I’m convinced that the favorite pastime of business owners, entrepreneurs and executives is not golf, or bowling, or gardening, or even spending time with the family. I believe that it is, complaining! Sometimes, at the end of a week, I’m exhausted from listening to people complain about why business isn’t better, or, what the government is doing to them, or, how bad taxes are or, or, or. And, for the most part, not a one of them will take the least bit of responsibility that their attitude might be at the center of their perceived troubles.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that some of these topics are not frustrating, but as a human being we have, within our DNA, the ability to deflect and reject this kind of thinking. It’s a tar pit once you’re in it. Because once you get stuck in this kind of attitude and thinking, then, you, are, stuck! And, sometimes never to be seen again!
The words of a famous retailer stick in my head when I hear this kind of blathering. When asked how he and his company seemed unfazed by the horrendous economy and all the talk about it, he simply looked at reporters and said, and I paraphrase here, “That’s easy. We survived and thrived because we chose not to participate.”
You too, can choose to “not participate” in negative thinking and talk. Just don’t do it. Don’t become a part of it. Personally, I stopped watching the evening news on television, because 9 out of 10 stories were of a negative or tragic nature. It’s not that I don’t care, but why do I need to know? It’s just depressing finding what people are going through or how bad they think things are going to be. I’m convinced that if I’m meant to know or help, I will eventually know it.
Worrying about the “what ifs” of life will ruin your life. If you listen to the wonks on TV or radio talk about the economy, the world situation, disease, disaster or anything else that they yammer on about you need to keep in mind one thing: It’s their opinion, not fact, it’s their opinion and they are yelling about it to get you to react. It’s their job to get your underwear in a wad about their opinion. Too many of us take it all much to literally and we let it change how we go about our lives, much the time in anxious and skeptical fear.
Look, I have done the research, and here is the fact. There is always one person or business, in any market in the world, in any market segment you can imagine, who is absolutely leaving all of their competition in the dust. Can you guess why? They stopped complaining and chose not to participate in the negative thinking and speech. I had one retailer tell me, “While everyone else around here has their head stuck in the sand in fear, I figured that all of their customers would still need the product, so I decided to be the ONE to sell it to them.” The rule of thumb is this. If you can’t change something or can’t do anything about it, then don’t worry about it. The only reason you would worry about it, is to have something to bitch about and blame your mediocrity for. Now is the time to step up and, be aggressive while everyone else IS worrying about it.
Just as an alcoholic in recovery cannot work in a liquor store, you cannot continue to spend time with friends, family or media that constantly and consistently will talk “the sky is falling” attitudes, language and actions. If this is your crowd, you need to find new friends. And they’re out there. You just need to find them, because they’re probably looking for you as well. Find likeminded people and hang with them. Share your hopes and dreams and strategies for success, that no one else will listen to, because, they’re too busy feeling sorry for them selves and looking for scapegoats.
Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher of some renown, really had the right idea when he said:
“See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
The difference between those that thrive and those that merely survive is simply whether they have chosen to participate in the negative mindset. You can never make a difference in people’s lives unless you can live with expectation and hope.
I really hope this makes sense to you, because I don’t want to hear you whining why it doesn’t!