Staying Positive In A Negative World

Staying Positive In A Negative World dan skognes leadership development trainer coach consultant motivation blogger speaker

Have you noticed how hard it is to stay positive these days?  We are bombarded with negativity.  You can’t turn on the TV or Radio, or pick up a newspaper or magazine without hearing that “the sky is falling.” Bad news abounds.  In newspaper terms, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

So how do you keep from being drawn in to all of the negative chatter?  There is a morbid part of all of us that wants to hear it.  Not sure why, but who of us has not passed a bad accident on the road and been one of the goose-neckers?  I try not to do that….but can’t say I have never done it.

One of the best pieces of advice from a manager came early in my career, and I was getting ready to attend my first sales meeting with the company.  He told me, “Dan, don’t hang out with the negative people.  Find the positive folks and spend time with them.”   He did not explain why he said that, but he obviously knew that misery loves company, and was trying to protect me from being tainted in my thinking.

Who of us as parents have not had that talk with our kids or our grandkids about being careful of who you hang with?  Why?  Because evil company corrupts good behavior.  Unhappy people don’t want to be alone.  They want someone wallowing in the mire with them.

Isn’t it the same way even as adults?  Don’t we have an even higher need to guard our hearts and minds?  Is there some reason that we are drawn to the dark side of life? 

I believe that life is a challenge for most of us.  We all have our issues and our problems.  Why compound that with surrounding yourself with negative thoughts and behaviors?  I have enough problems with my negative “self-talk” without someone else chiming in.

Our mind is pretty incredible, and I know that what I feed is going to grow.  If I feed my mind positive thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc., then my behavior is at least going to have a chance of following in that direction.  Likewise, if I feed my mind negative things, then that is going to be reflected in what I believe and what I do. 

Someone once said that when we are squeezed, what is inside is going to come out.  When you are squeezed…under pressure…what comes out?  Blessings or curses?

I am not an angel…and I have been known to say something that I have regretted later, but I am keenly aware that what I say and do affects not just me, but everyone around me.  Who of us has not walked into a room and you could cut the tension with a knife?  Or visa-versa, walked into a room and you just felt complete peace?  How do you explain that?  Well, despite what you may believe about the spirit world, I believe we are in a battle for our souls, our hearts, and our minds.  There are forces that are at war with us that want nothing less than our total destruction.

Now you may not believe that, and that is one of the great things about this country.  We can choose to disagree and still respect one another.  But if you think what I just said is hogwash, ask yourself this, “Have you ever said something, and immediately thought, what made me say THAT?”  As my grandkids would say, “Just sayin.”  If the shoe fits, wear it.

So how do we stay positive in a negative world?  I will tell you what I have learned.  This is not an all-inclusive list, but I think you will have to agree, it beats the alternative:

Principle 1.  Put God first in your life.  If Christ is not at the center….that means you are….and you can’t be God, as much as you might want to be.   

Principle 2.  Put others before yourself.  Learn to serve others.  That has a wonderful effect on other people and will automatically generate positive things for both of you.

Principle 3.  Be thankful.  A grateful heart will help you remember all the things that God has done for you and is doing for you, so have an attitude of gratitude.

Principle 4.  Choose your friends wisely.  If you want positive thoughts and feelings, spend time with people that have peace in their lives.  There is a reason they have peace, and a reason you don’t.

Principle 5.  When everything is spinning out of control, spend time with your Heavenly Father, and have someone that you can vent to.  Everybody needs to vent from time to time.  Just remember….vent…don’t spew.

Like I said before, you don’t have to agree with what I believe, but think about what I have suggested, especially if you find yourself being negative most of the time.  We all have a choice.  What do you choose?

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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