No. 162



One evening last week the phone rang and on the other end of the line was a lady who reads my column in one of our many fine Kentucky newspapers. After she introduced herself and told me where she was from, she said, "I've been meaning to call you for some time. Each week after reading your column I feel better." She then went on to tell me that she works as a hairdresser in a beauty shop and is constantly around negative people.

After thinking about our conversation I decided to share some of the highlights with you because there are so many working people who are in a similar situation. If you have ever experienced this kind of environment, you know it can be terribly depressing. It's almost like working and living under a wet blanket. If my column is helping this dear lady to cope with her circumstances, I say, "Praise the Lord" and I hope some of the ideas I share in the future will help her to rise above her circumstances. I know it's easy to feel trapped but really, life is too short to be unhappy.

In reality, we must first achieve success in our own life before we can ever be in a position to help someone else. It should be understood that success means different things to different people. Here I'm not advocating that this lady quit her job if being a hairdresser is what she is good at and what she likes to do. She also told me that she is involved in a multi-level marketing program. This may work out but the odds are against her. In her case, she would be much better off in the long run, if she saved her money for a few years and either started or bought a beauty shop of her own. She would then be in a position where she could control her enviorment.

In case you don't know or have wondered why so many people are negative, I believe I can shed some light on this subject. If you will do some research as I have, you will find that the vast majority of negative people have no goals. Without goals there is no way to score or to win. In other words, these people may cheer when their football or basketball team wins but they don't have much to cheer about in relation to their own personal success.

When you find people who are negative and down and out, you will find other people just like them because these are the kind of people they want to spend their time with. Misery loves company. Over a period of time this negative environment creates a negative state of mind. What's important to realize is that negative talk or comments must first be formed in our mind before they are expressed out loud.

In many cases negative people have the same talents and abilities as positive people, but they have just never seen it or believed it. One of the things that holds a person back when they begin to seek a better life is that they must make a break with their old friends and places where they hang out. For the person who decides to make the break, it's like the story of the crabs in the bucket. One crab gets almost to the top and freedom but just before he gets out a crab from the bottom reaches up and pulls him back down. Another technique they use is to laugh and make fun of the person who is trying to better himself.

Here is perhaps the most important point I can make in relation to what I have been saying. In our society no one laughs at a true "winner" and the way to become a winner is to keep our own councel, set some short and long range goals, save and invest 10% of our income, and work hard and stay with our plan. If what I'm saying applies to you or someone you love, when you become a "winner" you will know it and so will they. I can promise you the day you move up in the world is the day they'll stop laughing. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)