A Simple Change to Better Days

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller

How to Create Amazing _____
This is an excerpt from my book How to Create Amazing Presentations. It follows the idea that high quality speakers know how to use the right words the right way to make an idea powerful and exciting.

When you use these principles in your life, you can do the same. There will always be negative things to think about and positive things to think about. We need to find good ways to deal with the negative, to be sure, but a little encouragement in the positive, even from ourselves can go a long way.

I hope you find this simple exercise a positive addition to your day:

It’s Not What You Think
The mind will focus on what we tell it to focus on. Sometimes that may not be a good thing.

Comic by Joey Bishop

One way it may be bad is that our mind focuses on what we tell it, even if we tell it not to. For instance, don’t think of a pink elephant.

I have a strange feeling that I know what you are thinking about. The brain thinks about what we tell it to without paying attention to the negatives.

I’ve given several speeches on goal setting and one of the key factors is to always put it in the positive. If you want to quit smoking, you don’t say, “I quit smoking.” Every time you talk about that goal, your brain is forced to think about smoking. Instead, a better goal would be “I breathe only clean air”. Then every time you say your goal, you have a pleasant thought that focuses you on what you really want.

When you present, you will do much better to focus on the positive than the negative. Here are some examples.

The Exception
There will be times where you will want to show the negative. In those cases where you are trying to call attention to a bad situation, you will want to show the problem as it exists.

For instance, if you are talking about a family experiencing hard times who may need financial help, or people in a disaster area who need temporary assistance, or an injustice that is occurring that you want to set right, you will want to highlight the problems that exist.

Still, you will want to avoid negators whenever possible. For instance, don’t say, “They don’t have access to clean drinking water.” Instead say, “The only water they have access to is dirty and full of pathogens.” Instead of saying, “They don’t have any stability.” say, “Their world is full of violence and instability.” Avoiding using words like “not” and “don’t” will help make your point stronger.

Applying This Today
I hope you see the value in this small section dealing with positives and negatives. When we focus on the positive, we see more positive and we more clearly share our ideas.

I hope you are able to apply this to your day and find all there is to be positive about.

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One Response

  1. Oh man, I am definitely guilty of framing my thoughts in a negative frame. It has not even occurred to me how much more light and clarity I could shed on a subject if I avoided negators! Thanks for taking the time to share your insight on the matter.

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About the author

David is a father, speaker, blogger (obviously), and author of How to Create Amazing Presentations sharing the tools, tips, and techniques of the experts to make you an amazing presenter, 7 Steps to Better Relationships built on the stories and lessons on this blog with seven easy steps to help you maximize your interactions with the people you care about most, and The Man in the Pit to help you care for loved ones struggling with depression.

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