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This is the first in a series that
discusses the dangers of negative thinking, how to avoid negative
thinking, and how to switch from negative to positive thinking.
by Chuck Gallozi
Doesn’t it seem
strange that some people complain they don’t have enough time to be happy, yet
find enough time to be sad? Not really. You see, their deplorable plight has
nothing to do with having enough or not enough time. Rather, it has everything
to do with complaining. After all, complaining is the negation of happiness.
It’s impossible to complain and be happy at the same time.
So, beware of
that insidious disease known as ‘negativitis’ (negative thinking). It is as
pervasive as the common cold, but far more damaging. It mutilates, cripples,
and corrodes the human spirit. Those infected by it are broken men and women
aimlessly plodding along. The dark clouds lingering over them obscure their
vision and cause them to become confrontational, apathetic, and cynical. Their
lives are like flat champagne, without any sizzle. So, how do we inoculate
ourselves against such a terrible disease? It was only after learning about the
horrible effects of smoking that people began to give it up. It may be wise to
do the same here. So, let’s review the effects of negativitis.
1. Complaining is worse than
doing nothing, for it is digging the rut one is in deeper and deeper. Each time
one complains, it becomes increasingly difficult to climb out of the ditch
they’ve created. To loosen the grip of this vicious habit, we need to become
aware of our complaining, stop it in its tracks, and immediately look for
something positive to say. It’s just a matter of replacing a bad habit with a
2. A negative attitude is
self-defeating. We won’t find solutions to life’s problems by looking for
someone or something to blame. Those who say, “Positive thinking doesn’t work
for me,” have got it backwards. It’s not positive thinking that has to work; you have to work. For example, you have
to work at appreciating what you have instead of moaning about what you lack.
3. Failure to do what you
want to do (be happy) causes physical and mental stress. A rotten attitude, not
only delays success, but also shortens life by damaging the immune system (to
learn more on how your thoughts affect your immune system, investigate
psychoneuroimmunology). So, besides the diseases directly caused by stress,
such as heart disease and ulcers, we become susceptible to all manner of other
diseases because of a weakened immune system.
4. Do you know anyone with a
negative attitude? How many years have they been that way? Two years? Five
years? Ten years? That’s how many years of happiness and success they have
robbed themselves of. Blinded by their own negativity, they are prevented from
seeing the good around them.
5. One characteristic of
negative thinkers is their need to have the world behave according to their
wishes. They have never grown up and still live with childish demands. Whenever
people and the world fail to act according to their selfish wishes, they are
unhappy. Such a poisonous attitude prevents them from growing and learning how
to cope with life’s challenges.
6. Everything negative we
say to ourselves (self-talk) or to others is a suggestion. We are unwittingly
practicing self-hypnosis, programing ourselves for failure, and creating
7. The negative world of our
imagination creates an actual one that we are forced to live in. Take Ralph,
for example. He’s always complaining about life. “Nowadays people are rude and
surly. No matter where you go or what you do, you have to deal with ill-bred
people.” As he said this, we made our way into a coffee shop. Once inside, we
were greeted by a cheerful chap who asked us what we would like. Sighing (as if
it took a great effect to speak), Ralph, almost inaudibly, ordered a medium
sized regular coffee. When it arrived, he started complaining. Pointing to the
cup, he said, “This is medium?” Without waiting for a response, he added, “You
should have told me your cups are so small; I would have ordered a large one.”
Despite the long line that Ralph was holding up, the man behind the counter
tried to be patient. Without complaint, he took away the small coffee and
replaced it with a large one. As soon as it arrived, Ralph looked at it aghast
and bellowed, “You call this regular? There’s not enough cream!” The man behind
the counter, who only a moment ago was cheerful was now upset and sarcastically
replied, “Yes, for most people,
this is regular, but if you insist,
I’ll put in more cream. Perhaps next time you may want to ask for double cream!” I was next, so I got my
coffee and joined Ralph at the table. “See,” he told me, “what did I say to
you? People are rude.” Yes, in Ralph’s world, people are rude, but what he does not realize is
he makes them so.
8. A particularly pernicious
effect of ‘negativitis’ is that it sets one up for the mentality of a victim.
Those with a woe-is-me attitude sit around in misery, waiting to be rescued.
But they wait in vain because no one can rescue them from their own attitude.
They are the only ones who can change it. And until they do so, they are
condemned to continue suffering.
9. Another adverse effect of
negativity is that it sets one up for the magic-bullet-syndrome. That is, the
victim of ‘negativitis’ spends their time looking for a quick, easy fix, when
none exists. By denying a fundamental law of life that states anything
worthwhile requires effort to achieve, they achieve nothing. They won’t make
progress until they realize that nothing in life is free. They’ve got to be
willing to do what it takes to get what they want.
10. Also, beware of the fact
that negative people attract other complainers. Because those who live in a
world of doom and gloom alienate others, they have no choice but to look for
other negative people to associate with. They then feed off one another and get
locked in a clique of ‘losers’.
11. The constant stress that
flows from a negative attitude also saps one’s energy, focus, and motivation.
It is hardly a formula for success.
12. Also of great concern is
the fact that those who refuse to work on improving their negative attitude may
slide into depression, self-pity, and hopelessness.
13. Additionally, negative
people not only harm themselves; they harm the world. They cease to make a
contribution to it. Instead of helping, they spread gloom and misery
everywhere. If they insist on infecting others, why not infect them with
laughter? If they must carry something contagious, why not carry a smile?
Imagine being in
a small boat drifting in a river. And imagine being unaware that your boat has
a motor. As long as you fail to use that motor you will be a captive of the
river. You will be a prisoner without any control over your destination. Yet,
the boat that we’re in does have a motor. We can use it to change course. That
motor is our power of choice. All we have to do is choose to look for the good,
for when we do so, that is all we will find!
Next in this
series: Avoiding Negative Thinking
Life-Changing Power of Sophrology by Dominique Antiglio
Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of
Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life by Wayne W Dyer
of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel
Thinking: 30 Days Of Motivation And Affirmations: Change Your “Mindset”
& Fill Your Live With Happiness, Success & Optimism! by Robert Norman
Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again by Jeffrey E. Young and
Janet S. Klosko
Positive Thinking: A No-Nonsense Formula for Getting
the Results You Want By Robert Anthony
permission from personal-development.com
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