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Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have to make the best of it, regardless of the cards that we’ve been dealt. We can choose to do nothing and resign ourselves to lasting dissonance, or we can take stock of our circumstances and with awareness make calculated changes to sing in harmony with one another, making the best of a challenging situation.
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00:26 Joke about a jazz singer
01:17 Insight from a jazz pianist
01:54 A positive news story about a cellist
02:41 Insight from the cellist
04:47 Reflection questions
05:13 Wrap up
07:06 Featured song
Jonas Cain is an Instructional Designer, Facilitator of Fascination, and Purveyor of Positivity for Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship that supports emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience to overcome life's challenges.
Bono, “Let Your Love Be Known”
“Safety Net” by Riot
“Lightning Bugs” by Geographer
“A Quiet Thought” by Wayne Jones
“Happy Melody” by Jonas Cain
“Let Your Love Be Known” by Bono
Hi everyone! Jonas Cain here with Hashtag Positivity! Welcome to On a Positive Note.
As humans we are biologically wired to focus on what’s wrong with the world before we even recognize what’s right, which is why this podcast takes a different approach by sharing positive news stories from around the world to encourage listeners to see how they can apply these positive ideas to improve their lives, their families, and their communities.
And so, on a positive note, let’s start with the joke about about the jazz pianist’s new arrangement of the jazz standard “Misty.”
This new arrangement would start in E flat in a nice slow swing, but at the bridge it switches to the key of F. Then, coming out of the bridge it changes rhythm to a Bossa Nova while modulating to the key of F#. But then, after the piano solo, it changes key again to G with a faster swing tempo, before dropping down to the key of D for the final verse.
After explaining these new changes to the jazz singer, the singer looked at him, stupefied, and said, "I don't know if I can remember all that!”
To which the pianist replied, “Why not? You did it last night!”
Even though this is just a joke, it does point to the truth. General George Patton once said that “Successful generals make plans to fit circumstances, but do not try to create circumstances to fit plans.”
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have to make the best it, regardless of the cards that we’ve been dealt. We can choose to listen to cringing dissonance, or we can take stock of our circumstances, and with awareness make calculated changes to sing in harmony with one another, making the best of a challenging situation.
And on that note, it brings us to today’s positive new story about a cellist who embraces this idea with positivity. One day the musician developed ringing in one ear, and her manager was concerned that it might become overwhelming and prevent her from making music any longer. But when asked about it she simply shook her head and said: “It doesn’t bother me at all. The ringing sound is in the key of B flat, so I use it to tune my cello a half step lower.” This musician is able to take a situation that is outside of her control, and work with it instead of against it; instead of framing it as a problem; she used it as an opportunity to improve her playing. It’s like having a built in pitchfork right inside of her head.
I’m often asked how it is that I’m able to stay so positive when the world has so much to be negative about.
To be clear, I haven’t always been this way. I’ve had my share of disappointments, heartbreaks, and tragedies. I’ve battled grief, depression, addiction, and thoughts of suicide. But I worked through it. Even though there were times that I wanted to give up, I pushed through.
And by not giving up I discovered ways to put the worst of times into perspective, to make bad days not turn into bad weeks, and make the good times linger just a little bit longer.
One of my favorite secrets for staying positive is to give my hands something to do that engages my mind and my heart, and which can also bring joy to others. This one positivity hack has changed my life in profound ways, giving me opportunities that I never would have dreamed of.
Two months ago I started learning a new skill, playing what I believe to be the happiest of all the instruments: the ukulele. The sound of it is fun. The look of it is fun. Even its names is fun. And playing it these past two months has brought me much joy.
I’m encouraged by the positive news stories we hear coming from Italy, where quarantined residents are singing from their balconies and rooftops, joining together in song, reminding us that as separate and isolated as we may sometime feel, we are all united by our humanity.
One citizen pointed out that they are not maestros by any means, but called it “a moment of joy in this moment of anxiety.”
It’s a positive reminder that “We are waves of the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden." And though “we may have different mountains and rivers, we still share the same sun, same moon and the same sky."
I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, and I encourage you to leave a rating and subscribe to the podcast, as that’s truly the best way to let others know about this positive resource.
If you have any comments or stories that you’d like to share with our listeners, you can send an email to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And that email is also listed in the description of today’s episode.
Until next time, my name is Jonas Cain and this has been another episode of On a Positive Note.
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Jonas Cain is a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship providing social emotional knowledge, skills, and resources to help emerging leaders and their influencers experience greater clarity, confidence, courage, and joy in their life, work, and relationships.