When you hear the word “contagious” it normally prompts negative thoughts. But, we also know that some things that are contagious are positive. This summer I experienced first-hand how just a few people who are excited, passionate and dedicated can be contagious in a positive way. I have the wonderful opportunity to be able to work with some awesome “Let’s Move! Active Schools” trainers in Kansas. We held two “Physical Activity Leader” trainings the end of July and the teachers who attended the training left the day full of ideas, resources, and confident that they could implement a successful strategy to increase physical activity in their schools. I’m sure that most of them didn’t start the day “infected” with the enthusiasm they left with at the end of the training. But, because the trainers believe in this project, are excited about it, have seen the benefits for their students, are willing to share their expertise and have an attitude that is contagious, good things will happen in the schools of those who attended the training. So…..what are you spreading to those around you? Is it negative in nature (i.e. complaining about your job, bemoaning the fact that you are not respected for what you do, etc.)? Or is it positive in nature (i.e. being proud that you are a physical educator, thankful that your school has a physical education program)?
I recently read about a book titled “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Anchor. It takes a practical look at what makes people and leaders successful. In short, it takes the typical idea that we work hard in order to become successful and THEN become happy, and flips it around to argue that happiness comes first and fuels success, and that a positive mind-set is what leads to productivity and success. So having a positive attitude not only will help you be happier and more successful, it will be contagious to those around you. Go ahead, let people know you are contagious and be glad when they catch your enthusiasm for our profession!