If you make a conscious effort to input more positive information, you’ll become more positive yourself.
By the time you read this, Zweig Group’s annual mega-conference that is today known as the ElevateAEC Conference & Awards Gala will have just been completed. I imagine we may still have some of our people and attendees who spent the weekend in Denver traveling back home this morning.
I mention this event because it is just a fresh example of putting more positive in so more positive stuff comes out.
What do I mean by that?
The preponderance of conference attendees are “winners” whose AEC firms are outperforming most everyone else in their business in terms of growth, profitability, and the quality of their workplaces and leadership. Just being around those people will give you a mental attitude boost. It’s like that first cup of coffee I make every morning around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., after which I can get to work on whatever it is I have to do that day.
It’s really quite a simple idea, and the older I get, the more aware I have become of how important this idea is. There is just too much negative information out there that if you input it all, you will probably become very negative. But if you make a conscious effort to input more positive information – guess what? You become more positive yourself. And that is only going to help you get through your day and week, inspire others, and accomplish more. It will also impact your perception of risk in any decision you have to make and your resulting risk tolerance.
Aside from going to conferences such as ElevateAEC (there isn’t another like it, truthfully!), what else can you do to make yourself be more positive? There are many things.
Just last week, for example, we had some buyers back out of their contract to buy our house. We already have another one under contract to buy – and with the buyers of ours closing only eight days after we are closing on our new one – I was feeling good about the move. The timing was perfect, I told myself. So when I learned our buyers – who were moving back here from Austin – decided they couldn’t make the move, I was initially upset. We just paid a huge tax bill from last year a few weeks ago that resulted from selling so many depreciated rental properties (the investment property merry-go-round is hard to get off of once you get on), and having dual housing expenses plus a big moving expense is not something I was looking forward to.
But by the next day, I was feeling good again. The key to that change in mental state was from two things. First, my wife was not upset by the whole thing at all. Being around her was very helpful. Same thing with my real estate agent. He wasn’t worried about finding new buyers. Just as is the case with the ElevateAEC crowd, never underestimate the value of surrounding yourself with positive people. Choose your friends wisely!
Secondly, the result of doing some accurate accounting of the positives and negatives associated with the new situation was very helpful. The negatives were obvious. Our current house isn’t sold and we could have dual overhead for a while now. What if our house never sells? Then what?
But instead of thinking about that, I have chosen (that’s right – it is a choice) to see the good side of what just happened. And the positives outweigh the negatives. Our current house is modern and well-designed with more than 5,500 square feet of useable space and a three-car garage, along with a newer detached storage building. The new house – while in a superior location and with a great lot – is old. It was originally built in 1870 and has only about 3,700 square feet with a two-car garage that has no doors on it. Where will we go with all of our stuff? And how would we get everything done – or at least SOME necessary things done (like painting rooms, upgrading the entire electrical system, and having bookcases and closet systems made and installed) – before we move with only eight days between the two closings? Plus, we would have to paint the porch floor, touch up all walls from all the art we just removed, and then clean everything in our old house after our stuff was out, all in that same eight days. But now, because our buyers bailed – we have TIME. That will actually reduce our stress dramatically.
There is one more thing that will help most of us be more positive – and it’s a sensitive subject. But the fact is, during COVID-19, many of us were sitting around in our houses, reading and watching the news all day and night. And the news, in case you haven’t noticed, is pretty much all negative. I won’t list everything bad happening in the world, but let’s all agree that there is plenty of it. Bad news sells. So they feed it to us 24 hours a day.
I think it is important to be well-informed. All of us are impacted by events – they affect our businesses and us personally – so we need to know what is going on in the world. That said, do we need to input four or five hours (or more) of that every day, or would we be better off to limit that to 30 minutes a day and pump positives in for the rest of our time? I’m not suggesting ignorance is bliss, but we cannot ignore the reality all of this negative information will have on our psyches, either. We are only human.
So, how are you doing these days? Are you really able to see the good in everything – or is your outlook bleak? I am choosing the former versus the latter. And it makes pretty much every day a good one as a result!
Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at email@example.com.