Love Is In The Air

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and love is in the air! Hopefully, we all have love in our lives to celebrate this week. Whether it be the romantic love of a spouse or partner, or the constant love of a parent, child, sibling, friend, or even a pet, there is no greater driving force in our lives than love. But, as natural as love can feel, we often have to make the choice to love, and at times it can be a challenge. We’ve all heard the clichés about “following your heart” or “using your head”, but have you ever considered that you can’t very well do one without the other? They are inextricably connected.

How To Train Your Brain

I read an interesting Forbes Magazine article recently, written by author and educator Loretta Breuning, entitled How To Train Your Brain To Go Positive Instead of Negative. Breuning has devoted much study to the function of the human brain and how happy and unhappy chemical stimulation impacts our daily life and attitude. When happy chemicals like dopamine provide a short spurt or “high” from achieving a goal or an enjoyable experience, it wires your brain to start seeking out the next opportunity to feel that same rush. Thus, a path to positivity is created. Likewise, when an unhappy chemical like cortisol brings about a “funk” when you’ve encountered an obstacle or experienced disappointment, it wires your brain to look for the next roadblock or problem. Thus, a path to negativity is created, unless we have the wherewithal to redirect our sights and make a conscious choice to “go positive”.

An Interesting Paradox

Breuning suggests considering a seemingly silly, although very appropriate, illustration she calls “The Dog Poo Paradox”.  She points out that decades ago, pet messes were everywhere because picking up after your pet in public was not normal. Fast forward to the age of leash laws, pet waste stations, and city ordinances that require picking up after a pet, and now the streets are clean! However, you’ll rarely hear anyone rave about how clean the sidewalks in their neighborhood are. Instead, neighbors are much more likely to complain when a stray pet mess does appear from time to time. This is because our culture is so largely prone to look for the problems instead of the positives. Now, of course we need to be aware of that occasional pet mess so that we don’t ruin our good shoes, but we don’t need to focus on it. We must choose to focus on the otherwise clean pathway, the well-manicured yards we pass, the clean shiny cars in the driveways, and the decorations on the front doors of the houses, for these are all choices people have made to love their surroundings and to make them better.

Choose To Love

Do you love what you do? In any job, there will be obstacles and rewards. There will be victories and disappointments. There will be fun days and boring ones. Choose to love it through it all. Learn from the obstacles, disappointment, and boredom, and focus on building a positivity circuit that carries you gracefully from rewards to victories to fun days over and over again. Seek out the next opportunity to celebrate with a little rush of dopamine, and help your teammates get there, too.

Remember all the love we celebrate this week? Choose positivity in those relationships every day. Notice the meal that was made, the laundry that was folded, the text message checking in on you, that birthday card you get every year, the motherly worry on your behalf, the tug on the pantleg for one more bedtime story, or the tennis ball laid at your feet for a game of fetch. Remind yourself that you have the ability to choose to build a positivity circuit and your life will be better for it.

Challenge Accepted

I leave you with a challenge this Valentine’s week. Three times each day, spend one minute looking for positives in whatever is in front of you. Keep it up as long as you can, and before you know it, your brain will be trained to automatically look for the good around you where you live, work, and play.

As one of our beloved touring artists, Amy Grant, likes to sing in her shows:

Take a good look around, and if you’re lookin’ down, put a little love in your heart.
I hope when you decide, kindness will be your guide, put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place for you and me, just wait and see…

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Streamline Event Agency and Streamline Touring.