Why are we so negative….

Just last week I conducted an intro session to a group of about fifty employees of a well known organisation, in Delhi.

The intro session is a precursor to the launch of a Personal Effectiveness Program (PEP), the overall objective of which is to bring in positivity amongst the staff through a series of participative sessions spread over couple of months. It’s a well intentioned initiative led by the HR team.

During the course of the intro session I had shared several examples of people who had successfully built themselves or turned around their lives from near impossible situations. Some of the names that I had shared were Dr Abdul Kalam, Sathya, the slum boy from Chennai who not only completed his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad but also has set up his own venture providing employment to a few hundreds. I did share my own case where we turned around from a personal bankruptcy status to setting up our NGO, ShikshaDaan, that funds students from underprivileged sections of the society to pursue and complete their higher education. Basis my own experiences and of those I have read, seen and heard, I am always of the conviction that every individual has the power and potential to uplift their life provided they are open and willing to all possibilities.

In the intro session, I observed that a number of executives were cynical, sceptical, and also utterly negative about life in general and turnarounds in particular. The pessimism that some of these young executives brought to the table was indeed shocking. While I agree with the point that we need to have, and accept different perspectives of others, the impact that negative thoughts can have on an individual and the group that they belong to, is grossly misunderstood or underestimated. In fact one of the participants argued that middle and lower class people have no choice but to struggle through their lives as it is their destiny.

Tony Robbins had brilliantly written in detail in one of the chapters of his book, ‘Awaken the Giant Within’, how a thought becomes an idea, moving then through the process of becoming an opinion>belief>conviction.

It’s therefore imperative for all of us to not to encourage negative thoughts and only maintain an atmosphere of positivity.

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