Upping the Ante

It’s that time of year! Yesterday, we left home for our summer cabin near South Lake Tahoe. During our time at the cabin, we love to hike around the perimeter of Echo Lake. One day, Tom and I were doing that hike, and Tom remarked on what an absolutely perfect day it was for a hike- cool temps, light wind, warm sun, a cloudless blue sky, gorgeous scenery, and hardly anyone else on the trail.

Tom said it reminded him of a time a few years earlier when he and his best friend, Terry, had hiked the same trail on a similarly beautiful day. As they passed others on the trail, they politely greeted them, commenting on what a nice day it was. They quickly noticed that when they did, the other hikers would almost always “up the ante” by answering with an even better or bigger description of the day. Tickled by this phenomenon, they began to make a game of it:

Tom and Terry: “Nice day for a hike, huh?”

Hiker One: “Beautiful day!”

Tom and Terry: “Beautiful day for a hike, eh?”

Hiker Two: “Gorgeous day!”

Tom and Terry: “Gorgeous day for a hike, yes?”

Hiker Three: “Absolutely fantastic day!”

Tom and Terry: “Absolutely fantastic day for a hike, isn’t it?”

Hiker Four: “Yeah.”

Well, okay. I did say they almost always did. Actually, Tom said out of a dozen or so hikers who “upped the ante,” only one was a bit of a grump.

It made me think about what our personal and professional lives might be like if we played this game with each other and those we came in contact with… upping the ante in a slightly more positive way every time someone commented on anything within our experience. Even if we knew we count on that 10% which would likely be a bit grumpy, it would still be worth it and really fun to play. And of all the games we could play in life, wouldn’t this one leave a lasting positive impact on others and, maybe more importantly, on us. It would be hard to up the ante on a compliment or uplifting remark and not be slightly more inspired yourself.

So, here goes:

Katherine: This promises to be an outstanding Monday morning, don’t you think?

You: ?

“Positive thinking will allow you to do everything better than negative thinking will.”
~ Zig Ziglar