gloomy myself. Search for something in others to appreciate and
    compliment them. Wow! Find this blog post great and I will share it with others.

  • James Green

    @ Michael Hyatt, I know it is not necessary to add another point to the list of 7 things (good article btw) but would you recommend consistantley getting a full nights sleep to some one who would like to be more positive in their daily life?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, absolutely. You do everything better when you are fully rested.

  • http://smartproblog.com/ Smarty

    I can care about other people, it makes me and them happy. Simple :)

  • http://twitter.com/SusiQMcHugh ThatSocialMediaGirl

    Remembering that God loves everyone equally helps me put my own critiques of others and of myself in perspective.  I am working on overcoming a complaining attitude during the Lent period by listing 5 things in the morning and 5 things in the evening I am grateful for.  In this list I try to include aspects of the people in my life, even the ones who fall short of my impossible standards LOL.
    God has given us each only a short time to make a difference here on earth, and we are called to a higher altitude rather than remaining in the darker valleys of life. 
    p.s. Exercise helps too! 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Regina-McIntyre/100000606337351 Regina McIntyre

    My mother’s constant comment was, “Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone.” Experiences with other people affirmed that old chestnut. My complaints and derogatory comments of others is very meager as a result. I need and want friends as much as I need air to breath.

  • http://www.TheAnimalRightsBlog.com/ Andrew P.

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but this is my first comment.  I’m in a totally different expertise than most people here: animal advocacy.  Although many here will probably not agree with my views in this area, I am proud to say that I do my actvism in a positive, Christian-like manner.  I’m very proud of my style of activism.

    I’m a new blogger and I’ve found that blogging has both improved my writing skills and at the same time make me think more about my beliefs.  I’m trying to get more on a writing schedule though, that is my only problem.

    I find that in my movement, being a good leader makes all the difference.  Michael, this is why I love your blog.  This post I especially love, for I can find myself complaining periodically, and this served as a reminder.  Especially in my movement, if you do not do your education and outreach with a smile, you will not be effective.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great, Andrew. I’m glad you liked it!

  • http://www.dental-management.net/ DentalAccountant

    I like this blog! It very helpful.  For me if I encounter people like that I always give him/her a smile. 
    Happiness is a choice, right! 

  • Jojrock

    You can tell when your around someone who is real thay glow and somehow you just know

  • CheShine

    When people you are around the most ask the question, “Why are you always smiling?” this is your chance to infect them with love that will affect the rest of their lives

  • Lindaroo

    I can liken this to smells: If your attitude/demeanor were a smell, would you smell like a mouth-watering meal cooking or a wet dog? I know what I would like to be around, and it wouldn’t be Fido…at least until he were dry.

  • http://melissaaoconnor.wordpress.com/ Melissa O’Connor

    I’ve always tended to be a more negative person but then I started noticing others’ negativity and how upsetting it is to be around, as you did. I think these are great things to keep in mind, everyone appreciates someone that brings positivity into their lives. 

  • Georgi

    Positivity breeds positivity, and is something everyone should strive for.  Very nicely written, and has been shared!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Georgi. I appreciate that.

  • http://KatieAx.blogspot.com/ Katie Axelson

    I actually gave up speaking badly about people for Lent. I found it was usually the people I loved the most that I was harshest to when talking about. I also realized I was super hard on myself. It’s not been an easy journey. I’ve definitely made comments I’ve wanted to pull back into my mouth, but I’ve also sat awkwardly with words on the tip of my tongue and my teeth closed tightly to keep them from slipping out. It’s a process and there has been progress.

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  • http://twitter.com/theworld4realz Andi-Roo

    “Complaining is a habit.” This was my number 1 favorite sentence, because it’s so true. Becoming aware of your habits is difficult, but not impossible. Changing them is work, but not beyond the realm of possibility. One of my personal mottoes is, “Happy is a Choice, so pick it and get there.” I adopted this because it’s a reminder that happiness does not just fall into your lap; it’s an intentional process that requires effort on a consistent basis. I tend to be a negative person, so I have to recall this motto several times throughout the day, sometimes with gritted teeth, but always with the understanding that it’s healthier to search for a silver lining than the crack in the half-empty glass. You’re gonna find what you’re looking for either way, so you may as well choose happy. 

    Read more of my Personal Commandments here: http://www.theworld4realz.com/2012/02/24/personal-commandments/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like it. Great commandment.

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  • http://daniellyle.com/ Daniel Lyle

    Well I couldp think of a few pompous haters who could benefit from this article… : ). Just joking… Great artical… Thanks for sharing.

  • Ddmullen

    I am going to compliment people when tgey lest expect it.
    I want to make them feel loved and appreciated. !

