This one is really simple. The focus on the good versus the bad must somehow be deep in my DNA. I fundamentally believe that life is good and I am on a crusade to communicate that to people around me. It's how I greet the folks I meet on the trail, the patients I treat in my office, my family, my friends, anyone I come across. In fact, because I'm typically wearing my LIfe is Good hat or have the sticker on my car or the book in my hand, I like to think that I am saying this before I even open my mouth,
It is my goal to begin every day with a positive optimistic outlook on life.
Do you see how I said that above? I purposely used the words "goal" and "crusade" because it absolutely astonishes me how often people try to extinguish the flame of positivity. The world is full of people who focus on the negative and seated next to them are the people in my life who want to school me in either the theology of sin or who like to point out their belief that I am wearing rose-colored glasses.
Since high school, I can remember being interviewed for jobs or positions in college and often I would be asked what type of people annoy me. For 35 years, the answer has always been the same: Negative People. I just cannot understand why someone would begin their day, their project, their journey, their relationships from a negative position and more than anything, this will takes the wind out of my sails.
Along the way, here are two things I have noticed:
1) I am not ignoring reality. Life can be very hard and there are many people who are dealing with enormous struggles. This is all about your attitude in the midst of your hard life and your struggles. I'm reminded of the Vietnam War prisoner who was assigned to clean the prison sewer. He recalls that he survived his loneliness and misery by beginning with a positive attitude each and every day. Cancer survivors. Widows. There are many folks out there who chose to face misery with positivity. So, in case you are wondering, I am a realist. I get it.
2) I have a current (and acute) need to recover my positivity. My wife would tell you I have lost more and more of my positivity over the years. I used to be the guy who stumbled into a pile of horse shit, but immediately began looking for the pony. I had a knack of looking beyond the negative for the positive. I would always see the potential in a situation.
I don't know what happened. Life, the world, dentistry, pessimistic people? Something has dimmed my outlook. Like I said above, if positivity is the wind that powers the sails of my life, over the past few years, my sails are often found flapping without a breeze.
So, it's time to make a change. The Life is Good crusade is on. I want to be a spokesman for positivity, but I don't want to do this alone. I invite you to join me. Speak, live, encourage positivity! Let's turn some things around.
Quietly making noise,