Common Sense

Beware the Incredible Power of 'Negative' Thinking

Tell me if this has ever happened to you:

You're at a cocktail party or a barbecue and you're introduced to someone.

You ask the person how he's doing and he actually proceeds to tell you that he's battling allergies, his kids are a mess, frankly the wife can be a pain and the job — for what it's worth — isn't very satisfying.

Oh yeah, the country's a joke too. The war in Iraq, the subprime mortgage mess — you name it, we're in for it.

And here's the topper: After all that, he blasts, "And this new generation ain't like us with the fortitude to deal with it."


And all this from my innocuous, "How are you?"

You know, it was "almost" enough to affect my appetite. I said "almost."

My point is not to pick on this unnamed fellow, but the effect he had and others like him have on me and on us.

They bum you out.

They take a look at a record-setting Dow and tell you, "It's the top."

They look at all these incredible corporate earnings and add, "It's just the fat cats."

They see record low unemployment and insist, "The government's cooking the books."

I suppose a broken clock is right twice a day and I suppose markets will go down and corporate profits will go down too.

But before I hear negative people say, "I told you so," I tell them, actually you never told me when things were good. Not because they weren't, but because it wasn't in their DNA to recognize when they were.

Beware the guy at the barbecue who's hotter than a grill at the world. He has nothing to gain hinting he could be wrong. You have nothing to gain telling him he is.

So just move on and grab a drink.

OK, maybe two drinks.

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