People that greet every new idea or opportunity with negativity drive me bonkers. We’ve all seen them, we all have them in our lives at some point or another. When someone presents them with a suggestion, their first response is to list 27 reasons why it won’t work – all of which are of course out of their control. When faced with these people over and over, eventually you stop giving them ideas. Yet, when you know someone who has a positive attitude – you love bringing up ideas because you know the reaction will be positive and could lead to even better ideas through discussion.

Recently, I was talking with someone who has told me for the last 5 years (at least) how he wants to install a wood stove into his house. He lives in a small town in northern BC, so it sounds like a great idea to me. So… it’s been 5 years, you’d think he has one by now, right?


He has to have at least looked into it and knows what it takes to get one, right?

Not at all.

Nope. Nothing. He brought the topic up with me (I’ve long-since stopped asking about it), and he told me that “those a$$holes at city hall won’t let anyone do that…”, which seemed a bit wrong to me, so I wondered, How Hard Could It Be? As it turns out, not very. A very quick google search told me that all the city required was… he obtain a permit to do it. THIS was the enormous hurdle in front of him. THIS was the mountain he could not conquer.. Actually, this was the tiny, fully reasonable step he’d not even bothered to ask about and didn’t even know existed. In his head was 300 pages of reasons why he couldn’t possibly do something he wanted to, set up by The Man just to keep him down. I called him out on it and asked if he’d ever tried looking into getting his wood stove and he said no, because he’d heard something from someone. Guess he didn’t really want it that much.

How Hard Could It Be?

A while later, I was feeling all zen and whatnot after an amazing hour long massage. I’d done a bit of meditation during it and projected myself to being on a tropical beach, shaded by a thin white sheet overhead while the masseuse continued wonderfully putting her weapons-grade fingers through my shoulders – much more relaxing than the truth of the nasty Canadian winter waiting for me outside. I was feeling incredibly at peace afterwards and sent that same friend a message saying how much better both my body and mind felt after my massage and that he should try it for himself. The immediate reply was that there was nowhere to do that in his small town. Frustrated and angry at his defeatist negative attitude, I did a quick search and found multiple options for him. My reply was quick and to the point: “Bullshit. Take two seconds to look it up and see what there is.” I threw my phone onto the passenger seat of my car and drove away, my friend’s negative attitude gnawing away at my good mood.

Why is it so hard to try something new? Why is it so hard to pursue something you claim you want? I used to be that way at times, and I hated it. I hated myself for it. For me, sometimes it was fear – fear of rejection, fear of failure… other times it was pride when I was at work – if it wasn’t my idea, I would say that it wasn’t good (even though sometimes they were great ideas). Sometimes, I hate to say, it was laziness. The ideas brought forth by others would add more work for me, and I didn’t want any more, so I shot them down.


What’s going on with my friend? I don’t really know. I’ve addressed this attitude with him a bunch of times but it’s seemingly lost like a raindrop in the ocean. For me though, it took a moment of courage and a determination to be positive and be brave. The only way I’m going to become the person I want to be is if I challenge myself and accept the changes that can come with it. I’ve noticed a huge change in myself, in the way I feel about things and even how people present new ideas to me since I’ve chosen to embrace a more positive attitude. Try it for yourself – The next time an idea is brought up to you, embrace it and take the time to explore it further. Don’t shoot it down with all the reasons why it won’t work. Think of the positives, think of the possibilities, and think of the person you want to be, because maybe that’s how someone else already sees you.


  – JT