Opinions expressed by Minority Mindset contributors are their own.
The world is full of Negative Nancys. A Negative Nancy is the type of person who you could give a free box of cookies to and NOT receive a “Thank You”. Typically, Negative Nancys will reply with a “What? No milk?! What’s the point?” They always find something to complain about.
Being around these folks feels like being sucked into a vortex where all your hopes and dreams die.
It’s tough being surrounded by people who never celebrate life’s small treasures. It’s much more enjoyable to be around happy people. The greatest people to be around are those who look at a thunderstorm and say “Oh yeah! This is a free car wash and the sunshine is coming tomorrow!”
Joyfulness is contagious and works like a magnet to draw people closer.
The ability to choose to look at the positive side of things and be grateful for any situation empowers you. Scientific studies published in the Journal of Psychology and Journal of Applied Sport Psychology have shown that people who practice an attitude of gratitude are generally happier and more successful.
If you’re a Negative Nancy you’re probably thinking “That’s hokum, hogwash, and balderdash!”
Those are some incredibly harsh, albeit archaic, words. It may be difficult to believe that simply being appreciative of things causes a huge impact on one’s success, but take a look at someone like Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah Winfrey, the billionaire talk show host, actress, and media mogul, actively keeps a journal of things she is grateful for and encourages others to do so as well. About being grateful she has said:
“You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”
Let’s take it one step further. If you’re an entrepreneur with a negative attitude people won’t want to be around you regardless of your miraculous, paradigm-shifting, and affordable product. No one seeks out interactions with people who make them feel unhappy. In essence, you’ll attract less people—customers, business partners, and employees.
Flip this on its head. Everyone wants to be around someone who makes them feel cheerful and appreciated. This entrepreneur is going to attract dozens of people—and that’s exactly the idea. Exposure to a multitude of different people helps expand the business by obtaining different perspectives, understanding new lines of business, and hiring smarter people to do the difficult work.
How Can I Start Being More Grateful?
Finally, the fun question! There isn’t a formula to practice gratitude, but you can begin to practice it by taking small steps. A great way to start is by doing exactly what Oprah does, keep a journal of things you are appreciative of. This journal could be a physical one, or one that is kept in your phone. Take a moment every day to jot down 3-5 things you feel grateful for, such as a meeting that went well, having a laugh with a friend, or something as small as coming up with a new idea.
The next leap is to adopt this style of thinking. Whenever you’re faced with an obstacle ask yourself “What can I be grateful for?” This simple act stops the avalanche of catastrophe and forces you to think. The beautiful thing about obstacles is that they bring the opportunity to overcome a challenge, learn a new lesson, or the pleasure of a new experience.
Lastly, you can take 5-10 minutes of your day and meditate. Don’t get frightened by that word! Simply, take a small segment of your day and reflect on things. Slowing down is a spectacular way to internalize the wondrous things that happen in a day.
It’s quite likely that if you implement some of these habits into your daily routine and run into a Negative Nancy you won’t be sucked into their murderous black hole of loathing.