The Mind is a Powerful Thing to Waste

July 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm 1 comment

When I first met Chris, my future wife, her constant happy demeanor impressed me. She was always upbeat and positive about everything. Her favorite saying was, “It’s all about the fun, Baby!” Most of my life I had been what I considered a realist. I didn’t believe in being a Pollyanna. If things were bad, they were bad. If things were good, just wait they’ll get bad and sure enough they would. Yet, here was a wonder-filled woman who exuded happiness, content, and peace. How did she do it?

The longer I was around her the more I noticed that she was always positive. Whatever the situation she could always see the good in it. In fact it was her attitude and example that was instrumental in helping me through the tragic death of my first wife. I wanted to be this way. I wanted to only see the good, only experience the joy, and not dwell on the negative or bad.

I was first exposed to this way of thinking many years ago in the mid 70’s. I had been recruited to work for a life insurance company out of Chicago as a salesman. My job was to renew and sell new policies in Southern Missouri on route that took six months to complete. I lasted only six months. During my two-week training in Chicago I was introduced to “Positive Thinking”. Several books were either given to me or recommended reading as part of my training. This was new and exciting to me. I was being told that just through my attitude I could draw vast wealth to myself. I was young, I was impressionable, and I bought in.

Once I was back home running the route, I began to see the reality vs. the ideal. Ideally I would rise each morning in a positive attitude, fly through my route, and collect hundreds of dollars in renewals and new business. The reality was I was spending a lot of money supporting myself on the road and bringing little or no business in. Eventually the “No’s” got to me and I quit and went back to what I knew best, the construction industry. I stayed there until I decided to get a college degree in my late 30’s.

From that time till I met Chris, life was a lot of effort. I went from construction to college and then to a new career in advertising while my first wife and I raised three boys. We were always behind, always in debt, never expecting to have anything in life or at the very most just a little. My first wife and I had settled on owning a house trailer in a small town between Lawrence and Topeka, KS. We had set our sites low enough that we could accomplish them. Then my wife was killed and I met Chris.

Chris was a successful businesswoman. She was a human resources director and had been for several years. She saw life in a different way. There was a song in her voice. She hadn’t let life beat her down even though she had endured a divorce, unemployment and everything else that life throws at you. She was an example I wanted to follow. For her having a positive attitude wasn’t about making money or accumulating things. Instead it was a way of life and a part of her.

With her help I am slowly changing how I think, speak and present myself. I am becoming a more positive person. I am beginning to see all the possibilities instead of the impossibilities or “realities” as I used to call them. I am becoming more ideal in my thinking and less negative. It’s a struggle for me as I have many years of bad habits to change and overcome but I am succeeding. This brings me to my point.

It is in our hands (or more accurately, in our heads) to change what’s going on in our lives and our country right now. Too many of us are seeing the glass as completely empty when actually it is at least half full. Sure things are tight. Personally we have taken a big hit financially in the past year. Many of us have. That doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t be better. A positive attitude can see you through. Try it. Spend a day looking at things from a positive perspective. Look for the opportunities and possibilities instead of all the drawbacks. Pay attention to how much smoother the day will go and how much you will accomplish. There’s an old proverb that says what we fear the most will come upon us. I now understand how true that is.

We all are promised by our constitution the right to the pursuit of happiness. Happiness comes from within and starts with attitude. You could be the richest man on the planet and still be very unhappy because of a negative attitude. You also could be destitute but content because you have a positive attitude. The choice is yours and it starts in your head. Believe me I know. I’m a work in progress and each day I choose to be positive and reap the results.

I believe very strongly that we, the people, have the power in our hearts and minds to turn this economy around without the help of the government. By changing our attitudes we can start the ball rolling towards prosperity once again. It’s up to us not our legislators. The responsibility is ours, the individual, to make our situation better if in no other way than the way we view things. Having a positive outlook on life is not about making vast amounts of money. It’s about finding happiness in whatever situation we find ourselves. It’s about looking towards the future with anticipation instead of dread. As for me I’m going to see each new day as an opportunity rather than a challenge, why don’t you join me?

Next week, making business fun again.

By the way, if you agree with me and are a visionary small to medium sized business that needs help telling your story to the world, I’m your man. Let’s get together and discuss the possibilities and potential your business is waiting for you to unleash. My contact info is:

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Another Birthday, Another Year Past Are We Having Fun Yet?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John K  |  July 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Appropriate time for the blog you wrote today, especially for me. Recently, I have been frustrated by giving almost too much knowledge to help prospects solve problems. I felt that I was doing great jobs on helping them decide on solutions and then not being selected for the final solution. Something like the process to engage us developed a flaw on their side and now we are faced with a couple month delay with no guranteed of going forward. However, today we did win one with a signed agreement to go forward. It is a smaller victory but albeit still a good victory where we can help a client who experienced trouble with the vendor they had chosen.

    Timely article and I did appreciate it because it did speak to me today..

    After 17 years in business I still like solving customer problems.

    John K


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 486 other followers

Think Out Loud Calendar

July 2009
« Jun   Aug »


Follow me on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 6,277 hits

%d bloggers like this: