Creative LeadershipEngaging Culture

Do You Focus on the Positive or Negative? It’s Your Choice

I’m not a big fan of positive thinking, but I do know this:  I tilt toward the positive in just about everything. No matter what happens – frustration, failure, or defeat, I’ll usually come out of it in a good way. Granted, I get down just like everybody, but fortunately, I was born with a “half full, not half empty” attitude.  I bring this up because I met a guy recently who’s the exact opposite. He’ll find the negative in just about anything.

He actually has a very significant job, but never notices all the good he does. If you ask him about it, he’ll usually gravitate to the bad meeting he attended, the stupid company policies, or the missed opportunity.  It’s as if he actually thrives on how difficult his life is, or perhaps enjoys everyone knowing about how challenging is his lot.

But if you’re like that guy, then understand this: nobody cares.  Certainly we want to support each other and help each other in need, but the truth is, everyone has challenges, problems, and difficulties.  They have enough on their plate and aren’t really interested in listening to you whine about all the terrible things in your life. When I was young I would pull all-nighters in the TV editing room, and it was tough.  So the next day I wanted everyone to know about it.  Problem was, nobody cared.  Staying up all night was my decision and I got no sympathy from anyone.

Sure we all need to vent from time to time and I’m certainly guilty of that. But long term, it doesn’t help to dwell on the negative things in your life. Stuff happens. Bad things come up. We all have to sacrifice. OK.  We get it.  Now get over it.

You’re unique. You’re unlike anyone else. You have a unique contribution to make and only you can do it.  Get up, dust yourself off, forget the pain, and move on.  There’s someone out there waiting for the positive contribution you can make to their life.

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  1. Thanks Phil!  After years of self inflicted work overload to the point of serious stress issues and burn out I have become the guy you were describing.  I’m ready to make a positive contribution without sacrificing my priorities.

  2. Wow!  I don’t even remember having that meeting with you recently but apparently I did.  Seems you wrote this about me anyway.  Thanks for the wake call.  My choice?  I choose to seek the positive, starting…Now!.

  3. Opposites attract…and I am married to a wonderful Mr. Negative. (Wonderful in all other ways!)

    Can anyone else relate?

  4. You just described my husband to a “T”.  When he has one of his little “poor me” comments, or a complaint about a situation; I simply smile at him and reply, “Now, there is my little ray of sunshine”!

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