Are you upbeat or beat up?

I got that little saying in an email from Michael Angelo Caruso. Michael is a sales trainer, a speaking coach and motivational speaker. You can learn more about him at his web site. I met Micheal at a Rotary Club function a couple of years ago. He was billed at that event as “The World’s Best Speaker.” It was a title that he gave himself and which he uses to get himself motivated to speak at events. He is one of the best speakers that I have seen. Michael went on to write in the email:

“The French novelist, Jean Giraudoux once famously said, “If you can’t be sincere, fake it.”

The same is true for enthusiasm. It’s hard to be upbeat all the time.  Some people wake up enthusiastic and go to bed that way, too.  The rest of us have to work at it. It’s worth noting that we attract like-minded people, so it’s a good idea to put a little effort toward being more upbeat.”

Energizer BunnyAll of us fall on the enthusiasm spectrum somewhere between the Energizer Bunny on the upbeat end and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh on the beat-up end. You’ve probably met a few people who were almost disgustingly upbeat and enthusiastic and most of us know someone who is alwayseeore down on themselves and complaining about everything that is happening in their lives. At one end is upbeat and at the other is beat up. Which end of that spectrum would people that you meet during the day place you at on that spectrum? Why?

One doesn’t have to act like a cheerleader on a Starbucks overdose to be considered upbeat. The easiest way to be considered upbeat is to smile. sad looking manunfortunately, most people don’t realize that their “at rest” facial expression is anything but a smile. It takes a conscious effort to smile. Most people don’t look as “neutral” as they think when they’re not smiling; in fact, many look unhappy, maybe even angry or in pain. Just look in the mirror without trying to put on any particular look and see what others see. Where do you think that “at rest” look puts you on the upbeat-to-beat-up spectrum in other people’s eyes? How attractive is that?

When people look at you; if you have a smile on your face, it may make them smile, too. They wonder what you’re so happy about. They want to meet you so they can ask about that smile. When they see a frowning or angry looking face, they want to avoid you and not get involved ingirls hugging whatever it is that has made you so down. People avoid eye contact with others who look like they’re mad or sad. As Caruso points out (and most life coaches agree), people tend to gravitate towards like-minded people and a person’s visage is the first indication of that likeness. If you’re in a happy, upbeat mood you want meet and share that feeling with other happy, upbeat gloomy guypeople, or at least those who look that way. You don’t seek out Mr. Grumpy to share your upbeat mood.

So, you have a choice every day to leave the house and go out into the world looking like someone that others would want to meet and interact with or looking like someone with the plague who should be avoided at all costs. Your demeanor is shouting, “Hey, let me share my joy with you” or it’s warning, “Stay away or I’ll probably bite your head off.” You might as well have a sign hanging around your neck with those quotes on it.

Caruso also had some advice for people to help them get in a happy mood or at least fake it until they can. He suggests that in talking or writing, to sound more enthusiastic use strong adjectives in front of your nouns. So it is not just a day or even a great day but a REALLY great day, maybe even a SUPER day. How can you wish those upon someone and not sound upbeat? When someone asks how you are; don’t just say OK – say I’m walking manFANTASTIC and say it like you mean it. If nothing else, they’ll wonder what got into you to make you so happy. An interesting side-effect of doing that is that you’ll start to feel that way once you’ve said it a few times; because your mind will begin to supply you with the reasons that you are feeling fantastic. Not only that, but other upbeat people will start associating with you, because, as Caruso says, like-minded people attract each other.

So take an extra moment before you leave the house this morning and put smiling dogon a happy face; tell yourself that you feel FANTASTIC; and get ready to greet the world from the upbeat end of the spectrum. After all; that’s where the rainbows end, and not in the gloom at the beat-up end of the spectrum. Have a GREAT and HAPPY day. I feel FANTASTIC and I hope I see you today, so that I can share my upbeat mood.

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