Negativity provides an unusually powerful and narrow focus.
Being negative is simple; all you have to do is say no.
You don’t have to work hard to say no. You don’t even have to think about it. Just say no, and that’s the end of it.
Negation is a powerful tool for destroying a life.
Negation is absolute; it’s a period in the sentence of life. Nothing happens after negation.
Discussion is over. Thinking is over. Affirmative action is over. Nothing else can be said or done.
You end up sitting in Nowhere Land in the small contracting universe of negativity.
The universe of possibility is unimaginably large and is continually expanding. Those marching to the beat of possibility march to the sound of their dreams.
Those listening to the beat of negation remain where they are as their life collapses into the black hole of negativity.
I spent my medical career fighting blindness. I operated on thousands of eyes and restored vision to thousands of people.
It’s highly gratifying to restore sight to a blind person. When you restore sight to a child, you give a gift that lasts a lifetime. When you restore vision to an elderly person, you put a smile on their face and give them back their life.
Many people suffer from a type of blindness that affects their inner vision in which negativity blinds their mind.
Inner blindness is more limiting than outer blindness. Surgical instruments cure outer blindness. Only a mind transplant cures inner blindness; renewing of the mind is the only known cure.
Inner blindness makes it impossible to see how you can turn your life around and live your dreams.
Inner blindness hands you a life of limitations and makes it impossible to live your dreams. You never move in the direction of your dreams, because you can’t move in the direction of a goal you can’t see.
Inner blindness is an enormous handicap. Without a vision for the future, you can’t see opportunities when they are in front of your face. You are left with the appalling emptiness that accompanies negativity.
In my medical practice, I have seen blindness close in on many individuals. Their field of vision constricts and their central vision fades into a weak glimmer. Year by year, blindness steals one dream after another. Ocular disease constricts the field of their dreams until nothing is left.
I have seen it many times in the faces of my patients. They feel like there is no hope and their life is over. They shift gears into dependence as the focus of their life narrows. This isn’t a pessimistic assessment of life; it’s blindness as it happens in the third world.
The same things happen when you have inner blindness.
The scope of your activity becomes limited as the field of your dreams constricts.
Each time you speak the word no, your life gets smaller, and your opportunities recede further into the distance. If you continue to say no to opportunity, you eventually apply for permanent residence in Nowhere Land.
One of the remarkable discoveries of the twentieth century was the existence of black holes. The density of matter in a black hole is massive beyond description. Black holes possess such an immense gravitational field not even light can escape its grasp. It literally pulls all matter and light into its center. If you went near a black hole, you would disappear into oblivion without a trace.
Negativity is the black hole of the mind.
If you spend your time thinking negative thoughts, your life slowly disappears into a black hole.
Negative thinking is unimaginably powerful. The only safe way to escape the black hole of negativity is to have zero tolerance to negative thinking.
You are the only one who can create a black hole that destroys your life. If your life is swallowed up in the black hole of negativity, you will have done it to yourself, and you only have yourself to blame.
Positive thinking is the opposite of a black hole. It’s the big bang that creates an infinitely expanding universe of possibilities.
Limitation and negation aren’t found in this universe.
The universe of possibilities expands forever because what you think about expands.
In this universe, positive, empowering, resourceful, and unlimited thoughts expand into your life, and there is no limit to how excellent life can become.
Negativity is the most powerful thought magnet in the universe.
Think one negative thought, and automatically a multitude of negative thoughts flash into your mind to reinforce the negation that initiated the whole process. One negative thought amplifies itself hundreds of times.
In the practice of medicine, one of the most formidable challenges is detecting and treating infectious disease before it gets out of control. When bacteria invade tissue, at first you don’t know they are there; they silently proliferate in the tissues. In this growth phase, the bacteria prepare for a massive invasion; the bacteria silently multiply in a pseudo quiescent state. Each bacterial division results in two bacteria. When those two divide, you have four. A few organisms proliferate into millions in twenty-four hours. If you treat an infection when you have hundreds or thousands of bacteria, instead of millions, you have a better chance of preventing or curing serious infection.
When bacteria gain access to the interior of the eye, there is a grace period of hours to several days before an infection is clinically apparent and the patient becomes symptomatic.
If the infection is treated early, the eye is often saved. If the infection is neglected, the eye is lost.
Early treatment is the only way to prevent the night of blindness from extinguishing vision in the eye.
The mind is equally susceptible to infection from negative thinking.
When a negative thought enters your mind, there is an apparent dormant phase in which the negative thought silently multiplies in preparation for a massive assault.
