With so much negative information coming in— project cancellations, Warren Buffet stating in an interview that “the economy has fallen off a cliff,” and amazing stock market declines— along with layoffs and, for those who weren’t let go, paycuts— it is easy for anyone to succumb to negative thinking.But you cannot let that happen to you. Negative thinkers don’t get anything done! Negative thinkers don’t see opportunities. And no one likes to hang out with a negative thinker— they just aren’t fun to be with.So what can you do to “tip the scales to positive?” Here are my suggestions:Turn off the news. My Dad would disagree with this one as he stays incredibly well-informed. I don’t want you to be blissfully ignorant of all the bad things going on in the world but I don’t want you to leave no time or space for positive thinking, either. Studies have actually shown that those who are addicted to the news tend to be more negative in their thinking than those who may be a little less informed. Strike a balance. Get your news on the Internet a couple times a day or watch your favorite news show— once a day. Unplug and free up some capacity for some more positive information. Read books. Try fiction, or inspirational biographies, or travel books. Read not to escape but instead for inspiration. A powerful story about someone who overcame obstacles and succeeded at something can do wonders for helping you think more positively.Work out early in the day. I know I always feel better— more positive— on the days that start with some good physical exercise, even if all I do is 30 minutes ofjogging on a treadmill. You’ll be more relaxed, less stressed, and more positive if you do. Eat better. Less red meat (beef and bacon!) and more fresh fruits and vegetables will impact your thinking. And less drinking, too. It makes you tired and cranky after your initial 30 minutes of euphoria. I don’t suggest low-carbing it, however. Low-carb diets are depressing and make most people negative pretty quickly. Disassociate with negative people. Just spend less time with people who always see the sky as black. This isn’t easy. You could be married to such a person or work for such a person. But these people can pollute your thinking. They will always tell you why you CAN’T do something instead of believing that you CAN. They are poison and you cannot let them suck you into their vortex of negativity. Get something accomplished. Ideally, this means doing something at work that’s going to help your business such as getting the resource allocation piece of your Deltek information system up and running, or going out and selling a large project to a good client. But in lieu of work-related accomplishments, how about personal ones? Add a room onto your house. Restore a 1957 Studebaker like the one your Grandpa used to drive. Repaint your daughter’s apartment. Make an unrideable horse rideable. Participate in a triathlon. Accomplish something that you can feel good about and be proud of. Every business I am associated with has been affected by this economy. But I am not going to let myself get negative. Every day can be an exciting, energizing adventure. There are still far more opportunities out there than most people realize. Tip the scales to positive in your thinking and they will start to appear— as if by magic! Originally published 3/23/2009
About Zweig Group
Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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