How Positive Thinking Impacted My Life

How Positive Thinking Impacted My Life

Oct 21, 2015 | Leadership and Personal Growth | 0 comments

In February 2006 I suffered a massive stroke. It nearly killed me and the blood clot it formed almost totally wiped my cerebellum. The doctor said the fact I endured such a major health event and was able to walk and talk normally, didn’t require any sort of rehab and had no lingering side effects was a miracle—one due in part to positive thinking.

Studies have shown that the brains of people who are more positive thinkers tend to react much better to trauma than the brains of people who are negative and pessimistic. There is a lot of medical jargon that goes along with it, but, in a nutshell, the power of positive thinking helped save my life.

[bctt tweet=”The brains of positive thinkers tend to react much better to trauma than the brains of pessimists.”]

Develop a Peaceful Core

Many years ago I learned the importance of developing a peaceful core. When everyone else was running around, pulling their hair out and screaming about impending doom and crises, I would always put things in perspective. Had anyone died as a result of the calamity at hand? No? Can it be fixed by making an adjustment to something we’re already doing? Yes? Then it’s not a crisis. It’s a situation. Situations can be handled. They may not be fun to handle, but they aren’t the end of the world. The world is always going to be a crazy, chaotic place. That’s just the nature of the beast and you have no control over that. The only thing you can control is how you react to the craziness and if you’re going to let chaos take hold inside of you. I can guarantee you, if you let the chaos take hold of you inside, you won’t be very effective in the outside world.

[bctt tweet=”Your peaceful core is a place inside of you that is OK with whom you are exactly as you are.”]

Your peaceful core is a place inside of you that is OK with whom you are exactly as you are. It’s the place where you can celebrate all the things about yourself that are great—and completely accept all your imperfections. It’s a place where you can totally focus on the positive. It’s not an easy place to create, but once you do, you can handle anything. People develop this inner peace in a variety of ways. Some people may find it through their faith, others through exercise or meditation. It’s something different for everyone.

[bctt tweet=”Your peaceful core is where you celebrate the great things & also accept the imperfections.”]

One way I find mine is being out at my farm. Nothing centers me more than being down on my knees, digging in the dirt, tending to my plants and not thinking or worrying about anything else. And I’ve found that working in the garden is an excellent metaphor for the work that we have to continually do to stay positive and cultivate our peaceful core.

[bctt tweet=”Your peaceful core is not an easy place to create, but once you do, you can handle anything.”]

Weed Out the Negativity

You see, starting a garden is easy. You buy some plants or seeds and put them in the ground. It’s the weeding, watering and general maintenance that people really don’t want to do. Growing weeds takes no maintenance at all. They will grow anywhere without any prompting at all. If you never pull them, they will take over your garden and strangle anything productive you are trying to grow. To prevent this, you have to tend to your garden every single day—even when it’s hot, you’re tired or just not in the mood to deal with it.

The mind is the same way. Saying you are going to focus on the positive is easy. But, doing the work required to actually maintain your peaceful core isn’t. You constantly have to monitor what you are allowing to take root in your brain. You can’t just make sure you’re thinking about the right things. You also have to make sure you’re not thinking about the wrong things—even when you’re tired, frustrated and downright angry. Left unchecked, negative thoughts will begin to sprout up with such intensity that they will strangle any positive thoughts you have planted. You constantly have to weed out the negativity to keep it from running wild and taking over.

[bctt tweet=”You can’t just think about the right things. You must also not think about the wrong things.”]

Finding the thing that brings you peace and visiting it often is going to be your saving grace when a real problem or crisis occurs—like when you find yourself lying in the ICU with wires coming out of you and not being too sure what is going on. That peaceful core will be the thing that allows you to focus on what is happening, see the problem for what it really is and work to find a real, feasible solution without getting drawn into the chaos around you.

So take the time to carefully tend to what you are allowing to take root in your in your brain. When you feel negativity starting to cloud your thinking, get down on your hands and knees and pull out the bitterness weeds, the frustration weeds and the anger weeds and go to your peaceful place. Who knows? One day it may be the place that saves your life.

[bctt tweet=”If negativity starts to cloud your thoughts, get on your hands & knees and pull out the weeds.”]


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As Co-CEO of the largest independent financal services company in North America, John Addison’s skill as a leader was tested and honed daily. He retired in 2015 after taking the company and it’s people to massive heights. He’s just not done helping people get to the top. Today, he’s at the helm of Addison Leadership Group, INC working daily to mentor and educate new leaders.