About once per week I’ll get an email asking me how I maintain such a positive attitude. And I get enough of these emails to make me believe people view me as being a positive person, although, I don’t view myself as a positive person. The truth is I haven’t always been so positive.
In 2007 I began working for Dick’s Sporting Goods as a PGA Professional. My job was to manage the golf shop staff, keep the shop stocked with the appropriate types of merchandise, inventory and maintain customer service levels. For anyone who has worked retail, this short story should register with you.
I worked that job and dealt with customers throughout the store; there were good days and there were really bad days. And as the years moved forward the really bad days began to outnumber the good days 10 to 1. Customers in retail are vicious. They complain constantly. They drop trash on the floors. They spill things and use merchandise to cover up the spill. They leave used condoms in the fitting rooms. They make messes in the bathrooms that you could never imagine (especially the women’s room!). They scream, yell and blame the staff for ruining their child’s Christmas.
The list goes on and on.
Dealing with the public turned me into a person who didn’t want to be around people outside of work. So I began to resent other humans. I began to hate being around other people. I saw the worst in humanity and expected people to be awful. I became a negative person.
Then came 2013 and my retail career ended. Unfortunately, my negative attitude did not. It would take me another year or more to eventually purge myself of those negative tendencies and find “Danny’ again. It was such hard work. Every day I had to focus on finding the good in people and expecting good things to happen. I had to go through a complete revolution of my mind to exorcise the negative demons.
It was a long fight, but it was worth it. I no longer maintain that nasty, negative attitude and I am happy now that people email me asking how I stay so positive. It’s a great reminder to me that people can change if they want to change.
I am dumbfounded by the number of people who seem to be disconnected from the fact that their actions contribute greatly to their life. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you are probably tired of me harping on this, but it still astounds me. I can tell you that I underachieved for many years working in the golf industry. I settled for an occupation that came easy to me, but didn’t challenge me at all.
There was a time when I didn’t get that I didn’t get it!
When I finally came to terms with the fact that my actions directly contributed to what I was getting in life, my life changed for the better. I stopped drinking. I started eating better. I started a simple exercise regimen. I started reading more. I started the Dream Big blog. I started volunteering with the National MS Society.
I took control of as many factors as I could. I decided to stop leaving life up to chance and decided I was going to dictate the terms. And it has worked much better than the way I was living before. I know some of you are not going to buy what I’m saying and that is okay. I’m not going to tell you what to do.
The fact I have realized since taking direct control of my life is life is better now than it was 4 years ago. That’s all the evidence I need. I’m glad now that I get that I kinda get it.
Have you ever thought about how it is that you allow yourself to react to events in your life? I’m mostly referring to your responses; especially to small things. For instance, I find myself overreacting to simple things like dropping something and having to bend over to pick it up. I give a sigh and will internally say “Good gracious” as if it were such a big deal. I will miss a green light in traffic and respond as if it is the most important thing. I’ll come downstairs at home and have a small internal complaint about dishes being in the sink.
The funny thing is bending down to pick up that pen cost me 3 seconds of time and the loading of the dishwasher takes up around 10 seconds. But you would think it was the end of the world by my reactions.
Do you have mini-overreactions? Do you think these mini-overreactions add up of the course of time? I think they add up over time to create unnecessary stress. And because of this belief I also think it is important to recognize these moments and learn to control your reactions, even in the small things.
My blog began because a friend of mine said he thought my occasional Facebook thoughts would work well on a blog platform. So on November 28, 2014 I introduced the world to Dream Big, Dream Often and unleashed upon the world a plague. No, but seriously, it has been a therapeutic way for me to discuss life and nonsense and an experience which has changed my life.Check out my video on this topic here.
Now we are approaching 40,000 followers and this fact humbles me in ways I cannot express. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought anyone other than my friends and family would care enough to tune in and read what I have to say, but they do and I am proud of the accomplishment. It represents countless hours of hard work and dedication.
And of course I will use this as an avenue to teach a life lesson. I get comments and emails by the truck loads each week asking all sorts of things, but one of the most common is ‘how can I break out of my rut?’ And to me the answer is clear: Start doing something new with your time. Take up a new hobby. Begin a new sport. Start painting. Write. Write poetry. Start running. Start a blog. Begin to do something that is new, exciting and adventurous.
Just because you have never done something doesn’t mean you can’t. And in time you may discover your true life’s passion. I rediscovered mine through the Dream Big blog: public speaking. Since my blog began, I have been contacted and had the honor of speaking to Lowe’s Home Improvement, the student body at a large local community college, several large local food charities and countless MS support groups.
What I found through these experiences is that speaking fills a void in me that I had forgotten existed. It fills my soul, mind and spirit. It provides me with energy and, yes, feeds my ego; which is also important. It has built my confidence. My plans for 2017 will be to begin a new set of talks to the local high schools, which excites me beyond belief.
I say all of this for a reason: adulting has one terrible side effect in that it turns most humans into zombies going through the motions. Don’t be a human who is just being, but be a human who is doing! Rediscover your life passion and get back to being alive once again. Dig into the recesses of your mind and remember back to that thing you once did that brought so much joy. Dust off that sketch book. Clean those paint brushes. Lace up those running shoes. Get back to human-doing what made you feel alive and watch your life and mind change quickly. If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you will keep on getting what you’ve always gotten.
One of the most common pieces of advice you hear about relationships is to avoid trying to change the other person. Be yourself as well as you can, and accept the other for who they are.
When you first begin to get to know a person you are newly attracted to, you are, of course, putting your best self forward. And you know they are doing the same.
The time you spend together — whether you call it ‘dating’ or something else — gradually reveals more of the other’s as well as your own authentic self within the safety of developing affection for each other. You most often cannot know immediately whether a relationship will work out, as sweet and exciting as the love-at-first-sight idea is.
At the beginning, the compatibilities seem obvious, comforting and enticing.