Posts Tagged: negative

Jul 12

The Tough Fights


Yep, I’m back.  I bet some of you were worried that I had been taken out by some of the people I may have pissed off in the last blog.

For those of you who didn’t read the last blog I talked about people who struggled with negative thinking.

This was not a shot at people who tended to have a different tint on life than me.  I was just opining about how I didn’t understand.

The reality is, it is very easy for anyone (especially me) to blather about and have opinions on things that they don’t struggle with.
But we all struggle with something.  It can be anything… negativity, insensitivity, arrogance, denial, low self-esteem, doubt, passivity, aggressiveness… choose your own poison.

The point is that it’s very easy for someone for whom a particular thing isn’t a struggle to be very casual and flippant about the other person’s struggles.

Just so you know, I wasn’t being flippant about negativity.  I just don’t understand it.

There are things about me and things that I struggle with that other people can’t understand and be tempted to say… get over it.
Most of you who have read my blog for any length of time know that I have struggled with worrying too much about what people think.

It is one of many reasons why I started this blog.  I put myself out to the world, say my piece and not worry about what people think.

This whole “worrying what people think” has hindered me and has been a pain in the ass.

I do pretty well now but it still rears its ugly head.  I don’t choose to feel this way any more than a person chooses to be negative.
It’s very easy for the person who could care less what other people think say… just stop feeling being that way, don’t worry what people think.

Oh sure, easy for you to say.  Because it’s easy for them doesn’t mean it’s easy for me.

I ran across this video a few years ago that is terrific.  A favorite.

First, there is a lot of truth to it but it also shows how easy it is to just tell someone to just stop doing the thing that hinders them.
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STOP it!

That’s easy for me to say about people who tend to think negatively.

Whatever the issue is that hinders us we must face it, work on it and eventually wrestle that gorilla to the ground.

Take it from me, just because you wrestled that gorilla to the ground doesn’t mean it won’t fight back to get free.  You have to keep your foot on its neck.

So, to all those reading this today I hope you aren’t feeling negative about my blog.  And if you are I will try not to worry about what you think.

See you Monday.

Jul 12

Which are you?


Howdy, I’m glad you decided to hang out with me.

I’m not sure why this topic popped into my head but it did and so I’m going with it.  I will probably be sorry I did by the time finish the blog.

The topic is about people who tend to think negatively.

Now if you start gripping about the topic in your head and find yourself slightly irritated then guess what, this blog entry may be for you.  Yes… YOU!!!

Frankly, I don’t understand negative people.  Seriously.

Some people in the world have the disease I call optic recitus.  Or in layman’s terms it means a crappy outlook on life.

Have you ever known anyone like that?

There are some people who can find something negative about anything regardless of how good it is.

  • The watermelon has too many seeds
  • The roses have thorns
  • It’s too crowded at a great show
  • Insert your own

Like I said… I just don’t understand.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to tarnish the good thing with something negative.  Why lower the good by focusing on the bad?

Here’s the really weird part.  It seems like negative people have to make sure those around them are aware of the negative too.

It seems that they are bothered that we don’t seem to see the severity of the problem.   That if we were truly aware that we too would be appropriately troubled.

Just so you know, I’m not the type of person who flits around in life floating in the happy clouds with We Are The World dancing in my head.

I’m pretty good at seeing life and the issues of life realistically.

I see negative things like anyone else.  I see the dirty spots people have missed, I have to spit out the seeds of the watermelon, I have to wait in line to get out of the crowded parking lot after the show and I can see how stupid some people act.  I’m not blind.

Not me!  I choose to not let the negative be my focus.  I don’t want to let the negative to corrupt the good.

This is the sad reality.  Whatever you focus on becomes dominant while the area not focused on is lessened.

I don’t know about you but I want good to be dominant… not the negative.

Yes, there are negative things that need to be addressed in life.  And yes there are some people who live at the other end of the continuum who have rose glasses and live on pixie dust who are not willing to look at and address the hard issues.

Let’s be real world for a minute.  I tend to believe that human’s natural default trends toward the negative.

But the negative is not the default I choose.

I want good to dominate, not the negative.

Ciao… see you Thursday.


Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we might as well dance.

