Episode 67: Positivity – A Better Way of Life

Do you ever wonder why the world seems to give you rain and other people sunshine? Why does it seem the lucky seem to get even more lucky while you suffer from the doldrums of the day? Jimmy shares four powerful strategies that will turn your world around and give you purpose for finding your positivity muscle.

Episode Keys

  • Building your positivity muscle through gaining an attitude of gratitude.
  • How to limit your intake of negativity and guard your mindset from overwhelm of consequences. Implementing the power of changing your thoughts from “have to” to “get to”.
  • Reaping positive outcomes by mentally focusing on positive expectations in life.

Podcast Transcript

Good morning! Hey, this is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design, your Monday morning moments of motivational speaker bringing you the good news for this week. I’m the only person on the airwaves today that has a PhD in Positivity and a Masters of Motivation.

Thank you for joining me this morning. What a beautiful day. Summer is in full swing and the heat is on. I love this time of year. Normally I’d be celebrating baseball and we’d be getting ready for football season. This has just been one of those years that’s going to be a little different. And you know, we can sit back and we can be negative about the aspects the world has thrown toward us or we can be positive and find something during the day that we think will help us maintain or grow our positive mental attitude.

Today is one of those days my friends. I am excited to just share a few moments with you. This is a topic that I think our world needs in large doses right now. And what I’m going to talk with you today, is I’m going to share some strategies I use to take away the negativity that is bombarding us through the news media, the social media, and simply just talking with certain people. Now I do want you to know, I am not the kind of person that calls others names. But I do not know a better way to describe some of these people that I’m going to ask you not to interact with as much. And I call them Negative Nancys.

But before we go there, there’s some other areas along the lines of positivity that I know will help you gain an immediate foothold on your present state of mind and help you become more positive. You know, people often talk about positivity and they throw it around like it’s just something that’s in fantasy land. Well, I’m living proof, I’ve got to be honest. I heard Zig Ziggler speak on positivity back in the late 80s and early 90s. I was completely spellbound. This man could look at the burning of his home, I’m guessing, and instead of fretting over losing the home, he would look to see that his children, his dog, and perhaps even notice the firemen putting out the fire and he would be positive that his family was safe.

It is not easy digging underneath the rubble, the world piles upon us each day to find that little golden nugget that keeps us moving forward. So I want to share, if you don’t mind, a book. You can find this book on our website at livealifeby.design. And look under Jimmy’s Reads, Top Reads, you will see a book that’s very easy to read. You can read this book in about an hour, maybe two hours at the most. It’s written by a great author. His name is Jon Gordon, and the book’s titled The Positive Dog. You heard me, The Positive Dog. This book, in my opinion, should be required reading of every new member of your team. Every new member of your board, if you serve on a not for profit board volunteering. And maybe even all your family members. Maybe sit down one evening and share this book among all your family members and then you understand what he is referring to.

You see the thesis of this book is the old proverb that says, whichever dog you feed is the dog that is dominant. As you read the book, you’ll understand as the story is told from the mouth of a dog, actually, hence the title. That you’ll also find yourself thinking, well that doesn’t seem that difficult. Well, that would be easily done by me. That’s the point I wish to make today. I wish to share with you four powerfully positive strategies that I use literally daily. To maintain the highest positivity frame of mind. Now you’re gonna sit there for a moment and judge me, I know. You’re listening to this and you’re going, well now wait a minute, I am not him, I am me, and I’m never going to be positive because I haven’t been all my life. Well, I’ve got news for you. You will become positive if you put to work these four strategies in habit form on a daily basis. You can not help but become more positive if you place into action these four strategies I’m going to share today. So think about your life for a moment. Are you being positive in your daily discussions with people? How about your family? You will reflect to the world what you feed your mind. Today, these four strategies will help you become or stay positive with your speech, your demeanor and your thoughts.

So let’s get started. Strategy #1 is to limit what you feed your mind. One of my personal goals each day is to limit myself with what I allow in my mind on social media.That’s right, I limit myself to the amount of time I wish to spend each day to simply communicate something positive to those that follow me on social media. If you’re not following me on social media, please do so. We have a Live a Life by Design page on Facebook. Or a Compass Capital Management page on Facebook. Both of these will be where we deposit positive quotes for the day and we are very proud to have you follow us and give us some of your good positive feedback.

You know, Some people use this platform to build bridges to a hurting world while others use it to simply sling mud and blame others because their day didn’t go as planned. These are the people I refer to and I mean this with a heart of passion and compassion as Negative Nancy’s. These Negative Nancy’s are not the type of people I follow on social media. Truthfully, I don’t spend much time with them in person. You heard me before say on one podcast episode that we have to look at the relationships we share with people. And there are certain people that you can spend a whole month with and just have the most exhilarating time. There are some people you could spend maybe two or three days with. There are some other people that you could spend maybe a day with. There are some that you could only spend maybe an hour with and that was all that you could do and stay positive. So be careful with the types of relationships that you initiate and maintain. If, in fact, one of these Negative Nancy’s won a ton of gold bars in a contest, she would simply complain about the amount of energy necessary to store the bars, sell the bars and unload them from the railcar! I’m convinced that they will never find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow cause they’re too busy digging for stones in their own yard. If I may digress for a moment, my dad, I have a tremendous amount of respect for my dad. He’s my hero. And my dad had a favorite saying about people with this type of attitude. He would state to me, “Some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope.” If you’d pardon my english, that’s exactly how he would state it. And there is just something about a person that can never see the glass as half full!

