6 Surefire Ways to Nix the Negativity at Work and Home

I chuckled when I saw this quote on a coffee mug recently:

I don’t have an attitude problem.  YOU have a problem with my attitude… and that’s not my problem.

What a joy it must be to live and work with this guy!

Be a Superhero!Instead, you can become a SUPERHERO  in your home and at the office by using these six surefire ways to nix the negativity in your life.

1.  Laugh at yourself. That’s right, don’t take yourself so seriously.  Life is full of embarrassing moments!  You’re going to trip sooner or later.  Your wrap around skirt may not always wrap around.  Take a deep breath, enjoy the laugh and move on!

2.  Talk back to yourself.  Many negative people tend to say they can’t help their feelings.  That’s true, but feelings are determined by thoughts, and we CAN choose what we think about.  “What we think about, we tend to bring about.”

 3.  Give your time.  Studies have shown that people who volunteer for a cause they feel passionate about tend to live longer, are less depressed and have enhanced feelings of well being.

4.  Spiritual growth.  Studies demonstrate a close link between spiritual growth and purpose and happiness. Seek to know Someone larger than you.

5.  Break a sweat.  Scientists have told us for a long time that exercise lifts the mood.  But Princeton researchers discovered last spring that the beneficial effects of exercise are not just temporary.  Cardio exercise actually rewires your mind to help keep your cool in stressful situations.  And if you think you need to train for a triathlon to get the benefits, think again.  Just 4 to 6 minutes every day for 5 weeks has been shown to reverse age-related memory impairment.  It also helps with what they call “executive functioning”: being able to switch tasks efficiently, getting back on track more quickly after a distraction, making plans and following through.  Wow.  I need that!  Excuse me while I take a quick walk.

6.  OK, I’m back.  And now, the easiest one of all:  Smile!  Researchers have discovered that participants who smiled while performing stressful tasks were able to complete them more efficiently and with less stress than those with neutral facial expressions.  In other words, smiling speeds recovery from stress.  Something about the smiling muscles increasing blood flow to the brain.  Who cares what the reason is as long as it works?  And the best part?  You don’t have to wait until you feel overwhelming happiness to reap the benefits.  Even faking a smile works.  And the participants found that when they manufactured a smile, their happy feelings followed!

We are not victims of our moods.  John Maxwell said, “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take responsibility for our attitudes.  That’s the day we truly grow up.”

Be a Superhero at home and the office by choosing positivity. And remember these words from Herm Albright:  “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

How do YOU nix the negativity and get your happy on?  Leave a comment and I’ll send a copy of my new book, Falling UP, to three randomly selected commenters.  

Meet the World Champion of Public Speaking!

Last month I had the privilege of competing at the Toastmaster semifinals of the International Speech Contest in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.  To share the platform with such inspiring speakers was an experience I’ll never forget.  The winner of my semifinal was Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, from Sri Lanka, who went on to win the entire contest.

“You always think this moment will never come,” said Hettiarachchi, who had entered the contest every year for 10 years, reaching the semifinals four times until finally bringing home the World Championship trophy.  His speech was an immediate favorite with the capacity crowd of nearly 3,000 people from around the world.  His winning speech was a personal tale about being a rebellious teenager whose life was changed because mentors took an interest in him, saying “I see something in you…but I don’t know what it is.”

Congratulations, Dananjaya!  Well deserved!

Enjoy this humorous and inspiring talk.

Wow. Thanks.

There are days when you know something wonderful has happened that could never have happened without great friends.

Today is such a day!

Thanks to many of you who bought my book Falling UP this week, several scholarships will be provided for our kids in Pleasant Hill to attend camp.  Just last night, John and I enjoyed a birthday dinner with a 13 year old boy whose main topic of conversation was the camp he just returned from.  From the “pipe line” (an enclosed water slide) to the rock wall, food, music and stories, we could tell camp is a highlight of his year.  He told us of falling asleep to the sound of crickets and frogs.  He found crawdads in a creek and they cooked and ate them for dinner.  These are experiences that inner city kids are unfamiliar with.  By the way, this same boy learned to swim at camp and heard the gospel in a way that is fresh and memorable.  I’m thrilled that you and I will have provided opportunities for more of our Pleasant Hill kids to do the same.

