I have a secret: I play the “Glad Game!” As Rubys, we frequently hear the same question: “How do you sound SO happy all the time?” While our team participates in many happiness-boosting activities, I have another little trick to enhance my positivity.
I first learned about the Glad Game in the 1960 movie Pollyanna, in which an orphan moves to a dreary small town and wins it over with her unrelenting cheerfulness. Pollyanna’s philosophy is that in any situation in life, there is always something to be glad about. The townspeople in this story are an unhappy sort, and point out their misery at every turn. Pollyanna responds to each of their complaints with a reminder of gratitude. The townspeople think they have her stumped when they cannot find a single thing they like about Sundays, but she points out that they should be glad it is six full days until the next Sunday!
Playing the Glad Game in your daily life is simple! When you encounter a situation that is not ideal, try to think of one thing you about it that makes you glad. Stuck in traffic? Be glad it’s not raining! Have a busy Monday ahead of you? Be glad your business is thriving (or that you have virtual receptionists to help you)! Try saying your “glad statements” out loud to yourself to further reinforce your message!
I challenge myself to play this game whenever negative thoughts creep into my mind. Recently, I got a flat tire. At first glance, there’s nothing to be glad about in that instance. After just a few seconds, though, I could think of a ton of reasons to be grateful! “I’m glad I have a spare tire,” I told myself. “I’m glad I know how to change it. I’m glad I’m in a safe place to pull over. I’m glad I’m on my way home so I won’t be late anywhere!” Without the Glad Game, an event like this has a tendency to affect your whole afternoon. Instead, just a few minutes later I had my spare tire on and was happily heading home!
It’s not just a Thanksgiving holiday game; the next time you’re dreading a particular meeting, or frustrated with the way a project is going, give the Glad Game a whirl! Facing these tasks with a sense of gratitude will boost your mood and will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle that challenge!