Zig Ziglar frequently spoke of the subversive power of what enters our minds. Surrounding ourselves with negative influences subconsciously ensures that negativity pervades in our minds and attitudes (the same being true for positive influences), ultimately dictating our successes in life.
One of Zig’s real-world examples of this is the stop light. If the intention is to help traffic go, why not choose the positive connotation and call them go lights?
The idea of focusing on the positive is seen throughout most religions and many other philosophical belief systems. However, we frequently allow — and even encourage — the negatives in our lives.
Parenting is a great example. Most well-intentioned parents use discipline as a means of teaching and coaching where encouragement should be used. They continually tell their child which roads not to go down (a “stop” sign), instead of coaching them how to independently determine which roads they should go down (a “go” sign). What you end up with is an indecisive, pessimistic child with little self-worth or ability to charge down a halfway decent path and make the best of it.
The same goes for how you treat yourself. Are you constantly berating yourself for a mistake? Did you screw up a meeting, lose your temper, botch a golf swing? Calling yourself an idiot won’t help the next time you attempt the same task. In fact, you’ll likely perform worse because you failed the last time and also now feel like an idiot.
Consistent encouragement and adherence to the positive will do wonders in all aspects of your life, your children’s lives, and those around you.