One of Us

As Wesley House grows, and continues to grow even now, I wonder if it is possible for everyone to know what resources you have among you. We decided that if one of us is doing something awesome, you should all know about it! A few weeks ago, I got a text from Dan Lafferty, a sophomore at SMU, who has been on the team who makes sure yall have walking groups. He invited me to take a look at a newsletter he started. I have LOVED it. I love what he is doing because it screams, “Hey Guys, choose your attitude and take action…let’s do this thing!” Which is totally my jam. I thought you should have the opportunity to hear about it and subscribe, so I asked him to guest post today! Happy Saturday! – Sarah

A few weeks ago I started a weekly email newsletter called “Monday Motivation.” This was an idea I had a long time ago but have just now had the time to execute. The idea behind Monday Motivation is to provide a short, easy read about a thought, idea, or experience from my week to help get your week started on a positive note. It has only been going for 5 weeks now but so far I think it has been a success. If you want to subscribe you are totally welcome to at danlaff.com and you can read my old newsletters on the “Blog” page. 

A few days ago Sarah Beard reached out to me and asked if I would write a blog post talking about the reasons why I started this newsletter. After a little bit of thinking I settled on 3 themes that I believe came together in the perfect way to prompt me to do this. In no particular order these themes are: positivity, community, and action.

The main pillar of this entire thing for me is positivity. I think positivity is one of the most important pillars of life. It is so easy for people, especially during times like this, to get really negative or critical of their situations. Now I’m not gonna sit here and say that life is always amazing all the time and nothing bad ever happens, that wouldn’t be true. What I will say though, is that you can still have a positive outlook no matter your situation. If you can make a conscious effort to try to think about the positive aspects of different situations, I think it will make a dramatic impact on your life. 

One of my resolutions for 2020 was to put more positivity out into the world. I thought if I could be that little bit of positivity in someone’s day to get them out of a rut, then that would be a great thing. I am a firm believer that positivity is contagious. I don’t know if you have ever met Nick Fontela (a current Junior in Wesley), but if you have then you know my point stands. One moment you’ll be complaining that you are out of shape and the next he will have you fully convinced that you are capable of running a half marathon (and register you for one) – seriously, it’s happened to me twice.

I think the next important thing about trying to remain positive is to surround yourself with positivity, and that is where community comes in. I feel so fortunate to call places like Wesley home. It is in communities like this that you constantly have people pouring into you and encouraging you with positivity. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, or some variation of the saying, “you are who you hang out with.” I think that saying is so, so true. Making sure you have friends and a community that provide positive light in your life is so important. If there is one thing you get out of this blog post please let it be this: find a community that pours into you. If you are reading this and don’t feel like you have that, call me – I’m serious. I’ll introduce you to everyone at Wesley, I know they’d love to have you around.

And that brings me to my last point: action. It is very easy to theorize about positivity and talk about it like I have for the last several paragraphs. It seems pretty logical and I don’t think it is much of a revolutionary idea for anyone reading this. The truly difficult part of all this, is actually doing it. The idea for my newsletter actually sprouted when I was having lunch with Andrew Beard at the beginning of my freshman year (over a year and half ago!). We were talking about how I felt like I wanted to put out some sort of positive content but didn’t know the best way to do it, and he said something along the lines of “why don’t you start a blog or an email, maybe that’s old fashioned or only your mom will read it but at least you’ll be trying.” That idea stuck in my head for over a year but it just never seemed to have the impact that I was craving. I wanted my reach to go beyond my mom and my few close friends that were reading it out of pity. 

This past Christmas break I was at lunch with a friend and this idea came up once again. After a little talking and me expressing my concerns my friend literally said, “Dan, not to be rude, but I think I need to force you to do this.” It was a kinda weird and shocking thing to hear him say, but I am so glad he did. It was at that moment that positivity, community, and action started to come together for me. Yes it took me a few months to get my ducks in a row, but after that lunch I knew there was no backing out.

At the end of the day, I don’t think my little email newsletter is going to change the world. I think a lot of times we only want to do things that make incredible, huge impacts. Whether that is an impact in our own lives, our community’s lives, or the lives of people all over the world, we often want results that are sometimes unreasonable. This was something I really had to come to terms with when starting this newsletter – was I really going to exert all this effort just for a handful of people to read it? At the end of the day, the answer is yes. In my opinion, any amount of positivity that you can put into the world is worth it.

So, remember this:

Positivity is intrinsically valuable, and when given in and through community, positivity becomes exponentially more impactful. But without any action it can have no impact. So, I challenge you. I challenge you to seek out ways to put positivity out into the world, even if you think it is in the most minuscule way that will have no impact. Because the more you seek those opportunities, the more you will find them, and overtime those little impacts will add up and you will have created a beautiful mountain of positivity to which others will be inspired by.

I miss you all!

Dan

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