I had the day all planned out. We arrived at Sea World right on time, all thirteen of us. First we could watch the dolphins, then ride our first roller coaster, then later in the day at 5:00pm sharp, the whale show. Everything was going perfectly…until the rain came.
Ten minutes into the whale show, the skies darkened and then opened with a vengeance. The radar showed that the rain would not let up for hours. The show was cancelled and the day, it seemed, was ruined.
I still remember the first time I saw my dad having a panic attack. It was utterly terrifying. He was rocking himself back and forth on the floor, sweating profusely, trembling from an unknown fear. I didn’t know it at the time, but his heart was racing, his body was numb, and he was detached from reality.
At an extreme level, my dad’s fears were just like our fears. They cause us to tremble, cause our minds and hearts to race, and ultimately detach us from reality.
For nearly a year I watched those panic attacks cripple my father. He’d been wrestling with them for months before I found out. He couldn’t sleep most nights. He seemed distant and depressed. The medications made him feel even worse.
69% of the population thinks that career success is dependent on chance encounters.
In other words, success is based on luck. Not hard work. Not talent. Not determination, discipline, or sacrifice. Luck.
At first glance, that might seem depressing. But then I realized it’s great news for the other 31% of us. We’ve already got a leg up on them.
When you expect good things, your mind is open to seeing the opportunities. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
According to a 2005 study done by Jim Bright, Robert Pryor, and Lucy Harpham, 69% of high school and college students believe that their career decisions depended on chance encounters. That was in 2005. Based on what little news I listen to, I’d have to guess it’s higher today.
Why am I so negative all the time?
That’s the question I’ve wrestled with for years. I know that as a leader at work, at home and in the community that I should be looking for the good in people and in situations.
I’m still a work in progress (aren’t we all), but I’ve turned a corner due to one huge revelation.
People aren’t born positive. They are trained. Here are 6 ways to help you be more positive. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Looking for the good in people is not a natural thing. We are wired to look for threats. I believe in micro-evolution. It’s real. Just look at what modern technology has done to the brain. Over the course of thousands of years, we’ve evolved to look for threats to our survival and well-being. In other words, being negative, seeing the worst in others and situations, is a survival mechanism.
And the winner of the Murphy’s Law Award goes to…
Those words began twenty-one years of negativity, self-doubt, and a victim mentality. And they came from my eighth grade social studies teacher.
It seemed funny at the time, but she awarded me the Murphy’s Law Award.
Other kids got “Hardest Worker,” “Most Creative,” or “Most Helpful to Others.” I got “Most Likely to Have Things Go Wrong.” Gee, thanks Mrs. So-and-So.
I recently developed an awful habit.
I started reading the news again. It’s an awful habit indeed.
Before the habit
Let me take you back to four years ago. I had just shunned smartphones after spending two years in which my iPhone slowly became a permanent part of my body. For the previous two years, I filled every five-minute wait for a haircut, every moment in line at the grocery store, and yes, every bathroom break either checking email or reading the news.