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Clean the Screen

Dane Allred’s World of Hurt

Clean The Screen

I’m positively done with the negativity. I’m not going to listen to the naysayers and doomsday prophets anymore. To symbolize this change, I just cleaned off my computer screen and the world is looking much, much better. Don’t have a screen to clean? Think of it this way. Wipe that mud off your face and walk away from those throwing the mud.

I’ve made a conscious decision to stop participating in the mud fight. I’m sure others will keep on throwing the mud, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay and get dirty along with them.

Without sounding too negative in my newly designed positive world, I’m talking about all those people who trade in words like “can’t”, “failure”, “never”, “no”, “futile” or “stupid”.

I confess to listening to those words spouted by the “experts” for many, many years. But I’ve had it. You’d be surprised how much your attitude changes when you embrace what is possible and delete the “impossible” from your language.

As an example, here’s a list of past “impossibilities”. Humans can’t fly. Humans will never walk on the moon. Humans will never cure polio, measles, small pox, etc. I’m taking my new marching orders from someone you may have heard about. Albert Schweitzer was known for getting things done, not for nattering about the negative. His attitude was one of positive thinking, action, and an indomitable spirit.

Here’s a summary for those who doubt. He studied to a theologian. After his training, he could have preached goodness and light for the rest of his life. But he wanted to roll up his sleeves and be part of the solution. So he went back to school and became a doctor. He spent seven more years gaining the knowledge and aptitude to put his belief into action. At the ripe old age of 37 he started practicing medicine in an old chicken coop in Africa. He spent his life trying to get us to stop worrying about the end of the world and get busy making a positive contribution. He didn’t listen to the harping chorus of “no, never, pointless, worthless, ineffective, fruitless, futile, stupid, etc.” Oh, by the way, while doing all this, he also became one of the world’s greatest organ players.

Still not convinced we don’t need to wallow in the mud with the others? Here are some ways I’ve learned to deal with negativity in practical, everyday life. As a worker, I am often presented with problems to be solved. I’ll bet your job is much the same. You are given a problem, your job is to find a solution, and fix it. Then you move on to the next problem. You don’t cry and whine it can’t be done – you find a way to do it or you don’t have your job for very long.

I’ve chosen to accept criticism since I am also a performer. I’ve acted in dozens of stage productions, commercials, and films. When the director offers criticism of my performance, I accept it with a polite “thank you” and figure a way to improve. If that doesn’t work, the director gives me another suggestion, which I accept with “thank you” and the process continues. I don’t throw a tantrum and crawl on the floor, blaming everyone but myself. I accept the shortcoming, and look for ways to overcome it.

Much better than mud throwing.

You can change the channel – can you tune away from the negative and find a way to channel some positivity? You’ll be surprised how optimistic you’ll become listening to your favorite music or watching an inspiring movie or program instead of the continual broadcast of trash talk.

Give thanks – rejecting negativity doesn’t have to be rude. You can remove yourself from the conversation or change the subject. But don’t forget to say “thanks” for the efforts of others. Remember, being positive doesn’t mean throwing mud back. We can choose not to participate, and instead focus on how to fix perceived problems.

Be a solver -- start a solution. I have my way of trying to make the world a better place, and so do you. I hope what you achieve is more than just the same-old name-calling. It’s one of the reasons you are here. We need your help and creativity, not negativity. Why whine, when you can create? Why moan when you can move toward a solution? Let the mud-throwers enjoy themselves as they throw mud, but don’t forget to invite them to the celebration of your success.

There was a time when Dale Carnegie told us to get a “positive attitude”. I know that ingenuity, faith, trust, hope and hard work will always defeat fear. If you are with me, turn this resolution into a physical act. Clean off your screen as a reminder to make the change. Or just wipe that mud off your face.

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