Talkin' with Trav: The power of being positive

By Travis Hansen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 7 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

• Think about the counsel my mother gave me: "If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all."

• Think about your children screaming negative remarks at their own children. There is a high-percentage chance your children will emulate everything you are and do.

You have no idea how your actions affect those around you — for good or bad. So be good, be positive, be happy, and your example will spread to others subconsciously.

According to Jon Gordon, the author of "The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity," there are at least 11 benefits to being positive.

1. Positive people live longer. In a study of nuns, those who regularly expressed positive emotions lived on average 10 years longer.

2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments.

3. Positive, optimistic sales people sell more than pessimistic sales people.

4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure.

5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions; when the ratio approaches 1 to 1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce.

6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges and adversity.

7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps them identify solutions, whereas negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems.

8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can't be thankful and stressed at the same time.

9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level.

10. Positive people have more friends, which is a key factor of happiness and longevity.

11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and receive pay raises and promotions and achieve greater success in the workplace.

In conclusion, I agree with this quote from David Viscott: “You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.”

Or the parent, teacher, coach or boss you wish you had had.

Travis Hansen is a former BYU, NBA (Atlanta Hawks) and Euroleague basketball player. He co-founded the Little Heroes Foundation and is married with three children.

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