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January 15, 2012


Loved both of those points in the book. Especially the section on giving positive reviews. I was shocked as I read that section how right she was about discounting people when they are positive. So glad you recommended the book and have been talking about her. It was such a great book to read at this time of year for me.

It is nice to be reminded of the importance of positivity when we are constantly bombarded with its opposite. Much like optimism and pessimism, positivity breeds happiness and fortune. It travels along the breeze in conversations and can quickly take hold to become a beautiful iris, or in the opposite case a yard full of weeds. The key is to remember that history always teaches us that during our darkest times...One must hold the flag up for all to see to show the way to the light. Our world needs flag bearers to point us all in the right direction and to re-align our focus. A flag bearer of positivity & truth is a wonderful depiction of #Disruption. Thank you for the post, I look forward to reading more of them in the future.

I need to read this one, Just downloaded to ipad. Thanks for the review.

love this...
she didn't have a need to show me how smart she was by criticizing me..

it does seem we spend an awful lot of our time and energy on defense. when there is an amazing world of offense/doing/being waiting for us to jump in ..

thank you for sharing..

How might this fit in to the framework I know schools often use: two stars and a wish? What role do you think positive constructive criticism plays in advancing or improving? :)


Love this post. What you and Gretchen write about reminds me of the book The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement, Ruiz writes, is to be impeccable with our word. In that, he's primarily referring to gossip and speaking the truth.

Gossiping is the opposite being impeccable with our word. I suppose that's why I don't feel good when I do it (except for perhaps a fleeting moment). One thing I've learned is that people who gossip are pretty equal opportunity. So if they're sharing some gossip about me, it's a safe bet they'll share some gossip ABOUT me to others at some point.

Speaking the truth, as I see it, goes to the reviews we give. I think the most useful reviews are comprised of what we truly think, given fairly and objectively, without unnecessary drama. That way, we communicate something factual, leaving it to the listener to try whatever it is, and draw his own conclusions from his experience.

And if our truth happens to be something negative, it's up to us to decide when to share it and when not to. Good doesn't always come from sharing what didn't work for us, or what we didn't like.

Well done. Nice post, as always.


I love the comments about gossip. Here's another reason not to gossip. I stopped seeing a massage therapist because she gossiped about people telling me inappropriate and intimate comments about their lives. #1 I stopped talking about my life as I did not want it repeated to the next client. #2 I never referred anyone to her. #3 I was not happy having to listen, even when I asked for quiet, when I wanted to relax. I wonder how much business some people lose by gossiping?

"Enthusiasm is a form of social courage". LOVE that!

I think that on some level 'spontaneous trait transference' is something I've been taught, though in different words, because the things that bother us about someone else are the things we don't like about ourselves. Oh, the frustration! Sometimes it's very hard to see. And the need to vent? I guess that's part of why we're taught to keep a journal and write things down.
I know that I struggle sometimes to keep my words kind, especially to my children. They hear everything, even when it's 2am and they're all in bed asleep in other rooms. How do they do that?

What a great introduction to a book I need to read! Thank you!!

I've been thinking about this post a lot the last few days. As ironic as it seems, I love the selfish reason to not gossip. As for the reviews--how do you walk the line between giving positive reviews and giving the impression that you don't expect the very best from others? Seems easier to work it out in theory than put it in practice--obviously an area for me to work on. Thanks for the thought-provoking review.

Excellent post, Whitney. I'll have to check out The Happiness Project. I've been battling temptations to gossip about a coworker, so this was a good reminder to hold my tongue. "Spontaneous trait transference" is perhaps related to the maxim that the things we dislike in others are the things we dislike about ourselves. (Perhaps that is the case with my coworker! :S )

The positive reviews idea ties in with a New Year's resolution I set -- to have less contempt for political figures and less cynicism about world affairs.

As a political junkie but a very disaffected independent, I have become rather disillusioned with the American political situation, the global economy, the prospects for world peace, what have you.

In an effort at bold and unabashed political enthusiasm, I did exercise the courage to volunteer for Jon Huntsman early in his campaign for the presidency. And I had a deeply rewarding and meaningful experience doing so. But when Huntsman dropped out after never really gaining traction, my depression and cynicism about politics reached new heights.

Gradually, the ickiness that comes with such cynicism has started to weigh on me. So, in an effort to break free from the shackles of my negativity, I set a resolution to write down 12 positive things about politicians and world affairs at the end of each week. I wrote my first list on Sunday. It helped a little. I'm still feeling disillusioned. But it was a start. Maybe it would help if I shared the list via my social networks... a tumblr, perhaps? If this ends up happening, you'll have inspired it. :)

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  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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