Negative, Ghost Rider, The Pattern is Full

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“If I make dark my countenance, I shut my life from happier chance.”

–     Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892), British poet, Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland, in “The Two Voices”

In case today’s headline escapes any of you who’ve not seen this scene from Tom Cruise’s movie “Top Gun,” let me start there.  I toyed with changing the first word, though, to “negativity…”

There is so much negativity out there that the pattern must be full!  And when we make our countenance dark, we do much more than spill coffee on the Tower Controller.  We drag others down, and we shut ourselves off from happier chance.

A stretch of an example?  Perhaps.

So, forgive me for harkening back to Iowa’s victory in The Outback Bowl Tuesday.  Twitter is on fire with people complaining that Iowa had negative rushing yards, and two turnovers, even though they won the game. Anonymous, behind-social-media “experts” are suggesting the program should be flushed and started anew because Iowa finished 9-4, and “should have won at least 11 games…” and “should have this and should have that….”

Just.  Stop.

“Should” is one of the most dangerous words in the English language, and it’s a gate through which negativity doesn’t just enter, it rushes in.

If we’re starting more than one sentence a month with the word “should,” we should stop.  (Hey, at least I crack me up…)

And if someone starts a sentence directed at us with “should,” we ought to be able to tune them out, immediately.  (I just couldn’t do it twice in a row….alliteration be danged…)

Words matter.  “Should” and “but” are negative gateways.  “Could” and “and,” those are the vocabulary of difference-makers.  They make the happier chance a happier likelihood.

The negativity pattern is full.  And social media is sending all the flights into the pattern.  Imagine if everyone had to post their real name and cell # in their tweets…but I digress…

Experiment:  Ignore all negative posts / influences for one week.  Instead of reading them, create a trigger to conjure up a positive perspective.  Write down / journal about it for that one week.  Rate your energy level on a 1-10 scale for that week.

I’ve got a hunch the number will go up during the seven days.  And it very well could stay elevated, when we prioritize positivity.

Editor’s Note:  I tried to work in a political angle, because the examples are even more numerous, frequent and pervasive.  Doing so without becoming part of the problem seemed unlikely, so I stood down.  That said, if either side stood for something instead of against everything, we’d be better off across the board…


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