- Unknown

Feb 12

I wish, I wish, I wish


Hi, I hope you have been tagging along the last couple of blogs. 

We have been talking about two phrases that determine the course of your life.  Each of these two phrases has as its key word… “If”.

The two simple phrases are, “What if…” and “If only…”.

We spent the last blog talking about the “What if” phrase.  It is the phrase that is future focused.  The positive application of this little phrase charts a life course and loads it with possibilities.

But as we all know, there are always two sides to a coin.  The other side of this coin is “If only…”.

Whereas the “What if…” mindset takes control of one’s life, “If only…” thinking relinquishes control.

“If Only…”

I hope I don’t sound judgmental, but I do not understand why some people choose to occupy space on this side of the coin.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have my share of “If only…” experiences in my life too.  I would have liked to have some things different.  Some were no fault of my own and some are totally the result of my own hand.

But the past is the past and I REFUSE to give it the attention or energy it tries to demand.  Looking backwards is energy used in the wrong direction.

Sadly, I know several people who are consumed with things that happened (or didn’t happen) to them in the past. 

Before we go any further it is important to note that I am not arguing with the fact that bad things happen to people.  It’s sad but true, some terrible things happen to people.  Things that are completely unfair and wrong.  

I am not debating the fairness of anyone’s particular situation, good or bad… but I am saying this… spending time on the “only if…” side of life is a losing proposition

Not only is it a losing proposition, “If only…” is victim position.  And victims feel they have no choice… except maybe revenge… but that poison pill is more deadly than refusing to let go.

There is NO win at all for expending energy in that direction.

Just so you know, I am not saying it’s an easy task.  Negative things in our lives are pretty tough hombres… they’re tough to kill. 

We think we have finally buried them and without notice we feel the slimy hand reach from a shallow grave to grab us once again.

Wishing something did or didn’t happen doesn’t change it.  The anger or resentment one hangs on to only breathes life into the death spiral.

We begin to live off the carcass of a dead past.  We sort of become the road kill on the highway of life. 

But the good news is there are other options to lying on the side of the road with tire tracks across our middle.

The scars you abhor as marks of pain become symbols of strength and character.  That’s the amazing prize of victory. 

I am inspired by J.R. Martinez.  In 2003, Martinez sustained severe burns to over 40 percent of his body while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq.

As many of you know he is an actor and recent winner of the TV show Dancing With the Stars

Obviously from the picture we can see his scars are external.  He is a remarkable example of not choosing the victim phrase of “If only…”.

Its remarkable how small words can be so powerful… it all depends on how we choose to look at them.

Ciao… see you Monday.

May 11

Polka and a Pinky Ring


Howdy, I hope your day is going well.

My day started early…  3:10 a.m. early.  I tend to be an early riser but this was a bit much.

To add to my odd morning I am currently scrunched up in a small airplane seat (19 F) on my way to Phoenix.  To make matters worse the person in front of me has her seat reclined back in my lap.  Any closer I could kiss her forehead.

So here I am trying to write my blog entry and I have to stand the computer on its edge and half folded to be able to type.

I am sure that I look weird to the people around me.  I am sitting straight up, peeking over the edge of the computer with my elbows invading the air space of my fellow passengers and fingers dancing along the keyboard.

I have this uncomfortable feeling that the combination of my posture and the contraption in my lap makes me look like I am playing the accordion.  All I need is a pinky ring to make the scene complete… polka anyone?

There are people coughing, babies crying and only three hours and 25 minutes to touch down… but who’s counting… ahhh the glamour of travel.

But strangely, I feel pretty cheerful.  I haven’t let the surroundings capture my attitude.  Just so you know, I tend to be pretty pleasant most of the time (except when I get hungry, then I can get a bit cranky).

I am having a good day because I am choosing not to let things get to me.

This morning I had extra help with my attitude, but not in the way that you might think.  What helped me decide to have a good attitude was watching a person with a bad attitude.

Before the flight I heard a person really complaining.  First let me say in all fairness, there were things going on that were frustrating.  So the basis of the frustration was legitimate.

But like most things in life, it is not the “what” in life that defeats us but the “how” we deal with it.  Everyone faces things that are annoying, unfair or frustrating.