  • Rbaltes1

    When Jesus is the source of your smile it shines a powerful light that is life-transforming;
    John 14:27 Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

    • Cathyoz

      Amen! He never changes – so amazing and awesome!

  • Cathyoz

    Yes – smiling IS wondeful but look beyond… Does the person’s actions backup his words? My husband was VERY good at smiling but left after 20 years – and still has yet to tell sit down with me and our 4 children and tell us why? And while it IS important to be positive you also need to have friends to simply BE with and talk to when life seems to fall apart as with an unexpected divorce… As some one said, you do need to DEAL with things, not just smile falsely in avoidance…

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  • http://www.theprofessionalidiot.com/ S.Gray

    Excellent post. Very encouraging. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Selena-Dion/100003373357961 Selena Dion



  • Cindi

    Smile!!  ;)

  • Albert Lew

    I can take time to be thankful for everything — the good, bad, and ugly. Just having that attitude of gratitude brings smiles and draws people in.


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  • http://relationships-relationshiptips.blogspot.com/ Njut Tabi Godlove

    just came out from depression. i think this is where i need to start to get my feets back on the ground. http://rhapsody-of-realities.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/maggie.thelen Maggie Thelen

    Serving others before taking care of my own needs. More joy always comes from giving rather than receiving. 

  • JulieLyn

    By loving unconditionally….always giving an encouraging word…and being the kind of friend that is a blessing always….Thank you for this valuable information, Michael…Blessings to you always!

  • Deitra Brunner

    I LOVE this!  Today has been the most God confirming day of my life to date!  I don’t ask God questions to not hear Him speak and this time He used your voice!  Thanks for this!  Stay Blessed!

  • Kimberly Norton

    Being a good listener and greeting other warmly is contagious and inspirational!

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  • Senoraness

    great article! I find it easy to be happy with each day that God gives me, if I wake in the morning, there is purpose to the day. There are so many others in far worse circumstances than my own.
    I have to critique the article ‘complement’ should be ‘compliment’ just can’t help myself, I’m a high school teacher.

  • Kserene

    Wish ur website was mobile frieny!

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  • Kathyfisher35

    I am so anxious to “catch” my loved ones doing something right today. 

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Michael, you’re an expert at this. When you ask me questions, my mind is split between answering and studying your technique! And your style is natural.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Skip. You are always such an encouragement to me!

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  • http://www.voip1stopshop.com/ Epilgrim

    Definitely a starting point for me! I smile a lot and a very pleasant person, but always cautious of people, I build a wall a sort of protection from anyone taking advantage of my good nature.  But I have to learn to let go, and be open and not expect anything from others, just be myself! Just be the person I would like to attract! thank you for sharing!

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  • Angelic_monmon

    Increase your hospitality. Whenever you encounter someone you know, welcome them with a hug. Smile not only with your lips, but with your heart as well. Speak well of people behind their backs. If you are between a group of people, make sure that no one is left out. Socialize, that is what people are there for. Learn to listen, but speak your rights as well.

    I hope this helps . :)


    help to rise the lost hope and encourage my friends and customers

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  • eg

    i speak very little but when i speak i am honest and compassionate even though; sometimes i just feel i would like to be more known to people,(taken more in consideration) i try to be part of a conversation but is hard because i feel i am not that smart or that funny. i use to smoke weed for couple of years and i used to feel accepted when i was high because i was more expressive and detail oriented, people used to laugh naturally with me and i was more careless of opinions. i might need help?

  • Troy Roache

    Happiness can be very elusive. I find that I get down when I attach my happiness to what others do.
    We tend to feel injured by the actions of others when we disagree with them.
    The more we dwell on the offense, the more frustrated, stressed and resentful
    we become. If we really want to be happy at work, we have to realize that
    their actions have nothing to do with us. As Epictetus once said: “Men are
    disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that

  • Dede Thies

    This is my SECOND opportunity to say, “Fake It Til Ya Make It!” today! I simply pretend to be happy or positive when I’m feeling myself fall into a rut! I may not be happy on the inside, but soon…. my smile will match my heart! Thanks for the message today Michael! Loved it!

  • http://www.secondiron.com/ Charles Johnston

    This is so relateable I have friends and well family that will suck the life out of you. Their negative attitudes make them energy vampires. The crazy part is because I am not a big smiler I am always mistaken to be angry or mean and therefore unapproachable. Been working on the genuine smile, spent so many years expressionless smiling is a workout.

  • http://myitcareercoach.com/ Tom Henricksen

    Number 3 Decide to change should be number one, we all need to make a conscious decision to be happy. I have worked with a few people that seem they enjoy being mad. They are always up in arms about something. When in fact these people have a lot of good things in their life. Great post Michael!