“Thank you for accepting the challenge. Discipline is not always about what we are willing to do, it also involves what we are willing not to do, or consume, or watch or listen to. For more information on the power of NON-Negativity please read below. Your best is ahead.” -Trevor Moawad
It was late in the game, and the Green Bay Packers sideline began to erupt in celebration as the Quarterback had just thrown his 4th interception. The Packers were moments away from American sports most coveted event, the Superbowl. Aaron Rodgers, arguably one of our countries best individual athletes, had the ball in his hand needing only 10 yards to end the game. These are the moments when the circumstances, the facts, and reality all point to one inevitable conclusion… Except it didn’t ‘conclude’ that way.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, interpreted the facts differently. His team looked at the circumstances differently. While they were accountable for the first 57 minutes of the contest they didn’t believe they controlled the final 3 minutes.
This is where people who succeed on a consistent basis think, and therefore behave, differently.
Seattle made a legendary come-from-behind push to force overtime and on the final play, quarterback Russell Wilson told his coach, ‘I’m going to take this ball … and throw it deep and win the game.’…. Which is exactly what he did. His post-game interview was emotional. He spoke in tears about powerful terms like faith, trust, fellowship and the ability and fortitude to overcome the doubts that struggle inevitably blankets us with.
The sports world mirrors life. Those of us who live and breathe in it know that the universal laws that we are all governed by also rule the best male and female athletes and their respective coaches every weekend. Gravity is a universal law. It doesn’t need us to believe in it to affect us.
An attitude or a mindset is no different. Whether we think it matters, or debate if it can be changed or controlled carries little significance. It can. It is. It will. And it owns us – whether we believe that or not. We also control it – whether we believe that or not. Our own choices in a given moment outweigh the circumstances that may have preceded it – whether we believe that or not.
For those that follow Pro-Football and in particular, remember the NFC Championship in 2015, the cameras had Wilson mic’d up and throughout the game. Throughout the struggles. His body language. His external dialogue. His enthusiasm never changed regardless of the outside influences.
‘It’s only 6 nothing,’ he said. ‘Still plenty of time.’
‘It’s only 16 nothing fellas, A lot of game left. Keep fighting. Lets go.’
From the outside we hear a lot of positive talk. And that’s true. Russell Wilson embraces positive thinking. It’s core to who he is. It’s part of his formula, and a reason he’s won more games than any Quarterback in their first 4 seasons… ever. But most importantly, what we don’t hear is negative talk. Think about that.
In 16 years working with some of our countries top athletes, military operators, executives and teams, and maybe more importantly, growing up the son of a father who was the President of the National Association for Self-Esteem (how’s that for pressure?!), I’ve learned that as powerful as positive thinking and positive expectations are, they don’t measure up to non-negative thinking.
Think in terms of a crowd of people within your own mind. Negative thinking is like 100 people booing at the top of their lungs. Positive thinking is like 100 people cheering for you at the top of their lungs. What’s more powerful? Less booing or more cheering? What’s more controllable? Less booing or more cheering? How much cheering do we actually need if we can minimize the booing?
The outside world has fought positive thinking for years. Those who try to reframe a setback or significant mistake in a positive way can be seen as lacking accountability or internally deceiving themselves. What I will concede is this: positive thinking is no guarantee. I don’t know if it works all the time. What I fully believe is that negative thinking does work. It works negatively. It creates both physical and mental fatigue. It gains its most power through the spoken word and can affect a team, organization, household or family like a set of dominoes. More important is the effect those words have on our own selves.
The simple fact is that it doesn’t take special DNA to be non-negative. It takes discipline. Can we be disciplined? This starts by listening to the way we communicate out loud about the little things happening in the regular course of a day.
Our futures can be changed for better or for worse. The challenge is to give ourselves the best chance to make today everything it can be – regardless of how that day may have started out.
We explore the concept of “non-negativity” and use examples from top organizations on how to develop non-negative thinking. Everyday we organize our experiences and thoughts as positive, negative or neutral. The lessons for a lifetime were not etched in the power of positivity, but rather, in the understanding of the incredible value of non-negativity. When we strategically look at moving our lives forward by limiting specific behaviors we find the challenge to change much easier. To eat well we must first eat ‘less poorly.’ To think well, we must first learn to think ‘less poorly.’ We have a tendency to want to think in black and whites—the more we go for grey, the more we will remember to do this when we face struggles. Having the flexibility to see the bumps in the road as normal occurrences helps you more easily access alternate routes and move forward rather than get stuck.
“Trevor continues to be a difference maker in my career.” -Russell Wilson