Negative input is all around you, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it run, or ruin, your life.
Imagine tomorrow an alien landed on planet Earth, and the first thing they did upon landing and getting out of their space craft was to research their new home planet. They picked up a few newspapers and randomly flipped around various channels on television. If they understood what was going here on earth by seeing all that disturbing stuff they probably would jump into the little saucer and fly home. Why would they want to live on a planet that was full of terror, murder, violence as well as fires and disasters just to name a few?
As a motivational speaker and a book author, the biggest question that I get is, “How do you stay positive in a negative world? After all, what is there to be positive about?”
I believe that it is a matter of mindset and perspective; there is good in the world, there are positive stories every day that we never see. There are strangers committing act of kindness, there are doctor’s saving lives, there are people volunteering hundreds of hours to help others, there people selfishly giving themselves in service to the world at large, and there are millions of people every day who give love to their friends and family.
So how do you stay positive in negative world, Hoss? Here are a few thoughts that may help you reevaluate your perspective:
- Life is beautiful– yesterday on a beautiful sunlit afternoon we shared lunch with our dear friends in a lovely café and the weather was gorgeous. That is just one small slice of life, snapshot, but it’s how life can be truly beautiful. Look around you everywhere you go there are beautiful things to see, there is beautiful music to listen to on the street corner or at the symphony, or on your radio in your car as you drive home from running errands. There is delicious food to taste, and amazing life experiences that are filled with beauty and so very poignant if we just open our eyes and our ears to pay attention to them. Unfortunately many people do not have their eyes and ears open to see the beauty right in front of them.
- Control what you can– we certainly cannot control random acts of violence such as murder or terror and violent shooting deaths that are constantly broadcast on the news. We can only control what is in our world. So one way of staying positive in a negative world is to create a positive world in your home, with your neighbors, at work and with friends and family. It’s the concept of local versus global, the only way to truly change the world is to be a kind and loving person to the people that are around you. That my friend is one way to control what you can.
- Exposure yourself– many people spend hours a day consuming negative news broadcast on television and negative news on the Internet. I suggest that you do exactly the opposite; expose yourself to positive stories, positive content, and heart-warming stories on the Internet and in books. It’s kind of the old equation of garbage in garbage out, people expose themselves to tons of negative content and then wonder why they’re mildly depressed. There is so much good in the world you just have to look for it and expose yourself to that and not to the latest shooting in some city in America or the world.
- Stop watching negative television– is an estimated that the average family in America watches thirty two and a half hours of television per week. Unfortunately most of that television is full of murder violence and mayhem in the form of news, or reality television where all that happens is people get into arguments and fights talk negatively about one another. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that all television is negative but the majority of it is negative, soul sucking, toxic scenes labeled as entertainment and all it does is make you feel worse about life and not better.
- Avoid negative people– in my book Jumpstart Your Motivation I mention the concept of not being around ESV’s, which I call energy sucking vampires. These negative people will always bring negative news and negative perception of anything that happens, yet many of us admittedly have energy sucking vampire friends that we spend time with. If you want to be positive in a negative world, a big step is to eliminate being around negative people, including family members as well as friends. After all I believe you are who you are with.
- Gratitude list– one way of being positive in a negative world is to acknowledge and understand all of the goodness that is around you. Take some time to write out a gratitude list of all the things you’re grateful for. Write down how grateful you are for your amazing beautiful wife, your home, the fact that you are actually employed and get paid, the fact that you have your health, and wonderful friends and family who support and love you. Even on the simplest level you have a roof over your head, a shirt on your back and food in your mouth. It’s so easy to lose sight of what you’re grateful for until you lose it.
So the solution is to be aware of how much negative stuff you are programming into your brain, which is really just a computer. If we want to change the result we have to change the programming. For you to be positive in a negative world you have to stop putting in negative input and start putting in positive.
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