ode to positive thinking

Today’s blog is motivated by a comment left by the Voice of Reason:

“you have written about setting goals, not rushing and sticking with your focus. How about writing about how to keep yourself motivated and the importance of positive thought. You are probably the most focused person I know and you are the most positive person that I know. Is there a correlation?”

A part of me gains focus & motivation by other people’s negativity.

When I was in university an ex-girl friend told me that I would never learn to speak fluent Japanese …. “it’s too difficult for you…”

This person’s negativity gave me focus — although it took 6 years or so of constant studying, I passed the highest level on the Japanese proficiency exam, and there was a time when I was living in Japan that I spoke Japanese as well as my native tongue, English.

When I first applied to my previous company — someone told me “you will never get hired….they only take a select few…” Needless to say this person’s negativity gave me focus — and I made sure I got the job, a job which ultimately changed my life.

Maybe if this person had not been so negative…. and he had not told me “you will never get the job…” maybe I would not have wanted the job as much as I did, so maybe I would not have chased to ensure I got it.

When M.E. brought me to Europe to launch a summits division in Monaco…. several people told me that I would fail…. “your aggressive American style will not work in Europe” (in fact, I heard this in each country I worked – your style will not work in Japan; your style will not work in China; your style will not work in western Europe; etc… and each time I proved to develop the best sales offices in the region the office was located)…. all the negativity gave me focus.

When we first launched naseba … I had lunch with someone I had just met in Monaco, someone that is retired in Monaco, but extremely negative about everything – he is a big moaner and complainer.

Over that lunch he told me “it is going to be next to impossible to succeed with naseba … you are trying to launch a company at the wrong time…in France, which is very costly social taxes and business taxes … I think you are wasting your time…”

In the middle of Cafe de Paris, I exploded at this man and got up and left the table…. I told him that his negativity gave me strength. (I have not spoken to this person since that lunch, but 4 years later — right after we went public, he tried to call my office in Monaco and offer his services as a “board member,” needless to say we did not return his phone calls)

Although I am a big fan of the old testament…. “an eye for an eye….”

I do not let negativity consume me nor prevent me from achieving.


I try and never speak negatively about anyone or anything.

Seriously – count how many times you or someone around you says something negative over the course of the day… example: “I am tired…I have a headache….my boss is an idiot….this food sucks….the car in front of me is a clown….etc.”

Then go through your day and try and focus on not saying anything negative – try and not say one negative word about anyone or anything.

Nothing positive is gained by telling people you are tired; or that your meal is no good; or screaming at the car in front of you for driving like an idiot….

Negativity only brings you down and distracts you from your focus.

Surely, some of the readers of this blog are going through extremely stressful economic times and it might be more difficult than ever to remain positive and focused.

Although this does not take away ones stress, it helps put things into perspective:

the man at the top of the mountain did not fall there.

Do not let negativity blind you from seeing all the opportunities that will come your way.


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