The Power of Positivity


We live in a world that is filled with challenges. Challenges to overcome our pasts, raise our kids, find our callings, invest in our careers, make enough money – the list goes on and on.

But the biggest challenge each of us face is the constant bombardment of NEGATIVITY. It’s absolutely everywhere. Turn on the TV and what do you see - positive or negative events? Mostly negative. Wars, murders, terrorism, school shootings, and celebrity breakups – we can’t get away from bad news.

That negative external information is only a portion of what we are conscious of. There are thousands of thoughts running through our minds everyday that go virtually unnoticed. The National Science Foundation estimates that our brains produce as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day depending on how deep of a thinker you might be.

These countless number of thoughts run through our minds every single day, mostly without us even being aware. I call this sub-conscious voice an internal messaging system. It’s a collection of thoughts that tell us how we see the world, what is right, what is wrong, what to like and what to hate. And for most of us, we are clueless these thoughts even exist.

A Psychology Today article claims that up to 70% of these thoughts are negative – a phenomenon they call ‘negativity dominance.’ We just can’t help but to be dominated by all the negative thoughts and events that occur in and around our lives. It happens to all of us. Is it any wonder we find it hard at times to be motivated and believe the best about our lives and others? This trend will continue in our lives unless we do something about it. The good news is we can transform this negativity into a positive pattern.

This is why the focus of my Doctorate in leadership is on Positivity. It’s a complete game changer. I’ve watched it be the difference in important events like my kids soccer games, as well as how I choose to see the difficulties I face in my own life.

I am not saying that everything that happens to us is positive. In fact, as we’ve learned above, it’s mostly negative. But if we focus on what we can control – our thoughts, our internal messaging systems, our emotions and choices – and channel them towards positivity, it can have a drastic impact on our lives. Research shows that living positively and focusing on positive emotions such as joy, interest, contentment, pride, and love can drastically affect our success in life, our health, marriages and relationships.

I’m launching a beta study on positivity and will be publishing the majority of the results on this blog as we implement the testing with our clients. It’s my firm belief that we’ll find from these studies that positivity has the power to be the ultimate transforming agent in our lives that moves us from disappointment and frustration to success and fulfillment.

ACTION STEP: Let's start to change those negative thoughts now. Think of a word that conveys what you feel deeply about life - something that makes you feel connected to the things that matter. It could be gratitude, hope, love - you choose. Every time you feel negativity over taking your life, stop and focus on that word. If it's gratitude, think about how thankful you are for your life, your kids, spouse, your job, a close friend. It will change your emotions. With practice, you will literally retrain your brain to focus on the positive instead of the negative.





  1. Amy Savage
    28.01.2015 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve been practicing this, and WOW! There really is something to it! I am finding my exasperation with my children is turning into gratitude for their presence in my life and that my overall outlook changes when I am able to identify the negative messaging that bombards me and replace it with something positive. Imagine what a world full of people harnessing this power would look like! Thanks for this!

  2. Shannon
    29.01.2015 at 6:29 pm

    Great blog! One of the reasons I do not watch much TV… too much negativity. It is definitely everywhere. I really like the action step given at the end of this blog. I believe it is easy for people to recognize the negativity that surrounds us, but we need help in what actions to take to find the positivity. So the word I choose is… Love!

  3. 29.01.2015 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for your comments. What you are saying is so true. And research shows that positivity ‘broadens our minds’ according to Dr. Barbara Frederickson which deepens our relationships with one another and helps us to actually have more success in life!

  4. Ken
    02.02.2015 at 8:19 pm

    Awesome thoughts and a needed reminder! Thankful your “voice” is back in this space, looking forward to how your research and Action Steps will impact many – myself included! Great work Tom! My word is HOPE!

  5. 02.02.2015 at 9:57 pm

    Great thoughts Tom. Thanks!
    In my practice and my own personal life I’ve also learned that I have to manage “for” certain things and manage “against” certain things. What I mean is, I need to be vigilant in surrounding myself with good people. I need to be intentional about my growth by reading and listening to good positive input. (Managing “for” a positive input; a positive result in my life.)
    I ALSO have to be very careful what I let in. (Managing “against” unnecessary negative input.) There are certain people I distance myself from, certain programs I won’t watch and certain music I won’t listen to. In other words if I want to maintain a positive outlook, I have to manage for it, set myself up for success and manage against the pitfalls I already know I may fall prey to. This was a little detail I didn’t pay any attention to for years. Bottom line, we gravitate towards what we contemplate. I need to make sure I’m not opening the door to the wrong contemplations!
    Keep up the good work my friend, great stuff!!

  6. Seth Barnes
    04.02.2015 at 1:39 am

    Good stuff, Tom. So true. Some of us are blessed to think more optimistically and others are doubters who just struggle with the life of faith. I appreciate having a natural bent toward faith.

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