18 Ways to Move from Cynicism to Enthusiasm

CalmUp® photo of Nicky looking cynical

  1. Understand that not everyone perceives the world the way that you do and life would be boring if people all had similar thoughts.
  2. When you’re being cynical, are you also being judgmental?
  3. When you find yourself feeling cynical, make sure that you’re not admonishing yourself at the same time.
  4. When you’re feeling cynical, are you being controlling and wanting others to behave differently?
  5. Open to the humor that can often be found in a cynical statement.
  6. Cynicism isn’t about “bad,” and enthusiasm isn’t about “good.”
  7. Admit that sometimes it feels good to be cynical, almost like an ego boost, as if others are wrong, while you are right.
  8. When it comes to moving towards enthusiasm, take small steps. For example, get in touch with the good feelings with which you are already familiar, such as stepping into a warm bath.
  9. Meditate and focus on your breathing. Observe how thoughts of cynicism and enthusiasm come and go.
  10. Notice your attitude when you first open your eyes each morning. Where are you in the range from cynicism to enthusiasm? Are you able to move from ugh to ahh?

Degrees of Darkness

CalmUp® photo I of Degrees of Darkness

I tweeted my CalmUp® “How can I…” question of the day:

How can I hang on to this feeling?

It was Friday, and I woke up feeling great—enthusiastic, peaceful, and joyful. Those feelings were short-lived.

ANNOYED. A week ago Friday, I went to the Social Security Office to address a concern about possible identity theft. Seeing a full house, I asked the guard about how long I could expect to wait. After the anticipated wait time of 30–45 minutes, I chose to leave. I had already rescheduled one appointment, and I didn’t want to miss another.

FRUSTRATED. I left the building with a phone number to call the Social Security Office and schedule my next appointment so that I wouldn’t have to wait in line again. I placed the call the following Friday. Due to their long wait time, I requested a call back. When I received the call, I responded according to their computerized prompts, and the system hung up on me. Great.

ANGRY. After three phone calls, I finally got to speak with a live person and was told that I wouldn’t be able to schedule an appointment, since my issue didn’t fit one of their primary topics. I could, however, return to the Social Security Office and wait in line. Are you kidding me?

Lighten Up!

I noticed the other day that one of my mentors wrote a newsletter this month with the same title. Is this a coincidence? I considered coming up with a new topic and title. Wait, I told myself, maybe it’s an important enough message to be told in more than one way.

I got the idea to write about the topic after my husband heard my last interview of “Regular Folks With a Noteworthy Story” and told me that I sounded too serious and needed to “lighten up.” My interpretation is that I need to laugh more, I could use more fun in my life, and I ought to mellow out. Yes, I had to admit that “lighten up” was good advice.

How can I lighten up?

Here comes full disclosure… On more than one occasion, even prior to my husband’s recommendation, I’ve questioned on the CalmUp® Journey how I could lighten up a bit. Here are a handful of suggestions I’ve integrated:

•    Schedule fun first
•    Spend more time in the hot tub
•    Take more naps
•    Bake
•    When your kid asks you to go sledding, say yes