nick surf

By Mark E. Smith

I want to talk to you about being our own brain surgeons, rewiring our thought processes from the negative to the positive. You don’t need a medical degree to do this; just a willingness to choose to see one over the other.

See, it’s proven that our brains are naturally more attracted to negative thoughts than positive thoughts. You might say that negativity has a larger imprint than positivity in the physicality of our brains. Clinically, it’s called the “Negativity Bias.”

The way the negativity bias works is that when, for example, twenty people tell you how great your hair looks, and one person says that he or she doesn’t like it, that one put-down will stick with you every time you look in the mirror. And, we know from psychology that those constantly exposed to abusive relationships – constant put-downs – they lose the ability altogether to recognize what’s positive and healthy, drawn toward negativity like magnets.

I don’t know where my wires got crossed, but I’m just the opposite – positivity has a much bigger imprint on my brain than negativity. I call it my attitude of gratitude, where I just feel blessed no matter what. And, I probably shouldn’t have such a positive outlook, based on the cumulative adversity and negativity that I’ve faced in my life. I mean, the list is endless. However, what’s remarkable is that I’m not the only one. I’m forever impressed by my peer, Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms or legs, among the severest of disabilities you’ll ever see. And, in school, the bullying and social stigmas never ended, where Nick, in his own words, was the local freak show. Yet, while such a horrendous childhood would blacken most people’s hearts, it actually opened Nick’s. Today, at age 30, he’s the most sought-after inspirational speaker in the world, has a New York Times best-selling book, and a wife with their first child on the way. And, although Nick can’t drive, he owns his beloved classic hot rod car. No arms, no legs, but with his attitude of gratitude, Nick is literally Unstoppable (the title of his best-seller, by the way), among the most positive, loving people you’ll ever meet.

Nick proves a profound lesson to all of us: How to truly live. Why let the negativity of your life – or even physiology of the brain – dictate our potentials when we can be our own brain surgeons, so to speak, and dictate positive life paths over negative ones?

Speaking for myself, there’s little room in my head or heart for anything but joy and gratitude. I know that for every negative emotion, there’s a more powerful, productive one. Why argue when you can hug; why question when you can understand; why be bitter when you can be thankful; why condemn when you can uplift; why be offensive when you can be gracious? Why not just love and be loved? It’s the greatest, easiest, most-fulfilling way to live. No one or nothing can do you wrong because you only know what’s right. How powerful is that!

I encourage you to take a look at your life, define the negativity from the positivity, and steer your life toward the positives. See the sunshine through the clouds, and focus on that. It may be scary at first. It may require you to make major changes in your life. It may even require you to be a bit humble and apologize toward those you’ve wronged through being trapped in negativity. However, that’s the beauty of the “Negativity Bias” – it’s just a bias, and biases can be changed. You are a brain surgeon, skilled enough to switch your thinking – make that, your life! – from the negative to the positive. Shift from a negative to a positive bias, and open your heart – I guarantee that your life will head in directions that you never dreamed.

Comments
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