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Negativity Gets You Nowhere

Before we get into it, let’s kick things off with a dose of gratitude. It’s become a ritual for me to start each post by reflecting on what I’m thankful for. It’s not just a personal exercise; I also make it a point to share my gratitude with others.

This week, I want to express my thanks for my siblings. Spending time with them over the weekend for my brother’s birthday reminded me of the unique perspectives they bring to the world. Each of my siblings has their own way of navigating life, and I find inspiration in witnessing how they approach opportunities and challenges. It’s a valuable lesson for me, and I’m grateful for the insight.

Now, let’s dive into the main topic—negativity. It’s something I discuss in my book and the “anti-glossary” of unproductive words. Statements like “I can’t,” “I won’t,” and “I don’t” are non-starters. They don’t contribute to achieving the results we desire. I often hear people articulate their goals clearly, but when it comes to the actionable steps, negativity creeps in.

Let’s take losing weight as an example. Many articulate their desire to shed pounds and lead a healthier life. However, when it comes to the specific actions required, excuses like “I won’t stop eating that” or “I can’t work out at that time” start popping up. The shift from positive goals to negative actions is a common hurdle.

The same pattern emerges in people’s values and beliefs. They declare themselves as loyal individuals, but their actions may contradict that loyalty. Negative language, filled with excuses, is used to rationalize misaligned behaviors.

Observing influential figures like Elon Musk reveals a stark contrast. When faced with challenges, Musk doesn’t dance around the issues. His actions align with his values, and he doesn’t shy away from making tough decisions, even if it means letting go of employees or losing money. The lesson here is clear—actions speak louder than words.

In our personal lives, it’s essential to align our actions with our goals, values, and beliefs. Peeling back the layers of negative language reveals the discrepancies between what we say and what we do. The key is to focus on what we can control, set realistic goals, and commit to small, achievable steps.

My challenge to you this week is to be mindful of your language. When you catch yourself saying “I can’t,” “I won’t,” or “I don’t,” take a moment to assess what you are avoiding. Either delegate, automate, or eliminate tasks that hinder your progress. Start small, as Jordan Peterson suggests—maybe begin by organizing your sock drawer.

Remember, positive momentum begins with positive language. Focus on what you can do, what you will do, and celebrate your achievements. It’s all part of my three steps for success—do the fucking thing, tell the fucking world, and show the fuck up.

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Andy Weins

Andy Weins is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, Veteran of the U.S. Army, and speaker. Through consulting, teaching, podcasting, and writing, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Veterans, entrepreneurs, community engagement, individual empowerment, and the environment.

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