I am sure you too have experienced similar scenes.  Someone gets frustrated because something isn’t going right.

It starts off as some low level grumbling and then the voice gets louder as a means to let everyone and especially the source of the frustration know they are unhappy.

As the problem lingers the voice gets louder, more intense and caustic.  The voice is no longer just a means of announcing unhappiness but becomes a spew.

Initially I believe most of the people standing just ignored the person.  But as the vocal siren of whine and frustration wailed  on we all wanted to escape… or take her out.  It was tempting because we all wanted to take ourselves out of her misery.

Now in all fairness, I too have had my times.  But the light finally came on when I realized that getting upset doesn’t change a thing.  It just makes the situation worse and sucks everything and everyone around that’s not secured into a black hole of negativity.

I guess if I step back and look at the situation in total I have to come to the conclusion that all was not bad.  If God can use a talking donkey, He can use a spinning headed woman to touch my life.

It gave me something to write about and I ended up having a good day.

See you Thursday.

Feb 11

Life Stuff

“Electrical problems!”

This is not something you want to hear while sitting on the tarmac under the mid-day Florida sun.  Ugggh!

On Monday I talked about the surprise joys life offers you.  I like those.

Then… then there are the surprise life irritants.  I am not talking about big negative stuff but the niggley things that happen that are just… just… irritating.  I guess it’s sort of like the ants and mosquitoes of a picnic.  But then again, that’s part of the picnic experience.

But of course the level of irritation is in direct proportion to your frame of mind and the number of irritants.  A few ants and mosquitoes aren’t too bad but if you are having to fight off Texas size mosquitoes that are out to get a pint of blood each then patience does tend to run a bit thin.

Generally I am pretty easy going.  The delay wasn’t too bad.  It was much more tolerable because everyone on the plane seemed to be pretty cool about the delay.  That always makes a big difference.

What’s really frustrating is when you have a life irritant episode and then people around you get all in a tizzy pushing a routine irritant into the “pain in the ass” category.

Have you ever been on a picnic or fun event and someone is always complaining.  “It’s too hot”, “There’s bugs”, “The food is cold”.  Have you been in a situation like this and it makes you want to yell, “Someone please take a plastic fork and jab it in my neck and take me out.”

Now here’s the real tricky part.  I don’t think I am a pain in the ass type of person.  But then again, most people who are the purveyors of irritation don’t generally realize that they are making a somewhat tolerable situation intolerable.

Isn’t that the way it is.  We always tend to look at the other person but not at ourselves.  When another person is uncomfortable they are being a whiney pansy butt.  But if I am the one uncomfortable… I mean… who wouldn’t complain.  Things are unpleasant.  You would be upset too if a leaf fell into your potato salad.

The point is, there are things that are irritating.  But I, like everyone else, need to remember that how I respond under unpleasant circumstances either minimizes or magnifies the situation.

As I said earlier I don’t’ think that I am the complaining type… but.  There are times where I can get a bit testy.  I don’t know about you but I get much more complainy and irritable when I’m hungry.  If we ever meet and I get testy just shove a cookie in my mouth and all is good.

Up to this point the blog has been a somewhat fun perspective about life’s irritants and people being people.

But you know, there are some people who are completely self-consumed.  I must confess, I don’t understand these types of people.  It is so foreign to me.  As you know (those who have been reading my blog for a while), I tend to be much too concerned about people around me and worry about what they think.

Yes, I have my flat spots too just like everyone else.

Have you ever met or known someone who is self-consumed?  They’re focus is on what they want, when they want it.

I must have an issue with self-consumed people… seriously.  I am embarrassed to say this, but I found myself starting to get irritated writing about self-consumed people.   Good thing there wasn’t a plastic fork lying around.

But I am deciding at this point not to talk any more today about self-consumed people.  It’s a good day and I don’t want to spoil it.

My wife and I are on our way back home… no place like home.

In fact, I am writing this blog entry on our flight home.

Have a great weekend and keep plastic forks at a safe distance.

See you Monday.

Aug 10

The Carrier

Howdy.  Welcome back.

Have you had anything lately just make you smile?  Not laugh or grin… smile.  Actually there’s a big difference.

I ran across this video and it just made me smile.  Take a look.


