Christmas and Hanukkah

It’s that time of year when everybody puts on their holiday face and demonstrates a friendlier, more upbeat attitude. For the Christian, it’s Christmas; for the Jew, it’s Hanukkah. For everybody, the first of the year is just around the corner.

In many ways, it’s ironic that we wait until the last part of the year to put on our best faces; give everyone our friendliest smiles; meet others with upbeat, warm greetings; and bid them goodbye in the same way. That’s one of the reasons this time of year is one of my favorites. Question: Why can’t we be just as friendly, gracious, courteous, optimistic, enthusiastic and upbeat the other part of the year as well?

One of the ironies of life is that the more pleasantly we greet other people and the more enthusiasm we demonstrate in dealing with them, the better we feel. One of the oldest truisms in psychology is that you cannot “feel” yourself into a way of acting, but you can act your way into a feeling.

Or to express it differently, act enthusiastic, and you will be enthusiastic. Simple example: Virtually everyone who has ever participated in organized team sports has gone out for practice not really feeling motivated. However, once they got physically involved, after a few minutes, as a result of making the initial effort, they now feel like giving it their wholehearted effort.

Message: When we get involved in doing our job, almost regardless of how we felt when we started, we will feel better as a result of performing. We will also feel better about ourselves. Yes, it does impact every phase of our lives, so act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic — which means you’ll perform better, which means you’ll have a brighter future. See you at the top!

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