It’s Simple: Breathe More; Suck Less

When I tell people that I’m the CEO of Spiritus Communications, I often hear things like, “That would be a great name for a racehorse!” Or,

“Are you involved with moonshine?”

Which is good guess since I live in North Carolina. But…

No. And no.

Spiritus is simply a Latin word, meaning “inspiration, breath, and life.”

How I explain Spiritus to people who look nerdy like me is to say that in ancient times, a musical instrument called an Aeolian lute played beautiful, harmonic sounds only when the wind blew through it. The instrument resonated with life when the invisible wind breathed into it.

But if people look like hipsters, I ask them if they hang balloons at their children’s birthday parties.

Hipsters love balloons, so they usually say, “Of course!”

Then I ask them if they blow up those balloons before taping them to the walls.

Hipsters always blow up their balloons before taping them to walls, so they say, “Of course!”

I mean, really, who would hang airless balloons on the wall? They would look like sagging wads of pre-chewed bubblegum! Balloons need air to give them life, to help them to sway and bounce with even the faintest stir of air.

And people are the same way.

Without air…without inspiration…we become lifeless.

Without inspiration, we become a silent Aeolian lute, or a deflated balloon.

But give people inspiration and breath, and they become full of life!

Inspired people become their very best.

At Spiritus, we infuse leaders and employees with that life, and we help them to spread it around like a virus. We’ve been doing this work for a combined 40+ years across the country, and we love it—because our passion lies in watching people become more engaged in their work and lives.

So in the event that Spiritus is not coming to an office near you this week, here’s three not-so top secret tips on

inflating your own balloon…

I mean, keeping yourself inspired…regardless of what’s going on around you.

1)Give a shout-out!?

Be on the look out today for someone you can recognize for being excellent, friendly, going the extra mile at work, smiling, or just meeting your eyes when you’re talking. Tell him that you appreciate him, and tell him why. Or give a small token gift of appreciation (Dollar General is great for finding silly, memorable reminders!). Not only does this recognition reinforce and encourage that person, but it also boosts your mood and deepens a relationship.

2)Express Gratitude

The quickest way to turn around a sour mood is to focus on what you are grateful for. You can’t complain and offer praise in the same breath! Even in the darkest of days, try to find three things that bless you. Write them down or tell someone else to make them more real. Make it a game you play with yourself on your morning or evening commute, and take note of how it makes you feel. The funny thing is, when you are looking for the positive, you see more of it!

3)Challenge negativity

You know that person who takes it upon himself to point to every cloud in the sky and declare “Rain!”? Don’t be that person. No one really likes to be trapped next to that person.

But if you do find yourself cornered by such a naysayer, you don’t have to absorb all of his gloom-n-doom. When he starts to complain, try asking him this: “What’s going well today?” This helps in two ways. First, this question might force him to find something positive, and your words could be instrumental to turning his day around. Second, it might force him to pause and think long and hard about his answer…or at least long enough for you to excuse yourself. Either way, you’ll be successful in deflecting someone’s rant about “Do you know what I really hate…?”

Spiritus. Inspiration. Breath. Life. You have a choice. You can spend  your days popping balloons and sucking life out of others. Or you can invest your time inflating balloons and breathing life into those around you.

Choose the one, people will avoid you. Choose the other, you will be happier. And the people around you will be happier, too.

Spiritus: breathe more; suck less.


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