November 18, 2009

Turn it around

I had a really frustrating time this morning, between the post office's short hours, some badly timed clumsiness, missing two trams and a bus all at the same time, and yet another trip to the store for yogurt. During my third attempt to get into the post office, when it was only 5 minutes until opening, it occurred to me that I could be feeling better just by being less outwardly grumpy. Instead of sighing and checking my watch four times and rolling my eyes, I smiled at the other people in line. Fake it until you make it, right?

I had a similar realization at work: in the proposal I'm writing, I've been stuck on the last section, trying to find the right way to say that the current state of the field I'd like to get involved in is not good enough, and that I'd do things differently, and ask the relevant questions, and get the more useful results. It kept coming across badly, though, and trying to read the section from a reviewer's perspective I was really put off by the negativity. I switched the perspective to "hey, some work has been done already, and I'll expand on it as follows:" and it got so much easier, both to write and to read.

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