The “Feel Good” File for “Feeling Bad” Days

Back in the day when I was a young, unjaded professional and newly starting my career, I received a helpful tip from one of my first supervisors and mentors (Deanna was her name). That suggestion was to create a “Feel Good” file.

Here is the genesis of my “Feel Good” file. I received a very nice note from a manager at my workplace thanking me for the work I did on a project. Happy to receive such an accolade, I showed it to Deanna, who she smiled brightly, congratulated me, and said, “Be sure to put that in for your ‘Feel Good’ file.”

My what? I asked.

Deanna explained that everyone needs a file folder containing all the thank you notes, congratulatory messages, and well wishes you receive at work. She encouraged me to keep those happy notes so when I have a bad day, I simply pull out my “Feel Good” file, read the notes, and inevitably I’ll feel so much better.

I followed Deanna’s advice and have been keeping the same “Feel Good” file since that day in 1997. I love to look through the items I’ve saved – cards from former supervisors as I’ve left positions; a “welcome” card that was attached to a bouquet of flowers from someone I least expected when I started a new job; even a hand-written note from a former California governor’s chief of staff that specifically mentioned my contribution to a project.

I always encouraged my staff to create their own “Feel Good” files for that same purpose. Knowing how much those notes have meant to me over the years, I always try to write hand-written notes to colleagues that help me create successful projects.

I still pull out my “Feel Good” file every now and then, when I’m feeling blue or simply need a pick-me-up. And it always helps. So start your “Feel Good” file today. You’ll be glad you did on your next gloomy day.

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