If you kill that thought before it proliferates, you maintain a positive mind and continue to move in the direction of your dreams.
If you permit that thought to take up residence and multiply, the exponential growth of negative thoughts begins. Each negative thought multiplies until a cascade of negativity rushes through your mind. In a matter of minutes to hours, negative thoughts overwhelm your mind.
That’s why you must have zero tolerance to negative thinking.
The battle against negative thoughts is easily won if you deal with them when there are only one or two of them.
If you tolerate their presence for even a few minutes, suddenly an army of negative thoughts is on the march. A minor skirmish is now a major battle, and your life is on hold while you struggle to win this unnecessary battle. You are fighting a battle that should never have been fought.
You must extinguish negativity when it appears. Sniff it out when it’s small, snuff it out when it’s weak and vulnerable. There is no simpler or more effective way to deal with negative thoughts. Don’t tolerate them, and they will never cause problems.
Negative thoughts have a life of their own.
Unrestricted negative thinking proliferates and overwhelms your mind.
This negative infection destroys inner vision. It results in inner blindness and makes it impossible to see opportunity even when it’s right in front of your eyes.
Negativity is like inserting a destructive computer virus into your mind. The negative virus overwhelms and destroys the positive programming and positive inputs you worked so hard to install.
If you insert one negative thought into your mind at a strategic moment of the morning, you can spoil your entire day.
A negative thought is a gift that keeps on giving in spite of your desire for it to go away.
Treat negative thoughts as you would treat radioactive or toxic waste. Stay away from them because they relentlessly sabotage your life.
Become proactive and monitor your thoughts. Extinguish negativity as soon as you discover it.
The fire of negative thought is easily extinguished when the fire is small, but if it gets out of control, it will consume your dreams.
You are never safe from negation.
Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. Negativity is an ever present and unwanted companion that continually invites you to abandon your dreams.
Everyone moving in the direction of their dreams will suffer defeats and sometimes feel their dreams are impossible. Negativity will attempt to derail them on the path of achievement, and the temptation to quit will be strong.
Everyone wants life to be easy. They want either no opposition at all or opposition to politely step out of the way as they move toward their goals.
This is unrealistic. People who achieve their dreams aren’t strolling through life; they are climbing the mountain of difficulty, and hard work and perseverance are the only way to reach the top.
If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation. You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.
When you decide to sail around the world on a sailboat, you encounter an ocean of opposition. A crowd of naysayers and critics freely offer unsolicited opinions and advice concerning your proposed circumnavigation of the globe. Friends are sure you are having a midlife crisis. When you write the check to pay for your yacht, they inform you that you have made a down payment on an expensive funeral at sea. They tell you all of that money could have been spent on a nice house, 100 channels of cable television, and the help of a good therapist to get you over this foolish desire to sail around the world.
The easiest thing to find on planet earth is someone to tell you why your dreams are too expensive, too dangerous, and a waste of time. With cheerleaders like that, it’s amazing anyone pursues their dreams.
It’s not just family and friends who question your judgment. During moments of adversity, you wonder whether you are heading down a one way street in the wrong direction. The voice of fear starts a powerful negative chorus that repeats itself thousands of time, and if you start listening to its message, your dreams will evaporate.
What would happen if you fall off the boat at night at sea? What happens if a whale rams your boat? What happens if you hit a floating log, or if a ship runs you down at night? What happens if a hurricane strikes? What happens if you meet pirates or drug runners? What if your boat is struck by lightening? What if your boat runs up on a reef and is destroyed on a remote deserted island? What if you get sick when you are at sea? What if you have appendicitis when you are one thousand miles from land? What if you hit your head or break a leg? What if your boat turns upside down? What if there is a fire or explosion on board? What if you collide at night with a floating container that has fallen off a ship? What if you become seasick? Who will stay awake at night and stand watch while you sail offshore? What if your boat sinks and you lose all of the money you invested in the yacht? What if you loose your medical skills while you sail around the world? How will you ever be able to return to the practice of medicine?
I experienced all of these negative thoughts many times before I purchased my yacht. Those thoughts could have stopped my voyage before it got started. My dreams would have been stillborn if I listened to the voice of fear.
If I listed all of the reasons why I shouldn’t sail around the world in a small sailboat, I could write a hundred page document full of disaster, difficulty, and despair. I know dozens of reasons why my dreams are too expensive and involve too much risk. If I listen to the voice of fear and negativity, I will sit at the dock and watch everyone else sail on the ocean of their dreams.
Once I hoisted my sails in Fort Lauderdale and started my voyage, I had dozens of opportunities for negativity to sink the ship of my dreams.
