Do you know someone who acts like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed every day? Or maybe you know someone who rebuts any positive comment you make with a negative one. Perhaps this acquaintance of yours is the branch manager of the negative bank teller. These kind of people are negative-thinking, pessimists. They are convinced that the world is out to get them. Many of these folks had bad experiences early in life from bad parenting, negative experiences in relationships or some other influential factor to give them a tainted view of life. In short, these people are paranoid that all things on Earth are working against their best interest.
On the other hand, you may know someone who is so upbeat that when he wears his shoes out he just figures that he’s “back on his feet.” This person loves to make lemonade out of lemons that life deals him. He never uses the word problem, rather it’s an opportunity. He never uses the word failure, rather it means he has successfully out something that does not work (like Edison with the light bulb). This person honest-to-goodness believes that the world is conspiring for him. He thinks that people are out o help him. He actually believes that every event, action or occurance in life will somehow work out in his favor. As Brian Tracy explains in his book
Maximum Achievement, this person is a classic Inverse Paranoid. He is the exact opposite of a paranoid. He believes the people that people are out to get him…..get him to achieve his maximum potential in life. The following three aspects clearly describe an inverse paranoid.
- She is a person of faith. Scientific research has determined that the higher level of faith in God or a Higher Being, the lower the stress level for that person. Being a person of faith does not prevent bad things from happening to you, it merely give you the strength to handle whatever comes your way. Whether you have a good, bad or neutral day your spritual arsenal keeps you at the top of your game at all times.
- She is an optimist. This is not a person with rose-colored glasses who lives in a pie-in-the-sky fantasy world. This is a person who views life as getting better and better each day. Someone who encounters problems and fears like the rest of us, but tackles them head-on as an opportunity to reach out of his comfort zone and slowly move towards his maximum potential. This person spends little or no time worrying about things he can’t change. He is confident and optimistic things will work out for the best. He believes worrying only has two possible outcomes – both bad. First, if you were wrong about your worry and it never materializes you wasted time and energy worrying about nothing. Second, if the bad thing does materialize could you have prevented it? Was it out of your control? If so, it will happen regardless of whether you worried about it. So, don’t waste time worrying.
- She has intelligent ignorance. The world is filled with stories of people who were too ignorant to know they should fail. In all probability this person should have failed but did not. In reality, it’s not an ignorance they have, but an intelligence that most of us do not possess. Some examples:
Chris Burke, best known for the character, Corky, played for four years on the television series, Life Goes On, and became one of America’s favorite personalities. Through his work, he was able to transform America’s image of the people with disabilities. Ever since Chris spoke his first word, it became clear that he was a remarkable individual with many talents.
Chris Burke was the first person with Down syndrome to star in a weekly television series. Currently, he serves as the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Ambassador. Chris had the faith in his own abilities and the courage to face prejudice as he pursued his dream to become an actor.
Jim Abbott has thrown a no-hitter, won Olympic gold in 1988, and been on Letterman. He is one of a handful of professional players who never once put on a minor-league uniform, jumping instead straight from college baseball to the big league. But those aren’t the only reasons we know Jim Abbott. He is the only player in major league baseball who was born with one hand.
Abbott was able to reach the major league without having a right hand, and he quickly became one of the better pitchers in the game during the early 1990’s.
What kind of parents do you think Chris Burk and Jim Abbott had? Do you think they mentally chained their children into believing they were dooming for a life of mediocrity because of their disabilities? Or did they plant seeds of greatness in their children’s heads full of intelligent ignorance? Most folks would have written Chris and Jim off from the start. But no one ever told them they should fail, so they didn’t? Pretty profound stuff, huh?
Another great idea I read in Brian Tracy’s book Maximum Achievement is to start each day with this phrase: Today something wonderful is going to happen to me. The first day I tried this was in December and I said it most of the day. During that day I went to three different stores looking for an out-of-stock toy for my son for Christmas. After visits to several stores I quickly reached the conclusion that this toy was not in my son’s future for Christmas this year. Just then I looked behind the display on one of the shelves at the toy store and lo and behold…I found this elusive toy hiding behind some other toys. I had found the last one in the store! Now, you might be saying “how was this something wonderful?” Well, at the time this was something wonderful to me. Here’s the part that really gets you thinking: would I have found that toy that day if I had not said “today something wonderful is going to happen to me”? Maybe I would have maybe I would not have. I have no way of knowing scientifically whether saying this phrase helped me or not. What I do know is that saying the phrase completely changes your attitude each and every time you say it. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve feverishly waiting for time to pass by rapidly so I can see my big surprise. If you say that phrase in the mirror first thing in the morning it totally shapes your view of the day – the entire day! Since ultimately it is you that defines what something wonderful is, you end up going through the whole day wondering if that was the wonderful thing or that was it. To sum it up, it’s the not something wonderful thing that makes you a better person. It’s the person you become while waiting for that something wonderful to happen.
So, the next time you see that Negative Ned or Negative Nelly complaining about the rain you should reply “sure is a great day today….for ducks!”