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.
Scribbles By Shiv!
Starting something a new strikes fear into most people, myself included. It presents the unknown, a risk of crashing and burning in a ball of flames or the potential to change lives for the better.
Today I have chosen to take the plunge into the deep end, and step out of my comfort zone (about 200 miles out of it!). I have always admired those who write daily journals, or the bloggers who’s posts keep you coming back with interest. The whole concept projects a sense of catharsis…but who would care to read about what little old me has to say?! It is this train of thought that has held me back for so long. My internal monologue is like a broken record on repeat telling me ‘your lifes not interesting enough to write about’, ‘your writing isn’t good enough’, ‘dont waste your time’ until I just put the idea…
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I think a lot.
One of the things I like most about the marketing industry is I am able to speak to and watch businesses thrive or die. This is important for my job because it allows me to watch the actions of business owners which brings about the death of that business, which I can then take and use to help my current clients. If I can help them avoid the pitfalls I witness in others then I have done my job.
And then of course I am able to look at the parallels of business owners and life in general. One of the mentalities I have observed that almost all of my thriving business owners possess is the willingness to challenge their own beliefs. They are quick to recognize that they do not know everything and are slow to make assumptions. They are willing to consider the possibility that they could be wrong or their thinking could be flawed. And because of this mentality they are able to make decisions which take into consideration many angles and many perspectives. To assume you know is death. I was once told by a successful Charlotte business man that the most important question I could ever constantly ask myself is “Could I be wrong?”
I get a lot of comments each week and I get even more emails about posts I create; especially those relating to positive thinking. I find it ironic that those who express opinions contrary to mine on being more positive are themselves somewhat negative people; and I know this because they tell me they are. I also know this because positive people generally agree with my view, therefore it is a safe assumption that someone arguing against one of my posts is by default more inclined to negativity or less likely to be a positive thinker.
So I want to lay down a challenge for my readers.
My thinking goes this route: if you are opposed to more positive inclinations (meaning you are reading this and already beginning to construct your anti-comment), is it possible that your reluctance to begin developing a more positive attitude is contributing negatively to your life? Are you willing to challenge your own beliefs? Are you willing to consider that you could be wrong? Are you willing to consider for a moment that your mental inclination does in fact have a profound impact on your life?
For those of you who do not believe in the power and benefits of a positive outlook I am here to inform you there is hope. I was once just like you. I was once an incredibly negative person and still battle complaining, getting pissed off at the simplest of things and seeing life through a negative lens. I was the realist. I was the naysayer. I did not believe. I was a procrastinator. And I definitely did not buy the belief that I could change my life by simply seeing the world through rose-colored glasses…and I was wrong.
One day about three years ago it dawned on me that I had to make a change. I looked at my life and what I had achieved and realized if I wanted more, then I had to figure out what was going wrong. I wasn’t happy in my profession. I felt like an underachiever compared to my own expectations. And my research on habits led me to realize that I had created the box in which I felt trapped. I had created my own mental cage.
The only way I could escape this cage was to go through a revolution of the mind; a coup d’etat if you will. It was at this time that I began researching the habits of successful people and began to insert these habits into my life. I began to take better care of my body. I began to read more history. I stopped watching television. I started learning how to become a better listener. I stopped eating too much junk food. I started something new and exciting (this blog!!). In short, I completely revamped my existence and in turn I completely reshaped my view of the world.
None of this would have been possible if I had allowed myself to assume I had it all figured out; if I allowed myself to remain in that same old broken mindset. I can tell from the comments I get that many of you are in the same boat I was in 3 years ago. I hope some of you take a long hard look at yourself and challenge your thinking. I mean take a long hard look at yourself, your thinking, and then ask yourself what has your mentality produced in your life. If the answer is disappointment, failed relationships, hardship, unhappiness, loneliness, financial hardship, etc. then isn’t it about time you challenge your current belief system and adopt one that begins to produce better results? If you continue to hit your thumb with a hammer and it hurts and bleeds, why would you continue to hit your thumb over and over and over and over? Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop hitting your thumb?
Challenge your thinking. Weigh the results you’ve gotten thus far compared to your mindset. If you like the results then keep on keeping on. If you don’t, then maybe it is time for your own mental revolution. Remember this, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten. If you want something different, then you will have to do something different.
Just something to think about on a Friday morning.
Do you want to know the one simple thing you must know to change your life? The simple principle on which I base any and all habit changes and on which this blog is founded upon? Here’s a hint: it begins with your mind.
The two topics I discuss which get the most email response are when I write about being overweight or the power of positive thinking. I was going back through email responses to some archived posts and found an interesting pattern-every single email arguing against the law of attraction came from self-professed “realists” (the word I used to describe myself when I was a more negative thinker) who had never tried to implement the principle. On the other hand, those who emailed to express their belief in the power of positive thinking were former negative thinkers who had used the principle to change.
It seems that any time I express my belief that you can alter the course of your life by simply changing the way you think, people come out of the woodwork to debate me-or should I say negative people come out of the woodwork to debate.
Change begins at the moment you change your thinking.
I am a people watcher as many of you know. I watch successful people and I pay attention to their life habits. I also watch less successful people and I pay attention to their life habits. It was this type of comparison thinking that led me to change my thinking about 2 years ago. I determined that I was not pleased with the results I was getting and decided to change my daily habits to mirror those of successful people. To that point my habits were not producing the results I wanted and I recognized that I needed to make changes.
I began by making my bed every morning. I began watching the foods I put in my body. I started exercising a little. I started to read a bit more. I eliminated television from my life. I started this blog. I completely restructured my daily habits and slowly but surely my life began to change. It wasn’t easy, but it happened.
If you are not happy with what you are getting from life, then maybe it is time for a mental revolution?! Maybe it is time for you to take back some control of your life. Maybe it is time for you to take a serious look at the destructive force that is your own thinking. Change happens in a split second at the moment you realize you can no longer continue as you are and something new is required.
Call it the law of attraction or the power of positive thinking or whatever you want to call it-I call it the truth. Know this my friend-if you leave your life to the roll of the dice, your life will be unpredictable and random.