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As you might have noticed I have just returned from a weeks break.This was a well-earned holiday for all the family away from the daily stresses of life and business.A re-charge of the battery’s for the year ahead.We have being dealing with the hardest trading conditions seen in the last eighty years just like everybody else and that pressure does take its toll over time.Due to this pressure I have over the last twelve months been practising a new outlook towards all of life’s up and downs and a saying which I rearranged for the title has been a driving force for me personally.

The full saying is the following “Being miserable is a habit.Being happy is a habit.The choice is yours.”Tom Hopkins Sales Trainer.We have decisions to make in daily life which if left unchecked can and will dictate our outlook.This can creep up on you and you can suddenly find yourself in negative position, which would have run contrary to your normal default position of a positive outlook.All habits are ingrained from repeated use you may not even be aware of some habits until somebody points them out to you.Some off these habits will not even be your own they will have being handed down from your parents or older siblings.We all have them the family traits which we can all confess to having.

All habits fall into the good or bad categories.Being miserable or happy are straight froward to most but it is amazing how many people are miserable and do not even realise it.I fall into this category myself.What I mistook for plain taking was in fact me being cynical and as my wife pointed out I was coming off as being a miserable sod.So last year I vowed to change that and start to practise a more considered approach to life and the develop a habit of being happy no matter what news I received.

This was a difficult habit to develop but the choice was mine to make and I could have just ignored the situation or as I chose, moved forward to growth and work on my own development.In todays enviroment it is very easy to be cynical between the politicians and the banks and the developers and the public service and so on…..As a retailer I meet people on a daily basis so I began to observe them and my own reaction to them and I found that if somebody was positive I would be positive too.If they were negative then I was negative too.

This behaviour plainly could not continue because this was doing nothing for me, but it was a habit built up over years in sales.I was showing far too much empathy with everybody I met and this habit was effecting my own humour far to much.So over the last number of months I have developed the habit of being positive and happy,well happier than I was, it still is a work in progress,but definitely a vast improvement on what went before.Being happy does make a difference, so does being positive and my old favourite Gratitude plays a huge role.

We have all heard the saying ” the daily drudge”, Negative!If you feel the daily routine is a drudge then you have to change that to a positive and that can be done by forming a new habit.You will not form a habit unless to really work at it and I read some where it takes repeating it thirty times until becomes a habit, ingrained in your daily routine.When it is part of your natural behaviour it will happen much more easily for you.This new behaviour will be tested as mine was yesterday in the form of a letter from my bank giving me some not so good news.

I will say that before that letter could have sent me into miserable humor for days but as I read it yesterday evening it took me about ten minutes to readjust my thinking and decide that really it is only one more of this years challenges and there are much worst off then me.So I would on balance say the having made the choice to be happy and worked hard on this as a habit it has now become a behaviour and a behaviour which makes my life and those around me better.

As I finish this piece I can hear the dawn chorus for the first time this spring and it is a very nice back drop to the morning and getting ready for the day ahead.Bring it on.