I work with this guy, Chuck, who I’ve described on a few occasions as Robin Williams’ bastard child. This, despite how it sounds, is actually a complement because of my deep respect for the work that Williams did both as an actor and as a human. The brief explanation for this description is that he’s a… let’s say… excitable person and he looks like Williams a bit. In the blink of an eye he can go from an erudite conversation about website interactions to talking about or doing something completely random. This makes being around him an adventure, a good adventure, but still an adventure. He’s responsible for the injection of Nerf guns into the office. He also happens to be quite intelligent and thoughtful – another worthwhile comparison to Williams.
My desk is situated in such a way that I can see pretty much everything that’s happening in the office. What I’ve noticed from my perch is that nearly every conversation Chuck is in ends with everyone in it smiling. Real work has been completed and some hard discussions could have been had, but in the end everyone is smiling. There is a natural positivity about how Chuck approaches things, which is itself contagious.
In spite of my natural and pervasive melancholy I think that everyone wants to be positive. Positivity is the only way of defeating negativity. We desperately want a chance to be positive, so when we encounter someone who is naturally positive, like Chuck, it’s easy for us to enter their world because it’s the thing our deepest selves are craving.
Life is hard and there are a lot of things that are easy to be negative about. Being negative gives a momentary shallow happiness that is easy to get. Negativity is a drug and like all drugs we require more and more of it to get the same rush. Forcing positivity into our lives would result in a deep happiness in us and also spill over to those around us, but it also requires a lot of work. The big question then is whether we are willing to do the work to approach things positively and allow that work to result in deep happiness or are we going to get another hit from negativity that will get us through a few more hours.
Seeking to be positive will make everyone’s life better. So, yeah… I want to be like Chuck and so should you.