Television reality shows are another area of negativity for me. I humorously watch them to see if I can understand what really drives the value to the person watching the show that would allow these people to make tens of millions of dollars a year and it’s a soap opera. Now, I understand soap operas may be sacred to some of you and you’ve got the freedom to watch whatever you desire. But I’ve got some news for you. That one to two to three hours a day you spend watching the drama in other people’s lives has a way of creeping into your own. It is important that if that much drama exists in a family, they are clearly dysfunctional in my opinion. I am not trying to be judgmental or harsh. I have yet to see a positive program in reality tv that I value my time to spend watching. Similar to a food you wish to avoid when on a diet, don’t allow yourself to be subject to the negativity offered by the world through media and negative people. So, strategy #1 is simply this, limit what you feed your mind.

Strategy #2, build your positivity muscle. Your emotions and mental muscle need a workout and fuel to continue to grow and be useful. Just like your physical body, your emotions require stressful use. Now I said stressful use. I’m talking about you must use your emotions in a way that they will continue to foster growth in your mind. Now, I mean proper not just use, right? One of the best methods of building your positivity muscle is to focus and document your gratitude. Everyday you are receiving positive inputs or negative ones. The key to recognizing gratitude is that you must expect it. I hope you grasped that. The best method of receiving positive gratitude in your life is that you must expect it. Michael Hyatt has an example of a story that I want to share with you today. Has written several books, he is the CEO of his own company, and he is the company that I purchase my full focus planner from that helps me keep myself organized and my goals reached during the year. The story is a really good one and it’s about a wise clerk who worked at a convenience store in a small town in western United States. One day, a stranger walks in, picked up some bread and milk, and made his way to the cash register. “New to town?” the clerk asked.

“Yep. Just moved here with my family,” the stranger replied.

“Well, then let me be the first to welcome you,” the clerk offering his extended hand for a handshake.

“Thanks,” the stranger said as he shook his hand, saying “what are the people like in this town?”

“Well” thought the clerk, “… what were they like in the town you just left?” the clerk queried.

“Oh, they were fantastic,” the stranger replied. “Friendly, upbeat, and generous. We hated to leave.”

“I know what you mean,” the clerk nodded. “I think that’s pretty much what you’ll find here, too.”

A few days later, another stranger walked into the convenience store. Like the first, he picked up a few staples and headed to the cash register.

The same clerk asked, “New to town?”

“Yes,” the stranger mumbled. “Just arrived.”

Following the same track, the clerk smiled and extended his hand and said, “Let me be the first to welcome you!”

The stranger took his hand reluctantly, frowned, and quickly looked down. “So what are the people like in this town?”

“Well” the clerk asked, “… what were they like in the town you lived in last?”

“Not great,” he stammered. “They were cold, aloof, and selfish. We were glad to get out of there.” He looked up at the clerk.

“I know what you mean,” the clerk affirmed. “I’m afraid that’s probably what you’ll find here, too.” If it’s true that we get what we expect, it’s worth noticing our expectations—and shifting them toward a more positive outcome. You see one man expects a positive, most likely that’s what he’ll gain. If one person expects to meet wonderful people that are positive in their mindsets and that loves to be around other people and lift them up. That’s most likely what you’ll find. However, if you’re looking for someone that’s negative, aloof, and hateful, just like the gentleman said. Most likely that’s what you’ll find as well.

We attract what we expect. So, be aware of your expectations and notice those times you become negative or cynical. You must be careful to limit the negativity in your life or you will reap what you wish! To build your positivity muscle, expect good things to happen to you and your mind will make the good things occur.

Strategy #3 – change your thoughts from “have to” to “get to”. This is a big one for me. Too often we take for granted certain aspects of life. This is a time in our world that we believe has been unprecedented in my lifetime. This change in my thoughts from a “have to” to a “get to” attitude came many years ago in my first position as a CPA. Think about this statement: “I have to go to work today.” To me that statement sounds very negative. As if I’m being forced to go to work. Our world is in the midst of a pandemic, disrupting many employers requiring furloughs, layoffs, loss of benefits, credit damage, etc. These are all negative outcomes. But let’s take a little different approach and change one word in the sentence so that it reads like this, “I get to go to work today.” To me, this is one powerfully, positive statement! By telling yourself how fortunate you are that you’re continuing to be gainfully employed, caring for your family, receiving your employment benefits and maintaining excellent credit by continuing timely payment of all of your debts, well man you are building “Arnold Schwarzenegger” positivity muscles! I’m talking giant muscles of positivity. Too many people can’t see the sun just beyond the clouds. Their focus is only on what’s near them in the negative realm and they can’t simply see a positive lining where the sun will be shining down on them in the very near future. By feeding your mind with this type of change from “have to” to “get to”, you will be well on your way to being positively fit. Strategy #3 for me is change your thoughts from “have to” to “get to” and start reaping those “Arnold Schwarzenegger” muscles of positivity.