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I may be a softy but I thought this video was flat out cute.  I just found myself smiling, bobbing my head with the music and enjoying the story.  It left me with a good feeling.

It struck me in such a way as to cause me to do a little internal digging to understand why I responded as I did.

As I sorted through the clutter I was struck by its innocence and simplicity.   I have no question that the innocence screamed loudly to me because we live in such a negative, cynical, angry world.  Everything we hear seems to be fear based and mean spirited.

Side Note: Some of you are probably scrunching your forehead and yelling at the computer… “It’s just a Huggies commercial.  It’s not a big of a deal.”

Maybe… maybe not!


All I know is that a person has to guard themselves from the onslaught of things that jade.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I never want to lose the joy of innocence.  If we lose touch with the beauty of innocence we become hard and suspicious.

We soon trust nothing.  Everything is suspect.  Sad isn’t it?

Some may say that I may be a bit naive.  Nope, I am very aware of the perils of our world.

But I also know that hardness and distrust begats hardness and distrust.  Cynicism breeds cynicism.  So I have made a decision.  I have decided not become a carrier.

There are far too many Typhoid Mary’s of negativity.  The problem is most carriers don’t know they are sick.  They are oblivious to the problem and they unknowingly spew their disease.

Some may be wondering how a person knows if they are a carrier or not.  I can’t say what it is for anyone else but I believe for me that becoming hard to the joy and beauty of innocence is a key symptom.

So I like it when I run across something that makes me smile.

What kinds of things make you smile?

See you Monday.

May 10

The Positive Negative

Hello… Pumpkin Head here.  If you did not read the last blog the Pumpkin Head thing will make no sense what so ever.

The time box that I have been exploring the past couple of blogs has been pretty interesting, sentimental, fun and… not so fun.  Looking through the box I found some vivid reminders of my academic accomplishments, or more accurately non-accomplishments. 

I was in the quarter of the graduating class that made the upper three quarters possible.  The interesting thing is that I know now that I’m not dumb.   

Side Note:  Not being dumb doesn’t mean that I haven’t done some stupid stuff and goofy things.  I have learned that intellect doesn’t negate stupidity.

Have you ever done anything stupid?  Humm… my guess is… YES!    


Although I don’t think I am dumb you would never known it by my grades, they were horrible.  I even had to repeat a grade in High School because I failed too many classes.  (Too bad the pass theory now in place in schools wasn’t in there when I was in school.)

Not only did I make crappy grades I didn’t fit in.  I was the classic misfit.  I wasn’t cool enough to be with the popular kids; athletic enough to be a jock; obviously academically challenged as to not make it to the National Honor Society crowd;  or bad enough to hang out with the “Bad Boys”.

I was just there… pretty much a non-entity.

Side Note:  While writing all this about myself I could just hear some of the various responses.

  • “Poor thing”
  • “Ahhh”
  • If you are from the South you said, “Oh bless his heart.”

Now don’t go feeling bad for me.  My psyche wasn’t damaged too much and I did all right for myself.  I ended up marrying a hot girl from Georgia who was Miss High School everything plus Homecoming Queen… so take that Linda from Miss Rogers 5th period History class.  Sorry, I just got carried away.

I’m sure the big question on your mind is, “So what?”  You may be wondering what in the world does this guy sharing his High School experiences have to do with me. 

Maybe nothing.  Maybe more than you might think. 

This blog is about a journey, a journey away from things that restrict growth, freedom, and experiencing life at it’s fullest.  It is also a journey to, to taking risks, putting things in their place and really enjoying this marvelous life ride we are all on.  What an adventure.  What a blessing.  I used to view negative things in my life so… so… negatively. 

This may sound strange but not all negative things are negative.  

I don’t know the negative things in your life that somehow ended up in your bag of rocks.  (See the 3/9/30 blog Sack of Rocks.)

All I know is that some of you are reading this blog and something is stirring.  Something that compels you to let go of some of those rocks you perceive as negative that have been making your journey a bit more difficult.

I have never openly shared that I failed a grade in High School… it was embarrassing.  But strangely enough I don’t see it nearly the deal it was at one time.  Growth and openness has a way of changing the way we see things.

See you Monday.