Magazine article Leadership

Don't Stop Believing That It's a Beautiful Day: Make It More Difficult for the Spirit of Negativity to Sneak Up on You with a Playlist That Reinforces All That Is Good in This World

Magazine article Leadership

Don't Stop Believing That It's a Beautiful Day: Make It More Difficult for the Spirit of Negativity to Sneak Up on You with a Playlist That Reinforces All That Is Good in This World

Article excerpt

Although it seems to be a secret, the truth is that everything is not awful. In fact, there is much that is very wonderful:

* More students are learning at higher levels than at any other time in America's history.

* You and I can get an answer to almost any factual question, within seconds, by using a device that fits in the palm of a hand.

* More Latinas earned doctoral degrees last year than in any other year ever.

* Cars are readily available that burn less than one gallon of fuel to travel 50 miles.

* Within 24 hours you can be in almost any major city in any country.

* New Orleans is coming back and the Saints won the Super Bowl.

* The percent of male African Americans scoring proficient or advanced on the California Standards Tests has increased more than 200 percent between 2000 and 2010.

* Yosemite National Park.

* Each one of you (as well as I) could add many, many more items to this list.

Yet, in one of my earlier drafts of this column I actually wrote, "Someone needs to complain about how everyone seems to be complaining." There is a spirit of negativity that just seems to sneak up on us. Actually, it comes at us pretty much point blank through TV and radio as well as other media outlets.

Charging up the spirit

I've decided I don't need to pay attention to those sources unless I choose to. I have a significant commute to and from work each day. I am now using that time to charge my spirit. Recently I created a mix of music on my iPod entitled "Antidote for Negativity." I included enough songs in this playlist so that it synchronizes with the length of my commute. Now when I drive I hear:

* Bon Jovi reminding me to "hold on to what I believe" and to "believe that the sun will shine tomorrow."

* Jem telling me that what I can do "is amazing."

* Tami Mulcahy urging me to "feed those fires, sow those seeds, and lead with soul. …

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