When you first wake up in the morning, you make a conscious choice as to how the rest of your day will go. But remember, you have to choose it; it won’t happen if you don’t.

For me, I believe with all possible positivity, that when I first wake up in the morning and find that I am seeing the flowers and not the roots, the day is already off to a great start and we need to keep it that way!

I recently saw “positivity” defined as: the state or character of being positive. The dictionary further listed the origin of the word as being first recorded between 1650 and 1660. Perhaps that idea – positivity – helped usher in the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700s.

For me, learning about when the word came into being was a bit of an epiphany, to find that which I had always held as true was pretty much borne out by history. By that I mean that without positivity, previously it surely must have been a Dark Age, back before someone thought up and recorded the word “positivity.”

For me it makes total sense that the people at the time would be considered “enlightened” and the time that brought about positivity would be considered as the Age of Enlightenment and a transition from the dark to the light of the then-modern world. All the pieces positively fit together quite nicely.

For me the power of positivity goes a little way beyond simply being positive.

I feel it is incumbent upon all of us “enlightened people” to know and share this power with others and make their lives and existence more worthwhile and meaningful. If you truly believe in positivity, no one can ruin your day, rain on your parade, or ruin the lemonade you made out of life’s lemons!

If you can bring one more smile into the world, you will have received one of the greatest blessings that you can bestow upon yourself.

If you can bring one more smile into the world, you will have received one of the greatest blessings that you can bestow upon yourself. When you give a smile and cause one, it lifts your spirits and probably those of the person you caused to smile as well, because they are seeing their smile reflected back to them.

And so it goes – and grows – until before you know it, you are surrounded by smiles and your day is getting better and better.

People who know me may still be trying to decide if I am delusional, or if I have actually stumbled onto something that they can use to better their own lives. I find that when I wish someone a Marvelous Monday, a Terrific Tuesday, a Wonderful Wednesday, a Thankful Thursday, a Fantastic Friday, a Sensational Saturday or a Super Sunday, it invariably results in a smile. That smile causes them to have a better moment in whatever kind of day they were otherwise having.

For me this is a mission with a higher calling than most, because it empowers them to decide for themselves how the rest of their day will go. This is more than simple alliteration, for me it is helping to stamp out some “illiterate-ation.”

Sometimes people may not know how to have a better day, so they settle for whatever kind of day that life throws at them and are simply illiterate of the power of positivity altogether.

Empowering other people to do anything can be pretty heady stuff and also quite rewarding in and of itself. When you consider that you are helping them to make their lives better by simply making a better choice, it is a pretty compelling reason to speak out.

Many people would argue that life doesn’t give us much to be thankful for, but I would strongly disagree. No matter how bad a life you might think you have, there are always others who are in more dire situations, even if you don’t see their problems and conditions because they often are choosing to be positive and have hope for their futures.

They are using the power of positivity to broaden, enrich and empower themselves to do bigger, better and more productive things with their time than bemoan what they can’t do or don’t have.

And get this: Positivity has also been shown to lower blood pressure, respiratory and heart rates, and reduce the effects of stress, mental fatigue, depression and a host of other things.

Why wouldn’t you choose to be positive? It isn’t always easy, but it is free and you will get a lot more in return by simply giving it away.

Roy Lenfest is the primary maintenance technician for the fitness equipment at UCF’s Recreation and Wellness Center. He can be reached at [email protected].

The UCF Forum is a weekly series of opinion columns from faculty, staff and students who serve on a panel for a year. A new column is posted each Wednesday on UCF Today and then broadcast on WUCF-FM (89.9) between 7:50 and 8 a.m. Sunday. Opinions expressed are those of the columnists, and are not necessarily shared by the University of Central Florida.