According to Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the University of Pennslvania's Positive Psychology Center, you can change your life for the better simply by choosing to interact with the world in more positive ways. By focusing proactively on being more happy, instead of proactively on being less unhappy (think about that subtle distinction), Dr. Seligman says you can change the course of your life.
If more positivity will change your life, imagine what it will do to the lives of those around you. As you become a more positive influence on others, your business follows suit by translating your positive energy into more and better opportunities for the business you lead. Since there are over 500 million people on FaceBook, the site offers endless opportunities to positively influence others as you increase your happiness quotient. Here are 9 super easy activities to help you get you started today!
- Click the LIKE button. When you see an update that you know someone has worked hard to prepare, give them a thumbs up. This only takes a split second, and it does wonders to lift another person's self esteem and let him or her know that you acknowledge and appreciate what is offered. This simple act of positivity also helps you feel good because you are encouraging someone else.
- Post colorful, happy pictures. Last week, I posted this status update. Twenty minutes later, I posted this one. Notice the difference? It's the exact same text, but one has a colorful graphic while the other does not. Notice which one has comments and which one is invisible. Colors make people smile. Graphics are engaging and are an easy way to share your positive vibe with others. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds to add a graphic, but you're worth it!
- Share happy stuff. When other people post happy stuff, use FaceBook's SHARE button to multiply the smiles. (Think babies and animals.) While you may not have time to generate original positive posts (I would disagree, but I heard you say that …), you certainly have time to share happy stuff that originates with others. This makes FaceBook a small business owner's best friend because you can share wonderful stuff, and you have permission to do so via the share button, which automatically credits the originator of the content, and you don't have to make it up yourself. It's a simple thing, and it also serves as a quick nurturing of the relationship you have with the originator of the content and the people you are sharing it with.
- Share with personal commentary. If I've convinced you it's worth it to share, then maybe I can persuade you to take a few more seconds to share with commentary. In other words, instead of just sharing something great with a note that says, “This is great,” share it with a note that complements the person who originated the post. The difference between, “I like this,” and “My friend, ABC — such a positive influence on my life — shared this great article, and I wanted you to see it too,” is astounding. Try it and see.
- Show up in person. I love that technology makes it possible for me to auto-post my blog entries to my FaceBook Page, but I don't do it because it's impossible for me to be a positive influence when I am a bot. Take the time, oh, about 20 seconds, to add your blog posts to your FaceBook page, as I did with the post you are reading right now, here. FaceBook will usually automatically pull the graphic from the post for you, so you don't have to do it manually. Technology is useful, but it's neither positive nor negative on its own. You add that, so choose to make it more positive by showing up in person.
- Include a note with your friend requests. I get tons of “friend” requests each week. I usually have no clue who the requestors are, and I don't have time to click on our mutual “friends” so I can verify that I might want to connect with him or her, because we know some of the same people. But when a person sends a positive note with the friend request, it stands out in the crowd. When you want someone to take time out of their busy day to connect with you, you'll have a better chance, and be a better influence on that person, if you include a short, uplifting note to encourage the person to accept your request.
- Share positive quotes. It's the easiest thing in the world to share one of your favorite quotes a few times a week, and couple it with a colorful graphic. (See above.) Surely you have favorite quotes of encouragement and positivity, and you certainly have the 3 minutes a week it takes to share them with others.
- Tweet selected updates. Grab the link to an especially uplifting or encouraging discussion from your FaceBook Page, and share it with your Twitter followers. Not only will this increase your FaceBook LIKERs, but will also expand your own special brand of FaceBook happiness to your Twitter stream. Happiness is contagious, and this is a simple way to make your community happier place to be.
- Be gracious. OK, I've share 9 things to do to be a positive influence; here's one thing not to do. Don't engage negativity. Learn to recognize people who simply want to have a fight with you. (Unfortunately, there are many of them.) Resist the urge to duke it out. Instead, let their updates stand alone as a testimony to their negative influence on the world, and let it go.
(Learn more about the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center.)
Question: What sorts of things do you do to be a positive influence on FaceBook?