Positive, upbeat people are healthier, happier and more productive than their negative and complaining counterparts.
Chances are high that 99% of the people reading this will agree with me on that … and even if you are a skeptic that stumbled upon this site … i imagine you too would agree that a positive outlook helps create better results than a negative one.
The big challenge is that i am both of those people. I’m the optimist AND the pessimist. I’m the guy who sees you as awesome and amazing and the guy who is overly critical.
Are you both of those people too?
You know that when your thoughts and focus are full of joy, admiration and optimism you feel better, get better results, and are awesome to be around. I imagine you also know that when you’re complaining, criticizing others and ungrateful – the picture of your world isn’t as fun and productive.“Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius
What to do?
The answer is NOT just think positive thoughts. Seriously… if that worked, you wouldn’t be reading this post and i wouldn’t be writing it! Our minds are filled with thoughts that just pop up. Sometimes these random thoughts are fun, constructive and supportive. And oftentimes they are not.
When is the last time that you consciously had the thought, “I’m just going to sit here and ponder all of the things that are going wrong in my life. Make a top ten list for the day and then share that list with the people closest to me?” That’s not the way it works. How it works is that life happens, a critical thought about someone or something pops into your head (who put THAT there? who knows?!) and then before you are really aware of it … that negative thoughts pops out of your mouth.
This is when the real law of attraction really kicks in. Sidenote: it’s my observation that the law of attraction is one of the most misunderstood concepts in all of personal development. You don’t sit at your kitchen table, think about the perfect body, soul mate, income or anything else and then it just shows up… that’s simply not how it works. You don’t LITERALLY become what you think about - Roger Seip cracks me up when he says “If that were literally true, I would have become a girl in high school.”
I will certainly write more about my experience with the Law of Attraction in the future. For now i’ll just say that what your thoughts attract more than anything else is MORE THOUGHTS. And what you think DOES shape your experience and your results… so back to the question:
What to do? Enter my 30 day Challenge.
I have committed to say only positive or neutral words for 30 consecutive days. That means no criticism, complaining or negative commentary is allowed to be spoken aloud for 30 straight days. There are host of reasons i love this challenge, here are my top 4.
1. It requires me to really consider what i am saying. I can still address challenges, express my opinions that are contrary to others and make constructive criticism. I just can’t mindlessly bitch and complain… actually, i can – it just means going back to day one and starting over again.
For example: “My emails are so unclear.” “You make no sense at all!” and “That was the worst call in the history of football.” Have all sent me back to day one.
What i could have said to make the exact same point would have been: “I know i can improve the clarity of my emails” “I would love to understand you better!” and “That call had the most room for improvement in the history of football.”
2. The results are immediate and tangible. When i began my challenge, i immediately felt better. I received really sincere and appreciative feedback from people close to me. And i’ve created some outstanding results from situations that didn’t appear to be filled with goodness. And i’m not alone on this one at all – a good friend just texted me “We started your positive words challenge last night. My (19 year old daughter) said she would ‘try but I have a very stressful week.’ This morning she wrote me (from college) ‘I am liking this positive thinking thing. A LOT in fact it’s completely making my day’.”
3. It doesn’t require me to hide, alter or manipulate my feelings. Feelings come and go. I am a huge believer that “what i resist persists.” If you want to stay sad, angry or confused for a really long time … deny yourself the Freedom to feel that way. This challenge is NOT about what i think or feel… it’s only about spoken words.
4. It is a win/win challenge. If i succeed and only positive or neutral words come out – i win! When i slip and go back to day one – i win… just more days of focusing on the positive and experiencing all of the goodness of the challenge. Why would i EVER want to get to 30 days and have all of this goodness be done? Yeah, yeah – the sense of accomplishment et all. Ok, that will be fun too.
Here’s my experience so far. I started on August 12th… on day two i slipped and went back to day one again. Then i strung together 24 days … ooops disagreement with Michelle – back to day one. Then i bounced around getting to day 3, 5, 4, until Monday Night football. I grew up in Green Bay. O’well. Now i’m on day three and loving it.
I’ll be posting my experiences here. I know that dozens of other people are having fun with this challenge too. Certainly feel free to make up your own challenge! A friend of mine posted on FB “30 days is the Everest of this exercise. I think the rest of us mere mortals should start with 24 hours, then recalibrate and shoot for 3 days.”
I think that is awesome too! My main suggestion is to have fun with it… post YOUR commitment and keep us all in the loop as to how you are doingbe free! eric
Oh… How did this challenge come about? In 2008 Michelle and our great friends Tom and Peggy Weber were hanging out in Argentina for a month. We read about paster Will Bowen’s 21-day Complaint Free Challenge and edited what he was doing into this challenge. Round one took me about 90 days to complete 30.