Was 2016 a positive year for you? It has been an interesting turn around the sun – with many ups and downs for me personally – a blend of good and bad luck, good and bad decisions, and likewise responses.
Looking back, how much of your year happened to you? And how much of it was within your control – happened by your doing? If you had to give a percentage, what would it be?
Looking back, what was within your control?
Of course, this question is impossible to answer – because we will never be able to quantify how much of what happened was our doing and how much of it was caused by external forces. It’s not a logical question but an intuitive one. It’s a thinking exercise to determine your experienced locus of control.
I feel that there were some things that happened to me – a bad slip that caused a concussion and a whiplash, for instance. Also, someone betrayed my trust and ran away with a sum of my money.
But how I responded to what happened was within my control. I made the best of it – and I’m content with how I coped. It makes me feel in control, nevertheless. At the core, I’m a very blessed, positive person. I love my life, even though I wouldn’t record 2016 as my best year ever.
Personal Agency for a Positive Year
This is about our personal agency. “What can I bring about? What difference can I make?” Many people I know answer these questions with “Not much.” I think they are wrong.
Of course, we had crazy surprises last year. Who would have predicted the Brexit or Trump’s triumph or Aleppo’s retaking by Assad? You can’t change anything about those events. But you can change your response – so that you feel as hopeful and resourceful as possible – to contribute to the world, regardless of what others are doing.
If you emphasize your helplessness when something happens, you’ll feel powerless and defeated. If you focus on your values and how you can role-model the change you want to see in the world, you might feel invigorated and hopeful.
Which feeling would you prefer?
The same goes for changing the organization where you work. You can change way more than you think by consistently reinforcing what is working well, interacting in an authentic way that honors your values and respects the others, and by choosing an effective response to what happens.
You’d be amazed by your power – if you’d seriously consider your agency and not dismiss it preemptively to avoid further disappointments, disadvantages or discomfort.
Looking forward, how to be your best possible self?
It’s your job to embody your best possible self at this point in time. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also inspire the others to do the same – and bring about small, positive changes in your circle, wherever you are.
One genuine and thoughtful question, one sincere compliment, one positive action can launch a fascinating new situation and open up positive possibilities – that ripple way beyond your circles and influence the world.
That is why I care so much about personal positive power. I think it’s time to take responsibility for what we can do, however small, to contribute to the world and a workplace that we want to live in.
What would you like to do? What would you like to change to make 2017 a positive year?What would you like to change to make 2017 positive? Click To Tweet
Blogging my next book: Positive Power
Here’s my plan: I’m going to blog my next book right here. Its work title is “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.”
Hence the new blog category Positive Power. This blog is going to change because I aim to post twice a week, but shorter posts than before. So it should be easy to keep up with me – especially if you subscribe to the updates.
Meanwhile, I’ll develop the Positive Power program with videos, email lessons, and a Positive Agent Tribe. If you want to be a Positive Agent and access the Positive Power contents – please become a member of Leadership & Change.
Eventually, I hope that all of you will buy the book when it’s finished ;-) But what matters now, is that you start to see how you matter. That’s why I share this content for free – to all leaders, consultants, employees, students, HR-professionals, managers, parents, teachers, officials, trainers, coaches: to all people – wherever you are in the world.Will you be a Positive Agent? Read this and join! Click To Tweet
Everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. Read this blog to (re)claim your positive autonomy and contribute to positive organizations where people and performance thrive.
The world and the workplace need you. Not just your boss, or those mighty experts, or the system with its official authority. We need your positive autonomy and agency. This is your world, and your workplace, too. Be a positive agent and make a difference.
I’d like to see at least 10,000 positive agents by 2020 to spread positive change in their organizations and beyond.
I look forward to your responses!
And tell me: What would you like to do? What would you like to change to make 2017 a positive year?
Happy Holidays! Marcella
PS: My book “Positive Power at Work” starts right here with blog post #1.
Copyright © Marcella Bremer 2016. All rights reserved.