In addition, you also helped me become an Amazon #1 Bestseller in not one, but two categories!

“Christian Books/Christian Living/Death & Grief”…

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and “Self Help/Death & Grief/Suicide”.

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The Bestseller status helps me share my message with more people who need a word of comfort and renewed thinking about their challenges.  The tragic events of Robin Williams’ death this week make this message even more relevant and timely. People are looking for answers in time of grief.  While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I do know that God graciously brought me through a time of grief and has given me a message of hope to share with others.

Thank you for helping me share that message!

(For local Middle Georgia friends, in addition to AmazonFalling Up is also available at Creter’s Gift Shop in the Ingleside Villiage (Macon) and the Olive Branch Bookstore (Dublin).)

Click here to watch the Book Trailer.



Robin Williams, My Dad and the Voice of Truth

robin-williams-jpgI was stunned and saddened to learn that the gifted Robin Williams is dead of a possible suicide.

From his Mork and Mindy days to Good Morning Vietnam to Mrs. Doubtfire and beyond, he literally oozed humor, and was a master of all things funny.

MRS. DOUBTFIRE, Robin Williams, 1993, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights rese

But addiction and depression are no laughing matter.

When I consider my father’s battle with the same, and then suicide, I think of this: The coroner’s report stated that my father died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  But there was another cause of death that happened first: he died from listening to the wrong voice.

Apparently Robin Williams was acquainted with voices too:

“It’s the same voice thought that…you’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump,'” Williams told Diane Sawyer in an interview on Good Morning America.  “The same voice that goes, ‘Just one.’…And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not a possibility.” 

After the death of my dad, I had my own voices to deal with, too.

Bouncing like a ping pong ball in a Bermuda triangle between pity for my father, then anger toward him, then guilt for not having been there, I felt a gravitational pull toward a very black sorrow.

But shortly after my dad died,  I heard a song for the first time.  The song was “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns and the lyrics were a godsend to me.  The song talks about choosing to listen and choosing to believe the voice of truth instead of any of the other voices that are trying to capture our attention.

I’ve learned that our human perspective of life’s events is simply not accurate and can’t be trusted.  What God says about you and me is the truth.   There are no quick-fixes.  But our way out of the darkness is to choose to believe God more than we believe ourselves.  To believe His voice of truth.

So, what voice is calling for your attention?  What self-defeating thoughts run through your mind? Are you afraid you’ll never be enough?  Do you feel God is mad at you? Do you feel as if you’ll never get it right?

Voices.  We’ve all got ‘em.

But what are we to do with them?

The apostle Paul says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).   How do we put that verse into practice?  We can literally say to a thought that knocks on the door to our brain, “Are you true?  Are you beneficial?  Are you necessary?” And if the answer to any one of those three questions is no, then we don’t answer the door.  We choose to walk away from the lie and all the negativity that could result in our life if we let it in.

I tread reverently, lovingly and gently here as I am no expert on the subject of depression.

If you’re struggling and the darkness doesn’t seem to be lifting, tell someone.  Take care of yourself.  See a wise medical doctor.

My prayer for you and me is that we also guard our minds with the Truth and keep them focused there.

robin_williamsRobin, thank you for the laughter and smiles you gave us.  We will miss you greatly.


From Falling UP: Lessons Learned on the Way Down, a resource and comfort for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide.

Special Offer – Today Only!

I’m so excited to share with you what you and I are doing together.

Buying my book today, August 8, will help inner city kids go to camp (through the ministry of my church, Strong Tower Fellowship).  Strong Tower is a mission to the Pleasant Hill neighborhood of Macon, Georgia.

Here’s a little more info about “Falling UP: Lessons Learned on the Way Down”.

This is a great book to give away, have as resource to use now or have in your library for those challenging days of life.

I’m trusting God to use this book to encourage you and your friends! Click here to purchase Falling UP.