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How to stay positive: my 4 secrets

I have sometimes been told that human-centered management makes people sound like Care Bears and that I’m a hopeless optimist. Perhaps. However, my grandmother often said something that I have never forgotten (my grandmother was a great philosopher :-): better to laugh than to cry. So ever since I was a kid, I’ve tried to bring each day to a positive end. And believe me, I’ve had some pretty lousy days, the same as everyone.

Now, I’m not talking about a truly shitty day (sorry to be vulgar, but we may as well call a spade a spade), like when you lose your job or get dumped or find out a loved-one has passed away... those days are complete disasters. I’m talking about taking an objective look at all the other days. Things may not go exactly to plan, but you shouldn’t let that ruin the entire day, or your evening, or your sleep. There are 4 little things I do to help me see that in a year, I have very few truly lousy days during which I fail to stay positive.

Secret number 1

What do you do when you’ve just eaten or drunk something that tasted really, really bad? You immediately follow up with something to cancel out the taste, right? And when things go wrong in your daily life, it’s the same story. Instead of brooding, you should immediately do something you love in order to reduce the impact of what just happened, or cancel it out altogether. For example: if I have just missed out on a conference contract, I immediately get back to writing my next book or article... focusing on something which ushers me into the future rather than leaving me stuck in the past.

Secret number 2

Keep things in perspective! A lot of the time, the things that bug us aren’t that bad. This is where what I refer to above as a ‘truly shitty day’ can really help out. If you use genuinely painful moments as a point of reference, you’ll see that 99% of the time, that contract you missed out on won’t seem that big of a deal! It’s like with food: not everything we eat is a gastronomic delight, but we still get it down, even if we’re not crazy about it.

Secret number 3

Never let a day go by without doing something for yourself! The daily grind makes it hard to stay positive. It doesn’t have to be anything big, you could just call a friend you haven’t seen for a while, make a dish you love eating, drink some insanely good wine, watch that film you’ve seen 500 times over but still adore. The only important thing is to end each day knowing we did something fun!

Secret number 4

Self-acceptance. Sure, nobody’s perfect and we know it, but we still guilt-trip about it. Honestly, I’d love to look like Brad Pitt, sing like Bowie, write like Armistead Maupin... but I’m me, and that’s not so bad! In a way, our flaws, be they large or small, also define us and make us unique. OK, that’s easy to say, but how do we attain self-acceptance? Forget about diets, fashion, the ambitions people impose on us, the petty attacks they make and concentrate on doing things which are good for you. Honestly, we all have enough to deal with on a daily basis without adding any extra pressure.


I am aware that staying mellow depends on more than the 4 secrets you can read about here, but try them out just for a week. You’ll see, your ‘positive attitude’ will increase significantly. I would offer you a money-back guarantee, but since this article is free, there isn’t much point :-) Have a great day!


Gaël Chatelain is a best-selling French author. His work focuses on people-centred management, well-being and the fight against sexism at work. One of his books, "Mon boss est nul, mais je le soigne" (How to Fix a Lousy Boss), launched in 2017 is still n°1 in France in the management book category. 

PS : If you liked that article, do not hesitate to share it ! It always motivates to write other ones :-)

I'm also a keynote speaker. Do not hesitate to contact me. Les informations sont ici.


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