By: D.A. Slinkard

Anything is possible. What I am finding, though, is far too many people think in a negative manner opposed to thinking with a “glass half-full” mentality. I can remember being a kid, and it was all about thinking positive. A phrase from my favorite children’s book goes something like, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Honestly, I am not for certain if they make children’s books anymore because it seems like kids are coming out of the womb with a tablet in their hands.

Though the times have changed, what needs not to change is our ability to believe in ourselves. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.” I love this quote, and I find myself giving it quite often. Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a group in a sales training seminar and this was one of the key points I brought up. This has gotten me to think about the two different kinds of people in the world. There are the “Haves” and the “Have Nots.” The world is separated by the people who have what they want in life and the people who do not have the things they want in life.

The question is: “How does one go from being a Have Not to being a Have?” For me, it is pretty simple because it is all about the thought process you use on a daily basis. I look at our mental outlook being very similar to taking care of a garden. If you do not pay attention to your garden -- water it, pull weeds, etc. -- before long, your garden will be overrun with negativity. Our minds are the same way because if we do not nurture our thought process and pull the weeds out of our lives, we will soon be faced with a lot of negativity in our life.

How often do you look at the negative instead of focusing on the positive? Vulnerable moment here, but one thing that gets me in trouble with my wife is I have a tendency to focus on what did not get done versus what was accomplished. This, my friend, is the wrong way of thinking on my part. How hard do you think it is to write down your own faults? I can tell you, it is challenging and very humbling to admit on this platform that sometimes I can focus on the negative. Too often we want to avoid the realities in life where we fall short, and we only want to show a positive, rosy picture. Take social media -- how many pictures are taken and deleted before someone posts the perfect selfie? Social media has taught us to lie to others to make things appear as one thing even though the reality is something else.

In our minds, we seek this false perfection because the realities of life prove that everyone is going to fail. We will not be faultless in our lives, and we will make mistakes on a daily basis; but our lives will be determined by how we handle the difficulties and bounce back. It seems to me that many people strive to be rich and famous; yet how often do we hear about how a celebrity decided to take their own life. These celebrities have money, they have nice cars and nice homes desired by many; but there is still an emptiness or a void in their life. Here you have this person living a hidden life of torment while others are desperately seeking to get the wonderful lifestyle this person appears to already have.

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. In fact, I have found many times that the greener grass on the other side has more manure. We need to take the proper perspective with life. We need to change our mentality to thinking positive and expecting positive results to occur. We must also stay level-headed and know our lives can change in an instant. To overcome our weaknesses in life, we must be able to identify what those weaknesses are and then take the necessary steps to achieve success. The Haves and the Have Nots truly come down to perspective of life, and it is not always about the material things. If I was to ask you, would you be a Have or a Have Not based off your attitude?
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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