The Enemy Is Negativity
Tuesday morning George walked on the bus with no life and certainly no kick in his step. He felt like a failure and was embarrassed to face the people who were trying so hard to help him succeed. Joy read his energy immediately and knew things had not gone well for him at work. This was her day off and the day she usually visited her father but she had a feeling George would need her today and wanted to be on the bus to share some energy and lift him up if he needed it. Now as she looked at George she was sure glad she had followed her hunch. It wasn’t the first time she had seen the look of defeat. In fact, most people she recalled had setbacks as they learned how to drive their bus. Every person and every team will be tested on their journey. It was part of the curriculum of life. She knew this all too well. It’s just like riding a bicycle, she thought. In the beginning you’re going to fall off and get knocked down but the important thing is to get back on, stay strong, and after a while once you master it you’ll ride with the confidence of a champion. She just had to help George take the wheel and quick because he was running out of time.
“What’s the matter, Sugar?” she asked. “Where’s the George who sprang on my bus on Friday?”
“He’s been knocked down by two left jabs and a right hook,” answered George.
“Well, it’s time to get back up!” Joy exclaimed. “Life is always going to knock you down. The important thing is you got to get back up. Haven’t you seen the movie Rocky?” she asked. Her words piqued his interest. He had always loved the original Rocky movie and had even written his college essay about the movie and a person overcoming their demons and challenges to become someone of worth and value.
“Well, of course I have. Who hasn’t?” he said. “But that’s a movie,” he said skeptically.
“And this is life, George, and I’m telling you to get back up,” she said sternly.
“But I failed,” he said.
“You haven’t failed until you stop trying, George. Now pick that sorry head of yours up, sit up straight, and let’s talk about how to build some mental and emotional muscle and get your bus rolling.”
Joy asked George what had happened that got him so down and he explained the situation and team dynamics to her. He cursed his two biggest problems, Larry and Tom, and the three wolves who had sabotaged him all day.
“They’re not the problem,” Joy said to his surprise.
“What’s the problem then?” George asked, feeling annoyed.
“Negativity itself,” she said. “You see there will always be negativity everywhere and in everything you do, George. You will always be surrounded by negative people. It’s not these people so to speak. It’s the negativity they represent. They are just one of many you will come across.”
Marty stood up and shouted from the back with more of his beneficial research. “And the Gallup Poll estimates that there are 22 million negative workers in the United States costing around $300 billion in productivity a year!”
“And this negativity not only kills productivity and companies, George, it also kills people. Self-doubt, fear, hopelessness, and negative energy drain you and sabotage everything you want in life and all the success you desire,” Joy added. “So the same negativity these people represent is also inside you. That’s why you got to feed the positive dog, George.”
“But I have these negative people on my bus. And a few other negative people who didn’t want to get on my bus. Are you saying I’m the problem and that they are not the problem?” George asked. “I’m quite frankly a little confused.”
“Listen, George, you are too close to the problem to see it. The problem is that you are taking it too personal. Step back for a moment. Don’t focus on these people personally. Forget they even have names. Don’t think of it as you versus them. Just realize that they represent the negativity that will always be around you. The important thing is to know how to deal with the negativity and what to do with it.
“So let’s first deal with the negative people who didn’t get on your bus,” Joy said. “Show him rule #5, Danny.” Danny lifted up the sign, which said:
Don’t Waste Your Energy on Those Who Don’t Get on Your Bus.
“It’s simple, my man. Some people are going to get on your bus and some people won’t. Don’t worry about the people who don’t get on your bus. Don’t waste your energy on them. Don’t try to make them get on. You can’t drive anyone else’s bus. You can only drive your bus.”
“I know what you mean,” George said. “I tried to drive my wife’s bus for a few years and I quickly learned that she doesn’t like it when I try to drive her bus.” The passengers on the bus chuckled as Joy continued sharing her energy gospel.
“That’s right, George. Everyone has to make their own choices and you have to make yours. And certainly don’t spend your energy being upset that these people didn’t get on your bus. Don’t take it personal. Maybe they are meant to get on another bus. Maybe if they got on your bus they would ruin your ride.” George knew this would definitely be the case.
“Plus, the more energy you spend worrying about the people who didn’t get on your bus, the less you will have for the people who are on your bus. And if you are worrying about the people who didn’t get on your bus you won’t have the energy to keep on asking new people to get on. Salespeople know this real well, George. If they get caught up in rejection they lose the energy to go after new customers and ask new people to get on their bus. So for the people who don’t get on your bus just let them sit at the station as you drive on by.”
George now realized the grave mistake he had made. He had spent so much time thinking about the three wolves that he had completely ignored the people who wanted to be on his bus. He had been so tired and drained that he had no energy to move the bus forward.
“But what about the people who get on your bus but are really negative?” George asked as he thought of Tom and Larry. The mere thought of them sent shivers down his spine.
Joy would have an answer for them as well and the solution didn’t require weapons or garlic.