Positive thinking is a choice worth makingWritten by Tom Richard | | email@example.com
From an early age in my life, I have always enjoyed watching people. My mother called it “people watching,” and she enjoyed it, too. It is hard to tell whether I picked up this activity from my mother, or if I simply enjoy the same thing she does. While this nature versus nurture question will prove to be an interesting debate for ages to come, there have been times in my life that pointed heavily to the nurture side of the argument.
While browsing through a bookstore, I overheard a conversation between a 10-year-old child and his parents. He was holding a book in his hand and carried an expression that led me to believe he had just asked if he could buy it. The insidiously sharp rebuke that followed drew my attention instantly.
“We don’t have enough money for that,” the mother said abruptly. While her reply was directed at her child, I couldn’t help but sense it was also directed at herself and at her husband. Her matter-of-fact response seemed to be chastising her situation, rather than simply the child’s question.
The child’s innocent hope dissolved into disappointment as he longingly looked at the cover of the book in his hand. After a few moments, his eyes returned to meet his mother’s. The book fell slowly to his side, his fingers barely gripping it.
The mother continued, “We don’t have money to just go around buying every little thing we want.” The father nodded in agreement. Again, my attention was drawn to the boy, who stood there, absorbing each and every word thrown at him. He looked completely defeated.
If you think this experience is perfectly normal, well, you’re right. However, normal does not mean necessary. We have grown comfortable with negativity. We have grown comfortable finding reasons why we cannot, or should not, do or have a particular thing. These negative affirmations are so constant and comfortable to us that we have started to confuse them with our own thoughts.
In business, especially, negativity flows unfiltered. It streams through our daily tasks, customer interactions, and consumes our meetings. In fact, most meetings center on how we have fallen short. We spend hours talking about our low sales numbers, unfair competitors and limited means. We point fingers and give fault rather than finding ways to make a positive change now.
With this negativity, we allow our greatest ideas, aspirations and solutions to be silenced. We sit through negative meetings and choose to accept every negative word. We leave frustrated and unhappy with our colleagues, our jobs and ourselves. We settle for how things are, instead of working toward what they can be.
Our inner voice of reason should never be synonymous with negativity. When we stop believing positive things could be ours, we stop trying to achieve them. Negativity stifles the possibility of great things and the creativity to make them happen. We can, and should, see and hear the possibilities instead of the limitations. When we allow optimism to grow, we open our minds to finding ways to make great things happen.
When you choose to see the positive in every situation, you will begin to grow and prosper in your business, and become a positive change agent in your company. You will have a renewed appreciation for your job and the colleagues around you. You will suddenly find yourself making more friends, more sales and more money.
It’s unfortunate that a 10-year-old’s head was filled with negativity about such a promising question. However, as an adult, you have no excuses. You choose how you react to different situations. You choose what you think and allow into your head. Take control of your mind. Clean up the mental pollution of negative thoughts. Make room for positive thoughts that will lead you to a positive and profitable career.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.