On my first night at sea, I experienced the most powerful thunderstorm I encountered on the entire trip around the world. Surely, that must have been a sign sailing around the world is a bad idea. It was a message to stop the voyage in the Bahamas, anchor the boat in Chicken Town, and check in to Hotel California where I could never leave, but at least I would be safe.
When I reached the Panama Canal, the voice of fear again tried to cancel my dream of sailing around the world. There is no need to transit the Panama Canal and sail in the Pacific. Just stay in the Caribbean and have a wonderful cruise. The Pacific Ocean is a vast body of water with reefs, cyclones, and killer whales that could destroy my yacht. The voice of fear told me to stay in the Caribbean forever.
After I arrived in the Pacific, the voice of fear started a new verse with the same fearful chorus. It’s three thousand miles from the Galapagos Islands to French Polynesia. You are at sea day and night for three weeks. You don’t see any other humans for twenty-one days, and there’s no one to rescue you if you get into trouble. Don’t go. Stay in Nowhere Land where you’ll be safe.
After I arrived in French Polynesia, the voice of fear said to skip sailing to the Tuamotu Archipelago. You will hit a reef as you sail through the atolls. The passes through the reefs into the lagoons are too small, and once inside you will be trapped. A storm could easily destroy your yacht when it’s inside a potentially treacherous lagoon. Sailing in the Tuamotus involves high risk. Skip them and sail directly to Tahiti.
After I sailed across the Pacific Ocean, it was necessary to sail twelve hundred miles south from Fiji to New Zealand. It’s a big trip into higher latitudes and the voice of fear again rippled through the cruising fleet. The talk was of storms with special emphasis on the recent Queen’s Birthday storm in which lives and yachts were lost. Sailing in the higher southern latitudes presented new and unfamiliar risks. The voice of fear filled everyone with a sense of foreboding. Sailing to and from New Zealand is scary. Some mariners left their yachts in storage in Fiji to avoid the sail south. Other sailors loaded their yachts on freighters and shipped them home.
Several weeks after I arrived in New Zealand, I rolled the car I was driving. I broke both legs, fractured five ribs, punctured one lung and had internal bleeding. I was transfused seven units of blood, had three surgeries, and spent two months in the hospital. Surely, this disaster proved sailing around the world was a bad idea. The sensible thing would be to sell the yacht, buy a plane ticket to Nowhere Land, and start watching cable television where I would be safe and secure for the rest of my life.
Negativity can overtake you anywhere on the path to your dreams. I could have stopped my trip around the world a dozen times before I reached New Zealand. Surrendering dreams is easy. You can do it anywhere or anytime. Most people will tell you that you are doing the right thing when you sell your dream machine and join the ranks of the Life Long Disoriented.
Negativity is a stalker that never goes away; it’s your unfailing and unwanted companion eternally inviting you to abandon your dreams.
Negativity is a dream stealer. Don't listen to the voice of negativity. It will ruin your life.
You must have zero tolerance to negative thinking if you want your dreams to come true.
Negative thoughts create personal inertia; you become stuck where you are, unable to move in a positive direction.
The paralysis of negative thinking makes constructive action extremely difficult.
Negative thinking creates the fear of making a mistake. The possible negative consequences of failure keep you where you are. After all, things could get worse.
On the other hand, if you do nothing, failure is virtually guaranteed.
Although it may seem less painful to be stationary rather than possibly moving in the wrong direction, inertia creates a feeling of self-loathing, and this leads to more negativity and additional inertia.
The way out of inertia is action; start moving in a positive direction until the fog lifts and the way becomes clear.
Inertia puts your life on hold as you wait for a call that never comes. It puts you in a holding pattern, and the instructions of when and where to land never arrive. Negativity and inertia lead to three common mistakes:
Waiting too long.
Waiting for perfect conditions.
Paralysis of analysis prevents people from acting. They perpetually reexamine their lives trying to decide what they should do and where they should go. The inertia of indecision holds them in place more securely than feet planted in concrete.
When you are captured by inertia, you wait. Although you may not know what you are waiting for, delay and waiting are still the order of the day. Waiting for things to get better or for good things to spontaneously happen causes you to wait for a lifetime.
You can wait for thousands of things to happen: the reading of the will, the boss to retire, a positive mental attitude, the depression to lift, to be appreciated, to be loved, for your ship to come in, or for your ship to leave.
Waiting is a waste of your most precious asset, time.
Every day is a great day to work on your dreams. Even if the only thing you do is take baby steps, you can still do something to work on your dreams. Although the amount of progress you make may be infinitesimally small, any movement in the right direction is better than no movement at all. You need to stop waiting and start doing.
