When I was twenty-two years old, I ran for the local school board.
No one my age had ever made it through a primary in North Carolina, they told me. There are too many better-known candidates in the field, they consistently reminded me. The statistics show that young people just don’t do well in elections, they shared.
I’ve always been a bit stubborn, so I didn’t listen. And I made it through the primary.
One thing made all the difference:
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Roland, grabbed me by the arm and said, “Come with me.”
We marched to the principal’s office. The one minute it took to get there seemed like an hour. The whole time I just knew that I was in trouble. After all, I’d spent much of my youth either in detention or being punished in some way for something I’d done in school.
As we walked into the principal’s office, something remarkable happened…
Instead of what I expected, Mrs. Roland asked the principal for permission to put me into Honors English.
The principal agreed and I began a new chapter in my life. Literally, everything changed that day.
I began to take school seriously. I began to study more. I began to respect my teachers. I began to believe in myself, my teachers, and believe that the world wasn’t as against me as I once thought.
Listen to this post
Am I a liar and a hypocrite for being positive here?
…by definition, this makes you (not to be mean, but clear) a liar and a hypocrite.
Ouch. So what did I do in response? Well…we will get to that later. But initially I questioned my own logic. Was I wrong for staying positive? Was I being a liar and a hypocrite?
I wrote in that post how my natural inclination is towards the negative. This surprises a lot of people who know me fairly well, but not intimately, as I wrote:
That shocks a lot of people not named my wife, my mom, my best friend, my mentor, or anyone who has never worked for me. Most people see me as a generally positive and upbeat person. But the reality is that, most of the time there is a war raging inside of me. One voice screams at me reminding of everything going wrong in my life and the world. The positive voice whispers softly. I tend to hear the louder voice too easily.
So why do I remain positive when I write? Why am I a fake?
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I often get asked: “Why are you always so positive when you write?”
Some ask in a curious way. Some ask in a negative way, as though I am doing something wrong. Some ask in a “how can I be more like that?” way.
The reason I stay positive with my tribe is simple: I’m fostering a stereotype of myself and you. The research tells me to. I’ll explain below.
Stereotypes can be negative or they can be positive. Use your positive stereotypes to your advantage. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
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Let me be clear about something. My natural inclination, for whatever reason, is towards the negative.