Something Positive

“Make it a point to read or watch something positive and inspiring at least once a day…” — Nido R Qubein

Too many people, without realizing it, start their day from a negative, rather than a positive position. They do not take time first thing in the morning to think through their day and decide how that day will turn out. They do not read something encouraging or uplifting. They do not take time to meditate on or confess that all things will work to their good and meditate on it until they genuinely believe it. They do not make a decision to respond properly to whatever they may encounter and in doing so be in control of themselves regardless of what circumstances may bring their way.

Instead, they watch, listen to, or read, something negative first thing in the morning. Ninety nine percent of it is negative. It is all about this political party against that one. This military skirmish against that one. It is all drama because it is about that which will attract and what attracts is negative, not positive. News is about human heartache and that is simply because we as humans have an insatiable desire to hear about the tragedy of others. News only talks about car wrecks, plane crashes, shootings, rapes, kidnappings, robberies, and death. Unfortunately, listening to this type of information can and does affect how ones day will turn out simply due to effect on their thinking. It clouds or skews ones perspective and outlook on life.

Scientists believe we receive or consume 100,000 words of information each day. That is about 34 gigabytes of information every day. If the vast majority of that is negative, how can we remain positive? To help understand this we need to know more about the brain and how it works. Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford University, says our brain handles negative and positive information differently. “The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” said Professor Nass. “Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones.” Professor Roy F. Baumeister, of social psychology at FSU says, “Bad is stronger than good. It is in human nature, and there is even signs of it in animals.” Professor Teresa M. Amabile of Harvard says, “After analyzing some 12,000 diary entries I found the negative effect of a setback at work on happiness was more than twice as strong as the positive effect of an event that signaled progress. And the power of a setback to increase frustration is over three times as strong as the power of progress to decrease frustration.” “This applies even to small events,” she said.

If managers or bosses know this, then they should be acutely aware of the impact they have when they fail to recognize the importance to workers of making progress on meaningful work; what effect their criticism will have; what effect taking or giving credit for their employees’ work will have; passing on negative information without filtering; and not listening when employees try to express grievances. As Professor Baumeister noted in his study, “Many good events can overcome the psychological effects of a bad one.” In fact, the authors quote a ratio of five goods for every one bad. This pretty much tells us we should be extremely careful of that to which we listen and even to that which we say. We need to make sure we make an effort to listen less to the bad and more to the good.

The truth is, although we are better than any computer in the universe, the old adage still applies: Garbage in – Garbage out. We need to make sure we are making a conscious effort to limit any and all negative input. We need to increase all input to that which is positive. In doing so, we have a much greater chance of ensuring our lives will turn out to be what we desire for we will be doing our best to design them in that manner.

This does not mean we will not or should not have a parent, family member, friend, or superior critique our work, or behavior. This will happen and it should. It does not mean we should not study the failures of others as this can and does help us to avoid possible future pitfalls. What it does mean is we need to avoid listening to or watching useless negative information, which does not, will not, and cannot affect us if we do not hear of it. It is best avoided altogether.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox