The Power of Negative Thinking
By Craig Price
that, with a positive attitude, you can do anything. Is that true? I
mean, is it really true? I know that, no matter how hard I work and
no matter how positive I am, I can never be Miss America. It’s a
fact. Never going to happen. Why? Well, for one there is an age
limit: You need to be between 17 and 24 years old, and those days
have long passed me by. For another, I’m married (sorry, ladies, I
know how disappointed you must be). So I can’t be Miss America.
Maybe I can be Mrs. America instead. That would be great. If only I
was a woman. So Mrs. America is out too. Maybe Mr. America will
work. Then again, maybe not. I know what you’re thinking: “Craig,
you delicious piece of man candy. Of course you can be Mr. America.”
Well, I appreciate that, but let’s be honest and realistic. For me
to enter a nationwide beauty contest … well, things would not end
well. Let me put it this way: I don’t scare small children and I
don’t need meat around my neck to play with dogs, but I am under no
illusion that I have beauty pageant looks.
have to look at the reasons for my goal. Understanding why we want a
goal can allow us to find other ways of reaching it. This is where
negative thinking comes in. Why would someone want to be Miss
America? I can only think of three reasons (I’m sure there are many
Scholarship money. The Miss America program is a great way for young
women to get scholarships for college. But do you need to be Miss
America to go to school? Not at all. There are a lot of more
effective ways to earn money. There are other scholarships, grants
and loans available. God forbid that you have to go get a job and
then go back to school a few years down the road.
social agenda to promote. You have to have a platform to be Miss
America—some sort of agenda you wish to enlighten people on—be it
poverty, homelessness, illnesses, injustice … something of
significance that could be your cause. But do you need to be Miss
America to do that? Not at all. Sure being a minor celebrity and all
might help as far as publicity goes. But in the long run, hard work
and drive will be more helpful than publicity. You can donate your
time, give your money, or start a foundation. But again, you don’t
need to be Miss America.
only other reason I can think of to be Miss America is that you want
people to think you’re pretty. You don’t need to be Miss America to
do that. My solution: Hang out with ugly people; they’ll make you
look a lot better. Like the old saying goes, “How can you look thin?
Get fat friends.” So find some troglodyte friends so you’ll be the
best-looking person in the bunch!
now know a positive attitude won’t get you everything you want. Keep
in mind that I didn’t say it’s not helpful. But positivity isn’t the
end-all/be-all to success that some would have you believe. In fact,
we’re told to eliminate negativity entirely from our lives. But why
would you eliminate a tool from your arsenal? It’s like saying,
“Here. Build a house, but you can’t use a tape measure.” Can you
build a house without a tape measure? Sure. Would you want to? Not
unless you don’t mind living in a crazy, unstable, circus funhouse.
Negativity is just another tool. Use all the tools you have.
thinking allows you to plan. You can identify problems before they
happen so you can avoid them. A football team has a backup
quarterback. Why? Wouldn’t positive thinking tell us that our
starting quarterback will be fine? That he’ll go all season without
getting hurt, so why bother having a backup?
Computers are proof that negative thinking has a major part to play
in our daily lives: You have antivirus software on your computer (at
least I hope you do). Why? Positive thinking tells us everything
will be fine. But common sense and negative thinking say that bad
things happen to computers every day: viruses, crashes, power
surges, hackers and identity thieves. We try to be as proactive as
possible to protect ourselves from harm, so we get the firewalls,
the hard drive backups and the surge protectors.
seatbelts? Positive thinking tells us that we’ll be fine if we just
have a good attitude. Negative thinking allows us to look at the
dangers of driving and to do something about it. Airbags, seatbelts
and speed limits are all negative-based things that are good for us.
Negativity can work for us if we:
an open mind. Allow yourself to be open to both the positive and
negative aspects of your life. If you can see the value in positive
thoughts, you can see the value in negative thoughts. We’re
conditioned that negative thoughts are bad, so it may take some
for the “why?” If you can see the reasons why you want the goal,
you can often find other avenues to it. We see things that we don’t
truly know through a warped perspective. We make assumptions on how
things “should” go. If you want something, you must take steps A, B
and then C. Sometimes, to get to step C, we can take a shortcut by
jumping the fence at E and backtracking. We get caught up how we
think a goal should be obtained when we don’t really know. If we
knew, we’d have done it by now!
Maintain a balance. This is the most important part of
negativity. It’s not an all or nothing approach. Use the proper dose
of negativity with your positive attitude. The combination of the
two can be a powerful 1-2 punch. “Hope for the best, prepare for the
worst” is the balance we’re striving for. No one wants to help, work
for, work with or be near a 100% negative person. But a person who
avoids problems, thinks ahead and understands the world isn’t
perfect…they’re the ones take control and succeed.
Negativity is part of our lives and we can either use it to our
advantage or be victims of it. So look at your negative thoughts.
Find the kernel of truth in them and use it to move forward. Being
negative can be a positive if you’re willing to open yourself to the
idea that it is another tool at your disposal.
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