When I was in high school, I took a class called Logic. It was one of my favorite classes. The teacher, Mr. Beauchamp, was a dapper man. He had a $50 haircut (which was a lot in the late 80s), a nice suit, and presented himself in a stately manner.
I enjoyed the class, its lessons, and the things I learned about logic, which later helped me in robotics and programming.
Without getting into the somewhat boring aspects and rules of Logic, one of the things I learned from this class was negative was not always negative. Years later, I realized that no matter the program, test, or data outcome, you could still gain something positive from it.
I am sure you have heard the phrase, "learn from your mistakes," because it has been around for a while. This statement is true! Even mistakes or what would appear to be poor results can still be most helpful!
This is one of the advantages of a successful person in life
The same seemingly "bad" circumstance can happen to two people. One will crash and burn while the other excels and grows from it. The difference? Perspective. The "way" someone thinks.
We sometimes forget how powerful our thinking truly is
How we "think" determines what we learn and how we adapt and grow. It affects our emotional health, our psychological health, and even our physical health. How we think determines our education, where we live, who we marry, and our financial achievements.
They say there are different types of people in the world. The optimist, the pessimist, and the realist.
George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, critic, and political activist, once said, "Both the optimists and the pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute."
I believe a successful person is all three
We can be the realist by recognizing the truth of a situation, the pessimist by examining the flaws and weaknesses, and the optimist by creating solutions.
For instance, using Bernard Shaw's quote, someone at some point and time was a realist, recognizing man cannot fly. A pessimist sees the things which stand in the way of flying, and the optimist discovers or creates solutions for them.
I believe truly successful people are all of these, and why not? There is no rule stating you must only be one of these. For the most part, our limitations in life are boundaries and walls we have built ourselves.
The way we think is the key to everything. The Bible even tells us so.
Proverbs 23:7a "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:"
Romans 12:2a "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
Failure is a state of mind
We imprison ourselves with doubt, fear, and ignorance. We keep ourselves from succeeding in life because of many things in our thinking, such as "fear of failure," thoughts like, "I am not good enough," or "I could never." Other such nonsense the world and your lives have handed you.
The Bible says how we think (or, in other words, believe) in our hearts, so we become.
The child raised being told they are worthless, stupid, and never do anything right; guess what they will grow up to be if they do not change what they believe in their heart.
When scripture tells us not to be "conformed" to this world, we must ask ourselves what conformed means. It is defined as complying with this broken world's rules, standards, and laws. It means allowing this world to determine how we behave according to its perverted socially acceptable conventions and standards. Yet, these same things tell you you are not good enough. You can never, never will, and cannot. So, what is the scripture's answer to this dilemma? "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
We have to change the way we think
If you are unhappy in your life, relationships, or business...stop doing what you have always done. Your thinking is broken, or else you would be happy and succeeding in your ventures. The world has broken our minds with self-defeating thoughts, irrational fears, and stumbling blocks that hold us down. We must stop thinking as the world tells us and have what the Bible calls "a mind like Jesus."
Which means to think differently than the world has taught us.
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
In other words, think positively. Renew or change the way you think. You have always thought one way, and you are where you are at. If you want to be somewhere else, then change the way you think.
So, why do I bring this up today?
I have spent the last week (and more days to come) updating the manuscripts of some of my novels. I do this periodically when I have the time to create a new edition of a work that is better than the previous one. As I work on this, I have found their reviews online, and for the most part, I would say 99% are positive.
Years ago, a single negative review would have upset me
However, over the years, I have remembered things, such as the scriptures telling me to change the way I think because what the world teaches us is trash. So, there were only a couple of reviews that upset me. However, I see these differently now.
Turning negative into positive takes a person who is a realist, pessimist, and optimist. We need to create a term for this type of person.
One review was a single star (most are 5 out of 5, and only a couple of 4 out of 5 from all four Pandemic Dawn novels of the last ten years.) She was angry because one of the main characters died.
At first, I was angry about the poor review. But now I look back and see this was actually a success! Turning this negative into a positive experience for myself is truly easy. She was so in love with this character, and it upset her deeply that he died. So much so that she felt compelled to write a scathing review to hurt me, the writer who killed him, over it.
I did my job! I made a reader fall in love with an imaginary character.
Again, the second poor review of one of my novels was because the reader was upset that two characters who cared for each other did not "get together" in the first book and felt they should have.
Super! This, too, is good news. The reader cared so much about two characters who love each other; apparently, the reader felt they should just ignore the apocalypse around them and have a "normal" relationship as two adults in love should. So, never mind a devastating virus killing millions, or the fact he cannot find his son who is missing in all this, shut up and kiss the girl!
But what if the negative review was something else, say, "your books are terrible," or "I hate your cover," or "you need to edit this. There are errors."
The first two are easy to address because everyone is entitled to their opinions, which is precisely what those comments are, opinions. One guy thinks my books are terrible, and another gives it five stars, the difference? Opinions. The same with "I hate your cover," this, too, is an opinion. To be honest, I am not always thrilled with every cover either. That is entirely OK.
The third thought was, "you need to edit this. There are errors." To educate those who are not authors and never wrote anything for publication, the copy editor for my first science fiction novel, Pandemic Dawn Book I, which is approximately 72,000 words, quoted me $9,000 for his service, which, come to find out, was reasonable, and standard. Until an author is picked up by a big publishing firm where these services are included, dishing out this kind of money is difficult. To make things more complicated, publisher's stopped accepting unsolicited scripts many years ago, so the good old days of Stephen King sending his manuscript of Carrie to be read and published are over. You must hire a Literary Agent, which is even more money that unknown novelists rarely have access to. So you will occasionally have negative in your life that is difficult to deal with. However, knowing the truth of the matter and the fact that those making these negative comments are usually ignorant of the process or industry, you can let these roll off your back.
If we forget what the world teaches us about ourselves, dwell on good and positive things, use a realistic view of our situations, then tear that situation apart as a pessimist, afterward, allow our optimistic side to take over and reveal solutions, we can live victoriously in this broken world.
A friend of mine, Dr. Frans Brandt, wrote a book years ago about the power of the mind, how we think, and how we can live as consistent over-comers in this world. He also wrote a few others about the mind, and they are great reads!
Check these books out. You won't be sorry.
I have read these three books repeatedly over the years and sat with Dr. Frans Brandt many times, discussing the mind and the way we think and how it controls our outcome in life.
Determine what it is you want in life
Change your thinking (from worldly to a mind like Jesus)
Be realistic, pessimistic, and optimistic
and you will reach the goals you set for yourself in life.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, make your life better, your family better, your children's lives better, your friendships better, your relationships better, and your marriage better. Remove the roadblocks in your mind, set your goals, change your thinking and start the path of "better-ness."