After seeing one of the motivational lists I had taped to my wall, a friend once asked, “Why do you have a list of negative traits on your wall?” I started laughing and told her to look at the right hand column of the paper where the positive traits of successful people were listed. I said, “The left side column lists the opposites; the things that unsuccessful people do, the things I want to avoid.”
Later I found myself pondering on our conversation, running it over in my mind and wondering what type of image I was projecting, and whether having the negatives listed were helping or hindering me. Uppermost in my mind was the question: “Is it worth our time to focus on the negatives that we need to avoid, or is it in our highest good to focus only on what we want to accomplish?
As I thought about these two opposing questions, I remembered a time in Mother Teresa’s life when she was asked why she didn’t participate in anti-war demonstrations, she gently replied, “I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
This great woman, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the very year I was born, proved to be a mentor for me in that moment. She only focused on the positive, so I suspect that following in her footsteps would assist me more fully on this journey.
Now, when I recognize a weakness in myself, I don’t capitalize on it, rather, I look at the opposite trait, the positive one(s)– and that’s where I put my efforts.
I invite you to make your own list and put it where you daily see it. Your mind will review your list as you go about your day, and then the say will come when you realize how much you have accomplished.