A Smile. It’s contagious!

by Jan on December 2, 2011

Jive Aces: Bring Me Sunshine

Its funny how life works. It is often something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We get back what we put out. If you put out positive thoughts and a hopeful attitude, then all of a sudden the world looks a whole lot better, and actions, possibilities start to open up differently than if you go along with the prevailing negative attitude.

Sometimes we get caught up in perpetuating the gloom and doom that seems pervasive but this fun video reminds us that we can break it up. Happiness is contagious and a smile can break up a dreary day.

It is all about attitude – choosing in the moment happiness over gloom.

The video reminds me of Richard Brodie’s book Virus of the Mind, about “memes” an evolution in our brains that replicates ideas. Wikipedia defines a meme as:

“an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

The downside of this is that these ideas can spread like a virus. Some of these ideas may not be very helpful.

A meme can be transmitted from one person to another by as little as such innocent seeming questions such as “Do you think that dress fits you well, dear?” These questions can strike a cord (whether intended to or not) and shatter one’s self-confidence. The meme part of it is that then the negativity carries on to the next interaction — creating a path of destruction in its wake.

The Jive Aces video and Brodie’s book demonstrate how a thought becomes believed by a broad majority of people, even though it may not be true. This is how things like bullying work. It is how self-fulfilling prophecies work – when so many people talk, even shout, about how “bad” anything is — a person, an action or even the economy. It affects us on many levels, fear and the self-protection instinct are among them.

Do the negative thoughts seem to cling to you stronger than a positive comment? They do with me. Sometimes it is like I am wearing an armor that prevents anything good from coming in, or staying.

This is why it is so important to focus on hope and possibility every day. This is why I look for inspiration every day in things that people have said, videos and news stories. Humor and positive thoughts are out there and can be used to break up all that negativity.

The purpose of Hope on Hope is to plant those seeds of hope. Let hope fill you, reach all your cells, and then let it infect others.