And lastly, Strategy #4 is learn to throw a boomerang. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How many of us as kids got a boomerang and I threw that thing as far and as hard as I could throw it and it never quite returned. And then I’d watch how they’d say you would do it on TV. There would be a special on TV in Australia, some of the tribal woodsmen could hunt with the boomerang and throw it to where it would return right to where they were standing. I was simply at awe. I could never get the hang of that because I was throwing too hard. And I’m talking though, not about the hunting tool of the boomerang. No, what I’m referring to is a positivity boomerang.

Positive energy is like a boomerang, when you throw it out, it gets returned to you. Some people don’t understand this concept and use negative comments, spread gossip and other attitudes that are more like frisbees. Now this one, folks, I got. When I was a kid Hasbro had many different types of frisbees. And man I could sail that frisbee for a hundred yards or more. You throw it out and it simply falls to the ground and is of no use to anyone. Unlike the boomerang that returned right where I would be standing. The frisbee when played with by yourself has no intention of returning to your hand once it’s thrown. By impacting those around you in a positive manner, you will find that the returning positivity from these individuals comes back to you even stronger. You are impacted in a powerful way! This is not a difficult concept to grasp. When you feed others positivity, you are actually feeding yourself positivity.

Truthfully, I have always been a positive person. I was raised to be someone who believed the glass was half full, that the world has nothing but great things in store for me. I was fortunate to be surrounded by positively, powerful people as a child and started growing my positivity muscle early in life. Often I am asked by people that meet me, “Do you ever have a bad day?” I just simply smile and laugh and retort to them this simple phrase with a big smile on my face. “No, I do not have bad days, but I have some days are better than others!” Every day to me is a great day. I also say to them, “If you don’t believe everyday is a great day, you just missed the first one”. Then I promise you, you’re not having a good day. You know, this simple phrase causes the person to unknowingly and instinctively smile back at me. That’s what this is all about. The positivity boomerang is something that when you send it out, those people that receive it send it back with much more force.

By focusing on these four easy strategies, your tomorrows can be far better than your yesterdays. I often tell clients when they come into our office. When they sit down with me and they sit there for a moment and they look back and you can just see the eyebrows bend down, and their eyes start to squint, and their mouth will be real pursed. And they’ll start saying, “I wish I had done this, and I should have done that, and why didn’t we do this?” And I simply stop them and I say, “I’m going to admit to you that I’m a failure at one thing in life”. Now their eyebrows are perked up. They’ve come into our office thinking we can provide them the solutions to their concerns. And I will tell them the story that I have emphatically tried with all of my might and I have failed all of my clients in one area. I have failed them in the area of being able to change their yesterdays. But where I have exceeded in life and delivered to them the highest quality of service is in forming their tomorrows the way they wish.

You know, limit what you feed your mind, build your positivity muscle through good expectations, change your thoughts from “have to” to “get to” and lastly learn to throw positivity boomerangs. I know you can do this. Life is what we make of it. I’ll leave you with a short story about attitude and gaining what you expect in life. A shoe salesman had just been hired for an outside sales position. His first territory was in the continent of Africa. Across town, a competitor shoe company hired a young man that would be representing their company in outside sales. He, too, was assigned a territory in the continent of Africa. Well, after only one week, in their territories the first shoe salesmen reported his results to his home office. The telegraph simply said this, “These people go barefoot. They won’t want to buy shoes.” And that was it. However, the competitor’s salesman sent a telegraph to the home office that read, “Quick! Ship as many pairs of shoes that we currently have in inventory. Unlimited potential for sales! These people don’t have any shoes to wear!”

Do you see the difference in attitude? Both face the same type of economy. Both face the same type of customers, and both faced the same conditions and one saw it positive and one saw it negative. It is nothing difficult to say whatever I expect is what will reap. You’ve heard it said many ways, but sowing seeds of kindness, goodness, positivity will only yield you a great crop of the same. But sowing the seeds of negativity will overwhelm you before you can get them from the field. This is what I’m referring to in life by expectations.

This week, work on your positivity muscle. Avoid the negativity of the world and watch how quickly and powerful your life will improve. Be a boomerang thrower and you will continue to grow in positivity. One method of creating positivity for others is to share your experience. Go to our Facebook Page at “Live a Life by Design” and share your experience in our Visitors’ Post Section. We would be glad to hear your comments. And until next week, go change your world for a better light and live a life by your own design!

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