How to not always fret on the negative

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Nine good things happen and we focus on the one crappy thing.

Somebody sends you a 1,000-word email that’s nice and one word is a negative trigger word. The other 999 words go out the window and we fret on the one.

I dare them to say that!

Say what exactly? That was a really good and nice note!



But this is a common thing in leadership, digital marketing and life.

We see the negatives and they have more weight than the good things in life.

What can we be upset about today? Stop it already!

I was heading on a press trip to Puerto Rico and before I left had been upgraded to first class on 3 of 4 legs on the roundtrip. Yay, but what about that 2,100-miler into Dallas/Fort Worth? I wonder if that will clear. I hope so. Start constant refreshing of app. Did I mention they email when an upgrade clears? Doh!

For real? Instead of being happy, I fretted the one leg that was four days away still.

We do that as humans, right? Our boss or spouse tell us virtually only good things and we’ll hold one negative experience against them or dwell on it for way too long.

If our lives are mostly filled by positives like that and if we spent as much time on them we may not even have time to spend much time on the negatives at all.

Enjoy what you have while you have it!

I’ve posted many negative experiences, including when I get negative feedback on keynotes, on here before. And we should use that feedback to learn, but don’t let it ruin your day or career.

RELATED: What to do with negative feedback!

Travel fits so into this category. Some people tell me they drive to a larger airport (instead of the smaller one in Cedar Rapids) so they don’t have to connect and wait.

I don’t mind connecting and waiting, though I don’t really wait. I work, write, learn something new. I also have gotten a club membership for two years now. Once I paid, once I used miles.

When a flight gets cancelled, delayed, whatever, I’m up to the game of finding a better flight for my goals. I usually use Google Flights.

RELATED: Notes to self: How to relax more

Once I was stuck in Dallas overnight and American rebooked me on the next morning’s flight, as expected, but I needed to be in Cedar Rapids earlier. I found a red eye to Chicago and then got a seat on the first flight into Cedar Rapids and made my meeting. #winning And then went to bed.

Digital marketing example: The relevant audience is growing quickly. People are reading our stuff. But, why is my time on page metric so low?

First of, what’s the definition of low anyway? Time on page is silly as it only measures people who visit more than one page. Oh no, why aren’t they then?

Because they found what they were looking for on that one page!

Celebrate the audience growth and then work on better inline calls to action to send people to even more content they may like.

But celebrate. Enjoy. High five. Hug – or fist bump if not a hugger.

Don’t let the negatives outweigh the positives, because they will if you let them.