I want you to use your imagination for a moment. I want you to imagine that instead of a human being you are a glass. Yes, that is right a glass. A big open glass that is open to anything and full of potential, in fact, it can hold anything. Now your glass is large, and anything can be put into the glass. Someone pours several poisons, gasoline, acid, nail polish remover, spiders, some small snakes, a jellyfish, mud, hot tar, fine pieces of broken glass, razor blades, and kerosene in the glass.
Okay, I know it sounds like a crazy list. You are right, it is a real wild list. Here is something to think about: You are not a glass, but every day you fill up yourself with toxic thoughts by exposing yourself to harmful content, people, and situations. We watch videos and read news on the internet about terror murder and mayhem. Your glass is full to the rim with a toxic stew of negativity. Is it any wonder people are down and negative?
There are individuals in the world who say, “Well, of course, it is very negative world. You can’t just put your head in the sand. I mean, wars do happen.” Yes, I know, but there is also beauty and magnificence in the world.
So let me give you some suggestions on how to be more optimistic and upbeat and positive. You can decide.
Limit your exposure to the blues news. A quick scan of what is going on is enough. You don’t need to overload on yet one more video of violence somewhere is the world. When you see a negative story, avoid the great temptation to click on the video clip. I advise consuming negativity in moderation. All the bad news will be a drain on your spirit. Let’s face it watching some poor soul somewhere in the world being tortured is not good for your mindset. As Peter McWilliams said, “The news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news, and it’s not entirely the media’s fault, bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news.”
Limit your exposure to negative toxic people. I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are many negative people in the world. Ask someone you are talking to how their day is going, and you may get a giant list of all their woes. In my book Jumpstart Your Motivation, I referred to these people as ESVs – energy sucking vampires. They will suck the life out of you. So don’t have ESV friends, and if you do get rid of them. If you have negative family members limit the time you spend with them. As Adam Green once said, “To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.”
Limit your exposure to negative TV. There are so many shows on TV that are full of nothing but screaming yelling violence and hatred. The reality TV segment is all drama and fighting and fussing every episode. Pulling hair, flipping tables and throwing drinks is the norm on these shows. People seem to like train wrecks and appear to like watching them. Many shows on TV that are fictional have a lot of violence murder and gore. Try to evaluate your TV entertainment you watch and try to limit the dark content.
Limit your daily negative thinking. It is estimated the average person has about 50,000 thoughts each day. The question is how many of your 50,000 thoughts today are negative? How many are positive? Try to change them into positive. The way to do this is when you have a negative thought seek to make it positive. If you think “I hate my job.” Then say to yourself, “yes but this is only temporary, and I am looking for a new one.” Replace every negative though you can with a positive one, or a hopeful one. As Willie Nelson said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
So get out a fresh glass and fill it with positive sparkling thoughts. It will change your life.