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September 22, 2014 Blog 1 min read

Over the weekend, I saw an article called “10 Tips for Becoming a Happier Person.” It typically wouldn’t have gotten my attention—there’s a lot of “noise” out there—but this particular list was developed by Pope Francis, so I was curious.

As I read it, I found myself nodding in agreement with the tips which included “live and let live” and “don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs.” But the two that resonated most were as follows:

  1. Stop being negative.
  2. Be giving of yourself to others.

Stop being negative

There are few things worse than negativity. It can be damaging at work and in life. The Pope says, “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy,” and he’s right. Dwelling on the negative can be incapacitating and contagious.

It reminds me of an article Plante Moran Partner Steve Gravenkemper wrote recently about “the power of yes, and….” The gist is this: When you’re having a dialogue with another person and you say, “yes, but…,” you’re shutting down dialogue while trying to impose your “right” idea. But when you say, “Yes, and…,” it encourages camaraderie, creativity, and knowledge-building. It’s another example of the power of positivity versus negativity.

Be giving of yourself to others

When I think about this tip, I think about Plante Moran’s mentoring program. We have a tradition where partners mentor and develop other partners and staff to succeed at Plante Moran and out in the community. Time and again, we give time that we may well prefer to spend on other endeavors to help our colleagues and ensure they develop into successful professionals. Whether in business or in our personal lives, the most precious gift we can give others is our time.

Although this isn’t my typical reading material, I’m glad I came across it. In a world where seemingly every article is promoting fear, uncertainty, and doubt, it’s nice to have something positive to share.

How about you? What did you think of Pope Francis’s tips for a happier life? Any others you’d like to share?