It might not be what but who. And that who could be you. Yup. We humans have a tendency to make things way harder than they need to be. Life can be damn hard. Complicated too. No argument here. Especially now. We are living through a pandemic and all the repercussions that reverberate into the smallest nooks and crannies of our lives and psyches. We are improvising. COVID-19 took the script we knew, the one we were used to following, as one of its first victims and lifted the veil on uncertainty. An onslaught of not so good feelings, concerns, and some really tough to deal with predicaments followed—Yes, and……

Those two words, especially and, have the power to improve your days. Maybe your life. That three letter word, long the cornerstone of improvisational comedy, an inherent part of design- thinking, builds a bridge between the important heartfelt acknowledgement of what we face AND fresh perspectives, gratitude, options, possibilities. It lets you separate from burdens. With a sense of detachment you can exhale. Find some space. Get in touch with your wisdom. Your creativity. You get unstuck. You accept what is in front of you and can be with it in a way that supports. You move into leading change not reacting to it.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” He knew what science now confirms—our thoughts and choices determine our happiness more than our circumstances. Genetics play a part too, but don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that your genes might not be the perfect pool of positivity. No matter your predisposition—happy go lucky or worry-wart or somewhere in between, neuroscience shows we can train our brains. Happiness is ours no matter what. New neural pathways can be created. Yes anding is a ramp to Route Positivity. By feeling your yuck but not having it define or take over, Routes Doubt, Fear, Anxiety and Regret, will grow grass and Route Positivity will expand from a deer path to a well traveled road, generating a system that calms, energizes, and leads you to places you want to go. Activate your happiness superhighways by:

1. Naming what is hard for you right now—that is the yes.

2. Add the and

3. Follow it with what will let the yes have its proper place, to exist but not dominate or color all that is you and all that you experience. What comes after the and needs to be life giving. Three easy access points are:

gratitude—ask yourself what is good and soak it in

perspective shift—take a bird’s eye view and see what’s revealed or have your future-self weigh-in

options—discern and articulate what is available, possible, and probable when collaborating with your inner-leader, not your inner-critic (you can tell who you are collaborating with by how you feel—the inner-critic drains and the inner-leader refreshes).

You will not only develop the superhighway system you love being a frequent traveler on, you will cease being in your way to being super YOU!

If you would like to learn more about yes anding and what else you can do to move from the yuck that gets you stuck to having your daily life be more fun and impactful—personally and professionally, connect with me at [email protected] or or on Instagram @agoodlife.adele.

Photo: Nicole De Khors