Not being big on New Year’s resolutions, I had to rethink that stand when I received a Thinking Directions Update.

During 1981 while attending a week long program, I had several classes with Sid Shore. An exceptional one was learning to say What’s good about it? This has been incorporated into my daily living since then, and it has helped me turn negative situations into positives.

I pride myself on being positive, but like everyone else, sometimes it is difficult. Jean Moroney’s daily practice learned from Martin Seligman is an easy and great way to help you enjoy 2008 and beyond with a positive approach. Thank you Jean, for allowing me to use your update. I plan to incorporate these into my daily routine.

by Jean Moroney


Here’s a daily
practice I learned from Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness.

Once each day, write down three
good things that happened in the last 24 hours.
You can write them
before going to bed or first thing in the morning. You can write them in a
journal or in a calendar or on a Post-it. You can include important achievements
such as winning a contract or simple pleasures such as eating a good meal. All that matters is that you write down three such items, every day. (MDH note: If you miss a day, start fresh the next.)

As you can guess, the purpose of this practice is to reinforce a positive outlook and avoid feeling overwhelmed by negativity. Even on the worst of days there are a few bright spots, and bringing them to mind
helps you maintain perspective.

Dr. Seligman ran controlled experiments to test the technique. Not only did his subjects report being happier and more optimistic during the studies, but they liked participating so much that they continued writing down three good things each day after the experiment was over.

This little bit of thinking each day has large emotional rewards. Why?
Because it strengthens two kinds of value judgments:

1) What you hold as good: Every time you decide consciously that something is good, you reinforce, clarify, and concretize what good means.

2) What you hold as important:
Important means entitled to attention or consideration. When you spend a little time focusing on the good in your life, you are implicitly asserting that the good is what’s important.

Not bad for three minutes of thinking each day.

Los Angeles Public Workshop

Thinking Tactics, my all-day workshop on thinking skills, will be offered in Los Angeles, CA (Near LAX Airport): Saturday, February 16, 2008, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

In Thinking Tactics, individuals learn how to make their thinking more productive, more efficient, and more pleasurable. Part 1: Concentration teaches techniques that
help one to concentrate, even in poor working conditions and on difficult tasks.
Part 2: Momentum teaches techniques to help one gear up quickly on a large task
and keep the task going even when there is no end in sight.
See the full workshop description:
For details on the LA event, see:
Questions? Email me at

I hope you enjoyed Jean’s thoughts. You may enjoy her workshop if your
schedule allows. I hope we can all keep our glasses half full during 2008.

Maralyn D. Hill