Early in our marriage, we put up a list of 3 family values on a whiteboard. The third value on the list was “be constructive.”
We’ve moved homes a few times since and evolved our thinking on values (preferring virtues instead). But, that idea – “be constructive” – is one we’ve talked about many times over the years.
It happened again recently. As we were reflecting on reactions to a few recent decisions that we’d shared with folks we knew, we found ourselves – once again – appreciating the power of being constructive.
To be constructive means to build up. Folks who learn to be constructive focus on the facts at hand and work on building the most positive reality they can. And, as optimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy, their energy often helps in creating that reality.
It is the equivalent of the “Yes and” rule in improv. There is no time for “buts” as we construct the next scene.
We aren’t born with the ability to be constructive. It is a skill. And, like all skills, it is result of training our muscles and building in the habit into how we operate.
I hope to train these muscles a lot more in the coming months.