Waiting too long is another common error that leads to lifelong inertia.
Some people wait to have a fantastic retirement. Their life may not be much right now, but when they retire, they will have a terrific life. They push the good life into the future until the day they retire. Although it seems to make sense, it turns out to be a self-deception, and most people don’t figure this out until retirement comes.
When they retire, they discover they don’t enjoy doing many of the things they put off until they retired. Windsurfing is an activity that’s best done when you are full of the enthusiasm of youth. When you are sixty-five years old, windsurfing seems like too much work. You’re afraid you might hurt yourself, and the aches and pains of a sixty-five year old body steal the wind out of your windsurfing sails. You can still be a great windsurfer when you’re retired, but you probably won’t want to work that hard at having fun.
Many activities are more fun when you’re young and healthy. Arthritis and aspirin aren’t part of your daily routine. The younger you are when you perform physically demanding activities, the higher the probability you will enjoy them and actually make them happen.
Waiting for conditions to be perfect is another plausible self-deception that keeps your life on hold.
It makes sense to wait until conditions are right so the probability of success is more in your favor.
If you lived for a thousand years, then perhaps you could afford to wait a hundred years for conditions to become perfect before you proceed in the direction of your dreams. Unfortunately, life is like a flicker that is quickly gone.
Opportunity doesn’t linger. You must be poised and constantly ready for action. The window of opportunity is small and you must be ready to take advantage of it when it passes by.
If you wait for the perfect opportunity and perfect conditions, your dreams will never happen.
Today is the only day, and now is the only time you can work on your dreams.
You must seize the day and work on your dreams today. You must seize the time, and use whatever time is available.
Start moving in the direction of your dreams and live as if you can make your dreams come true. When you do that every day, the negative power of inertia no longer holds you captive.
Life is hard enough without creating artificial barriers that exist only in your mind.
You should regard life as a search and destroy mission in which your main target is the limitations you find in your mind.
Everyone experiences physical limitations, and the longer you live, the larger your physical challenges become. But, you learn how to work your way around your restrictions using the power of your mind.
Quadriplegics can’t bounce a basketball. Nevertheless, quadriplegic individuals can still achieve excellence and even greatness in their lives. Although they can’t achieve excellence in basketball, they still can achieve excellence in one or more other areas. And that’s really what life is all about; you continually chip away at the limitations found in your mind so that you can have an excellent life.
There is always room at the top for people with vision, desire, and perseverance.
The envelope of possibility rarely hinders people at the top. Individuals at the top spend their lives defining what’s possible rather than listening to the limitations that pop into their mind.
People at the bottom continually run into barriers they create in their own mind, which is why they remain at the bottom.
People at the bottom look around, and all they see are barriers.
People at the top look around, and all they see are possibilities.
In an hour of concentrated effort, a fully developed negative mind can come up with enough limitations to last a lifetime.
You must stop listening to the negative internal monologue that sells a suitcase full of limitations.
Your only true limit happens when you quit trying. When you throw in the towel and surrender, you are saying this is as far as you can go, and it’s pointless to persist.
I have seen two physically challenged people who can write the script of limitations for my life. Both of these people are mountain climbers; one is paraplegic, and the other has no feet.
One individual was paraplegic as a result of a climbing accident. After the accident, he decided paraplegia wouldn’t prevent him from climbing El Capitan at Yosemite National Park in California. He would overcome the accident and conquer the mountain using only his arms since his legs were useless for climbing. He trained with one of his friends for the climb. The friend laid out a route up the side of the mountain, and his job was to pull himself up using only his arms.
Over several days of climbing, he did thousands of pull-ups as he ascended the vertical face of El Capitan. Each night, he slept in a harness attached to the side of the mountain. Calling this climb arduous, is an understatement. Nevertheless, by force of will and with the help of his friend, he pulled himself thousands of feet up the sheer vertical face of the mountain.
The second individual lost both of his feet in a climbing accident. He didn’t want to give up climbing, and the only way to continue was to create new prosthetic feet to substitute for the missing ones. He created light, durable carbon fiber prostheses that allowed him to climb like Spiderman. He even made the artificial feet telescopic so he could make the reach of his legs greater by extending the length of the prosthesis before he started to climb. When you watched him walk, you would never guess he was walking on artificial feet, and when you watched him climb, you were amazed as he ascended vertical walls of rock and mastered overhanging rock faces.
The envelope of possibility is unimaginably large, and it will continue to expand for as long as the human spirit is committed to making dreams come true.
Choose worthwhile goals, and never quit.
