How to Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 4

April 22, 2009
This is the fourth in a series of articles by Matt Michel about how to stay positive when we’re surrounded by bad news and negativity. If you missed the previous article, click here to read it.

This is the fourth in a series of articles by Matt Michel about how to stay positive when we’re surrounded by bad news and negativity. If you missed the previous article, click here to read it.

6. Visualize Victory. Slightly different than reliving past success is projecting future success. Think of what you want and visualize it achieved. If you want a new car, see yourself driving it. If you want to win a tennis tournament, visualize yourself holding the first place trophy. If you want a certain level of financial gain, see it attained. This differs from self-talk. Paint a vivid, Technicolor picture in your mind with as much detail as possible. See it. Script it. Attain it.

According to Comanche Marketing subscriber Alan Simpson, “Before every show or group practice flight, the Blue Angels sit in a quiet room and have the Skipper talk through the flight. They all close their eyes and visualize the entire flight, including moving their hands on imaginary controls. The Skipper uses the same tone and gives the exact orders at exactly the same point in the flight. This is all done in real time just as though they were airborne. Afterwards, they sit for a while without talking just to ensure they are all ‘in the zone’ prior to manning the airplanes.”

Visualizations related to your goals are especially powerful motivators for the subconscious. The subconscious has a difficult time distinguishing between a vivid visualization and reality. What you see and believe possible becomes internalized.

On the other hand, visualizations that are pure fantasy do nothing. No matter how much I visualize myself slam dunking a basketball, it’s not going to happen. I don’t believe it’s possible and it’s not related to my goals. That makes the thought of me gusjohnsoning the province of Walter Mitty, a mere daydream (and bonus points if you know what where gusjohnsoning comes from).

When you visualize victory, you visualize a positive outcome. You visualize a positive future. You gain and project a positive outcome.

7. Attend Windshield University.
What do you listen to when you’re behind the wheel? Talk radio? Shock jocks? Sports? Music? There’s nothing wrong with talk radio or music. On the other hand, there is nothing particularly right with it. Broadcast radio and music CDs typically do little to help you improve your craft, to put you in a more positive frame of mind, or to improve your outlook.

Instead of listening to the radio or music, consider listening to audio books and seminars. The typical Barnes & Noble contains a growing selection of business books and motivational programs on CD. Conferences like HVAC Comfortech are available on digital media. A myriad of choices are available online.

Instead of spending your windshield time with your favorite political blowhard or vapid entertainer, spend it with some of the best motivators and most successful people in the world of business. Instead of pure entertainment, seek entertaining business professionals who will uplift and inspire you. If you spend 30 minutes behind the wheel each day, you will gain the equivalent of more than three full 40-hour weeks of training. That’s three full weeks of motivation. It’s three full weeks of positive mental programming.

8. Focus on Things You Can Affect and Ignore Things You Cannot. Some things are outside of our control. The president and congress do not listen to my opinions about tax policy, so it does little good for me to get worked up about our tax system. I can’t affect it.

You cannot control the economy. You can control how your company responds to an economic downturn. You cannot control your employees. You can control the rules of conduct you will accept and the incentives and rewards you will offer.

Don’t let yourself get tied up in knots over things beyond your control. It’s frustrating. It beats you down. Instead focus on things you can impact.

9. Recognize That Your Boss Sits On a Higher Rock. This one is for employees. When I was a marketing grunt with a Fortune 500 type company, some decisions did not make sense to me. Vicki La Plant (currently with Vital Learning Experiences) was an executive in the same company. While I don’t remember the circumstances that perplexed me at the time, I remember what Vicki said to me about them:

“Well Matt, that doesn’t make sense to me either. I guess I’m not on a high enough rock.”

“Huh?” I responded.

“If I were on a higher rock I would see farther and have a bigger picture. When there’s something I don’t understand I figure it’s because I’m not on a high enough rock.”

Instead of getting wrapped up in negative suspicions about the wisdom of management, let it go. Figure management looks at things from a different, higher rock. That’s far better for your attitude than wondering how your superiors could be such morons.

After all, if you work for morons, what does that make you? Talk about a beating! It’s better for your frame of mind to avoid the whole subject.

10.Pray or Meditate. Personally, I find that prayer does wonders for my attitude. Prayer helps organize thoughts. It helps focus on things to be thankful for, on the people who matter most, and on important goals, helping to gain and maintain a positive state of mind.

Turn things over to God and you free yourself from focusing on things you cannot control. You release negative energy.

God may not answer all of your prayers. God may not answer any. But if and when God does intercede, it will do wonders for your outlook on the world.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, an alliance of HVAC and plumbing contractors. For just $50, contractors receive access to millions of dollars of downloadable, customizable, sales, marketing, and business tools that are certain to grow your sales, build your bottom line, and give you more time for your family. Give it a try. Matt says he’s “positive” you’ll like it.

If you would like to contact Matt, you can reach him at [email protected], toll free at 877.262.3341, or on his mobile at 214.995.8889. You can subscribe to his Comanche Marketing newsletter here.