I am a big believer in having positive people around you and that this is important to helping you be successful in life, no matter what you are trying to do. Positive people can help you be successful professionally, in a hobby, exercising, academically, in personal relationships, and really anything in life and the energy is a benefit as you work towards any goal you may have.
Many successful people speak to this concept of how having positive, optimistic people around them helped them hit their goals. some of those that have spoke or written about this include individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, sports people like Tony Hawk, and others. While their examples may not be as “relatable” to everyday Americans, the point being that positivity is important to being successful in whatever your goal is.
Having negative people, those who are critical or attack you, that put you down, that say you will never be successful and that bash you is not only bad for you mental health but it can also impact your goals, including career. Negativity causes all sorts of challenges.
While there is no consensus as to the causes of poverty (or the solutions to it), there are studies and there have been white papers written on this topic (including from the Brookings Institution) in which one of the causes of poverty is thought to be lack of role models and no positive examples for children who grew up in poverty. The thought is that the lack of positive people is one of the many components that adds to the cycle of poverty. The lack of positive comments and having negative, critical people around can also cause people to partake in self-destructive behaviors according to the Brookings Institution.
I am shocked what I read or hear these days. The verbal attacks, negative comments, lying, anger and hateful words people say or write to others. They can be written on twitter, TV, what people write in print or send in emails, or say face to face, all of that behavior is astounding to me. That type of attacking, negative behavior ruins many financial, personal and professional careers (see a recent example of Roseanne Barr or others like Gilbert Gottfried) and it is so harmful. The lack of calm, thoughtfulness, and consideration sadly seems to be much more common in today’s society. So many people seem to react without thinking first.
As I wrote about, I never had any role models. We wrote about bullying including of low income kids. Heck I have learned even adults can be bullied, especially verbally or in writing. But I have had some positive people around me. There was in general some positive encouragement and words from bosses like Brian at Spectrasite and Gerard at American Tower. Or even back to my days as a teenager working at Wegmans and Dave. Some kind, supportive words always made me feel good, and give me that extra boost as well as motivation.
As mentioned, this year I have been going through therapy, trying to learn more about myself and how my childhood impacted me. As book after book, and expert after expert say how childhood issues stay with you as you age and in fact get worse if they go unaddressed. One great book is of course “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents”.
I have been trying to address my childhood issues…lack of father, no emotional support, volatile household, no positive role models or people, etc. I have been trying to better understand my past and myself, get back on track, and grow.
As part of this process and working with therapists, I have been reflecting on how important it is to hear some positive words. I have reflected on how they helped me be successful professionally, and thinking back even when hearing positive words (though rare) as a kid or earlier in life, I still remember those instances with fondness. I have been reminded how poisonous anger and hateful language is and how much damage that type of behavior does.
Anyone I have mentored through SCORE, or employees I worked with/managed in the corporate world, I have always given them positive words and tried to encourage them to hit their career and/or personal goals. Over the course of these last months I have realized even more so how important that is too do, and will even try to be more aware of this going forward and more dedicated to doing this.
What do you think? Any examples of some positive words given you a boost in your job or even other goals/hobbies/personal life matters?