You will probably never encounter any absolute limitations anywhere except in your own mind.
And remember, limitations never preclude excellence; no matter what type of problem or handicap you have, you can still achieve excellence in at least one area of your life. Excellence is your birthright as long as you don’t give in to the voice of negativity and fear.
Negativity focuses on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. It focuses on limitations rather than possibilities.
Your focus determines your destination. When your mental focus is positive, you move in a positive direction, and when it’s negative, you move in a negative direction.
The focus of your mind is critical.
Focus selects the programs running in your mind.
When you are negative and focused on everything wrong, your mind runs programs that confirm and reinforce those beliefs.
When your focus is positive, your mind runs programs that confirm and reinforce your positive thoughts.
Some people believe it’s impossible run their own mind and control their thoughts. If that’s true, then answer this question. If you don’t run your mind, who does? If you don’t control your thoughts, who will?
The Life Long Disoriented have abdicated the control of their thoughts and the running of their mind to other people. Their boss, parents, children, and culture control their thoughts and run their mind. What a sad state of affairs!
You don’t have nine lives, and if you don’t get it right this time, you miss out forever.
If you let someone else run your mind, you have literally missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
God gave you a mind and He expects you to run your mind by yourself, rather than have other people do it for you. That’s why He gave you a free will, and that’s his plan for every human being. Run your mind, give it your best shot, and see what you can do with this magnificent opportunity for an adventure that starts now and lasts forever.
Running your mind and filling it with positive things is one of the biggest challenges you face.
So how do you run your mind? Is it hard to do? Can anyone do it, or do you have to be a genius to make it happen?
The truth is, you already know how to run your mind, and running it is as simple and as hard as controlling your mental focus.
The focus of your mind determines which programs run there.
A persistently positive focus creates a consistently positive mind, because it turns on a positive operating system and runs positive programs.
A persistently negative focus causes mental havoc because it turns on a negative operating system and runs negative programs.
Your mental focus selects the program that will run in your mind for the next few minutes. Your mind can hopscotch around quickly from program to program. At times, it takes considerable effort to maintain the focus necessary to run good programs in your mind.
There are dozens of powerful techniques you can use to focus your mind on the positive rather than the negative.
Read books on positive thinking. Write books on positive thinking. Listen to cassettes on motivation. Recite positive self-talk. Enroll in seminars. Talk to a positive friend. Watch positive videos. Pray. Read scripture.
No matter what technique you select, if the focus is positive, it will create the desired effect.
Your brain examines the focus of your thoughts and then runs a program consistent with that focus.
All the programs on positive thinking and motivation accomplish one task. They push your mental focus in a positive direction. They focus your mind on positive thoughts so it runs positive and empowering programs.
When you understand that focus selects the inputs and programs running on your brain, it is clear why negativity is so destructive. A negative focus means your mind is running negative and destructive programs.
Being negative is easy. All you need to do is say no, and that’s the end of it. You don’t have to take any further action. No more study is necessary, no plans need to be made, and no alliances need to be formed.
When you say no, you don’t even have to move off your chair. You only move your lips and utter a one-syllable word. No. It is a dead end street with no place to turn around. It is the ultimate copout.
If you become good at saying no, you can avoid committing yourself to anything in life.
When you are positive, the situation is radically different.
The moment you say yes is just the beginning. You cross the starting line, and now all the challenges lie ahead. When you say yes, it’s time to knuckle down, study, plan, and execute the plan. It’s time to make alliances and mastermind groups. It’s time to start networking. Most important of all, it’s time to act. Take sustained persistent action that doesn’t recognize failure and never gives up.
This type of action perceives setbacks as stepping-stones. Being positive and saying yes means running your mind in a positive manner. It means taking charge of your thoughts and shaping your own destiny, and it’s hard work.
Only a few internally motivated individuals have enough persistence, courage, and desire to keep themselves positive.
When you are negative, you cross the finish line without getting out of your chair, and the prize you win for crossing this line is a one way ticket to Nowhere Land.
Being positive is hard. After crossing the starting line, the finish line is nowhere in sight. Only hard work and determination bring you to the finish line. However, the rewards of crossing the starting line are great. You choose your own prize and destination, and the challenges are big.
Just because you initially said yes to life doesn’t mean that you will cross the finish line and win your reward. You will repeatedly encounter the temptation to quit.
Being positive is harder than being negative.
In the game of life, there are hundreds of critics for each person who says yes to life and yes to excellence. Negative thinkers abound, and they happily point out the futility of your endeavors. You will not meet many cheerleaders to help you stay positive; you must keep yourself positive and be your own cheerleader.
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