Friday, February 24, 2012

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

I certainly hope that this message finds everyone in the best of spirits.  If not, that it will provide you with the means for you to work out what is bothering you. It has been some time since my last blog, but work and home life needed my attention around the clock over the past few weeks.  It is good to be back here sharing with all of you.

Now, with this posting, some will think I am crazy, or crazier than usual.  However, while I refer to myself as the "eternal optimist," I believe with every fiber of my existence through my experiences that what I will share today in my blog is as equally powerful as being an optomist and extraordinarily helpful for living the "happy" lives we dream and hope for. 

So, we are all human and no matter how we slice and dice it, there will be times when we let negative thinking consume us.  When we do so, we usually find ourselves depressed and feeling like we have failed at something or we are meant for a life of unhappiness.  What I've learned in my life and that this is life and thoughts like these will be part of all of us on some level.  What I've learned in my lifetime, from one amazing woman, my mother, was to find a way learn from the negative. Don’t let unhappiness control you. You control must it. Make it work for you instead of against you. And you will see how powerful it can be.  It may sound crazy, but it does work.  There is no doubt about it, my mother was a woman before her time.

Let's face it, most of us experience being down in the dumps at times. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m an unrepentant optimist and positive person, but I can get down at times too. What I've learned from these expeiences is rather than run away from it or “wish it away”, I now choose to share them, talk about it more, and use those times to channel my creative energy to get myself out of what I refer to as a "funk," or to help me rid myself of the toxicity of what I have have confronted. Honestly, I think that is a healthy thing to do. I am a person who does not believe in artificial happiness becuase it is meaningless and very temporary.  In the past, I may have learned to be good at hiding my feelings and doing the human thing of embracing the "artificial happiness," but in the end, while it may have served to make things worse, I found a way to use it to either confront a siimilar situation in the future, or to learn how NOT to find myself in the situation again. 

There will be people in our lives, who when we share what is on our minds, or our negative thinking at the moment, that will say to us and share things with us in the moment that they believe are supposed to make us happy, or that they themselves feel that they are there to to give us a “happy” life. But when you think about it, some of them, as loving and as thoughtful as I know they can be, are basically telling us to “think positive and we will be happy." You know I am right.   But we can’t wish ourseves to be happy—no matter what some people may tell us. We can’t “affirm” our way out of our situation, or instantly change our way of thinking or even suddenly become happy again.  However, I do believe that if we can look at the situation and our thought process carefully, learn from the negative power it imposed on us at the time, and from that, apply an approach that works to postively resolve the problem the next time we may be confronted with a similar situation.  It may not help us at the exact moment in time, but I believe that it will be something that you embrace and use to your benefit the next time around.

Nevertheless, happiness, or rather contentment, that comes from using this type of creative energy has alway proved to be very promising for me. So, next time you feel down, or find yourself in what you beleive to be a "powerless" situation, think about how you can use that energy to apply a creative and positive way back to your own harmony.

I know that some will feel that preparing for negative and improbable events could seem like a waste of time, at first sight, but if we find a way cope with negative events should they ever happen, I strongly feel that we will have found a positve way to deal with our anxiety and think twice before allowing ourselves to go back there again.

I suppose the saying "we are what we think," has some relevance to it for all of us in various situations.  Regardless, I know that there is power in all of our thoughts, positive or negative.  It will be in the defensive application from what we learn from those thoughts that will provide us with a better path of existence.

I find it powerful for me to be speaking about this and I would like to continue with a series on this subject.  But today, I want to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordon.  I love it and try to live my life with this power.  “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
I want to acknowledge and thank Mark Hagen.  He is someone I have never had the pleasure to meet yet, but I do admire him for all that he does for our community and is for reaching out to me and suggesting that I blog about this topic.  Mark, it not only helped me today, but I am hopeful that it will reach others too.  Until we meet, continnue to enjoy life!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Words Have Power

We may have the right to free speech, but speech is not entirely free.

I have not always believed that what we think, or say, has any effect on our lives. I believed it was important to have integrity, confront the moment, and say what I meant at the time I was in the situation.  I felt it was important for many reasons, the biggest reason, was to act or share in that moment in time. But, life has taught me that we must think about what we are going to say, in all situations, before the words come out.

Growing up, my mom would always tell me to watch what you say! Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Written or spoken, words are what guide us through life. They have the power to lift us up, drag us down, wound us deeply or even heal our hearts. Words have the power to break confidences, build life long alliances and let's not forget, start wars. The bottom line is that words shared and not well thought out, have the extreme power to make or break us, both as individuals and as a society.

The words we speak can have a profound effect on the people they reach. Ask yourself if you are  encouraging or discouraging? Are you building up your spouse, your friend  When your words are not processed and put together properly they have the ultimate power of tearing down our own families . Our thoughts put into words have the power to cause the destruction of our self-esteem, health, happiness and prosperity.

I know there are times for all of us when we said something, and usually without thinking first, we say to the person or persons, "I was only joking."  The problem is, you cannot take back those words from that moment of time.  The impact of there perceived meaning has already stung and we cannot act innocent, or somehow not responsible for spewing forth from our mouths. The message today and a good reminder for all of us is that there are always consequences for what we say, whether or not we realize our impact.

As a father, I have done my best to be consciously aware of my words. because I knew that they would shape the life of my daughter growing up. If she heard me being critical and judgmental of someone, she would learn by example to criticize and judge and even hate. However, when I did or said something positive, she would be a very accepting and loving human being.  Sharing positive words or thoughts about people, or even and apology when I was wrong, I knew that she would be very caring, honest, and apologize when she was wrong and mean it with all sincerity. None of us are perfect and from time to time I have put my foot in my mouth because I went with the feeling of the moment and while the damage may have already been done, admitting to being wrong, always made me a better person, regardless.

I ask all of you to remember to think before you speak.  To remember that the words you are about to share have power and the meaning can be left to interpretation, cause pain and become a young persons learned behavior.  On the other hand, words can inspire us to greatness; they enable us to share our deepest feelings with one another. Words can change us as individuals. When used with care, they can change the world around us. Do you best to choose to use your words with wisdom and love, to encourage and uplift.

I share with this closing quote.  "If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought." - Peace Pilgrim