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Use Positivity to Channel Your Inner Bob Ross

American artist Bob Ross is so beloved that his TV show The Joy of Painting is still watched 26 years after his death, on YouTube, Netflix, and on public television. His enduring popularity is in no small part due to his positive attitude and chill demeanor. His approach to his work may often be parodied, but deep down many of us probably aspire to achieve that level of Zen.

Using the positivity that he exuded while teaching us about painting, we can also learn a lot about life, ourselves, and our work. We thought we’d share some of Bob Ross’ quotes and examine how they can relate to those of us working in customer service, social media, moderation, and community management.

“We don’t laugh because we feel good, we feel good because we laugh.” When you’re positive and having fun, it’s reflected in everything you do, including your work. Enjoying what you do helps you and those around you do better work. Bob injected a sense of fun into his work, and look at how it resonates with people all these years later. Joy and laughter make us feel better, and that happiness radiates outward. That positivity will be evident to customers because it’s contagious.

“Don’t forget to make all these little things individuals — all of them special in their own way.” Whether dealing with support queries or social media requests, each person is an individual. Take the time to customize your response to show that we see them as the individual they are. (Using their first name doesn’t count. That’s just good manners, not personalization.) This goes a long way toward changing a good experience into a great one.

“It’s hard to see things when you are too close. Take a step back and look.” From time to time, it can be helpful to pause and look at the big picture. The person you’re talking to has their own wants, needs, and issues. When you respond to someone after taking in the whole landscape, you’re better able to assess and assist. This is true in moderation, customer support, or life in general. Sometimes you need to step back for a minute and look at the issue from a different angle. Readjusting your focus can solve all kinds of problems.

“I really believe that if you practice enough, you could paint the Mona Lisa with a two-inch brush.” Bob Ross painted thousands of beautiful paintings by teaching himself the wet-on-wet painting techniques he used. But his greatest accomplishment may have been how much he encouraged others. Through positive belief and lots of practice, you too can make a masterpiece. You can create a happy customer with a few words or moments of your time. You can make someone’s day with a single social media post.

“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.” Believing in yourself is half the battle. Yes, outward positivity is important. But having that inner belief is vital. Achieving your goals depends on it. All the success in the world means nothing if you don’t believe in yourself. If you believe that you can get perfect marks at work or in school, you can. If you believe that you can improve your productivity, you can. 

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.” Bob reminded us that practice makes perfect. No one is born an expert. Practice is what will help you achieve your goals. Managers and supervisors are great resources; they can help you make progress toward your career goals and assist you in getting the practice you need to become the expert you know you can become.

Like his paintings, the words of Bob Ross offer inspiration and carry weight and beauty of their own. In your work, and in your life, take heed to paint “happy little trees” through the joy of positivity.

Want us to share some of that positivity with your customers? Contact us and let’s talk about how we can create happy moments for your audience.

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