(To get the full effect of the old Marco watch this video first)
Today I am making a bold declaration, a divorcing of sorts. Darkness might have been my friend in the past, but now I am saying that this must end.
Negativity has been a dear friend of mine for these past 30 years. We have shared many precious moments together and have forged an unshakable bond. But now I am saddened to say that today this must come to an end. Bye, Bye negativity or as like me friends like to say, "Darko, Marco" I must move on, I must find a new friend, happiness.
You see for most of my adult life I have worn negativity like a badge of honor. I thought that it was cool; it allowed to create more meaningful music, gave me never ending fodder for cafe conversations, made me more introspective, etc. Most importantly it allowed me to wage war against those phony Pollyanna's; those glass half full personality types Come on all the coolest people in the world were negative and depressed. Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway, most of the Saints etc. Being negative, depressed, and miserable definitely had its advantages until...something changed within me.
The catalyst of this dramatic change has been my experience at my internship. As I have written before this internship has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Difficult because I am being challenged to the core of who I am as a person. I literally just have 2 choices either I sink or I swim. There is no in between. Faced with this I have discovered that in order to make the most of this cross that I needed to shed my negativity and instead develop a robust, realistic, dynamic optimism. In short I needed to change the way I think;something that I did not want to do until recently.
There have been two influences for me in making this new decision: One has been my reading of a Mother Theresa work titled, Mother Theresa: Come Be My Light and the second influence has been Zig Ziglar's work, See You At The Top. Throughout both of these works it was empasized that how we, as Christians have an obligation to radiate hope, peace, and joy in our countenances. The trick with this of course is to still maintain a positive countenance even if everything in life is going wrong. Mother Theresa perfectly captures this sentiment in one of her writings as she states,
"My resolution-1st to follow Jesus more closely in humiliations. With the sisters-kind-very kind-but firm in obedience. With the poor-gentle-considerate. With the sick-extremely kind. 2nd To smile at God- pg. 166The second resolution is the one that impacted me the post. Because in essence Mother Theresa was stating that happiness was a choice not just the by product of brain chemistry. Armed with this insight she prayed to Jesus to infuse her with the willingness to smile despite her negative emotions. What makes this miraculous is the fact that Mother Theresa suffered from profound depression and spiritual darkness for most of her ministry in the slums of Calcutta.
Similarly Zig Ziglar echoes this dynamic in his 15 steps for developing a Healthy Self Image:
- Taken an inventory of yourself and your abilities.
- Make Up-Dress Up-Go Up. (The way you dress is ultimately the way you view yourself.)
- Read regularly inspiring tales of people who have overcome great odds.
- Listen to speakers, teachers, and preachers who build up mankind.
- Build a healthy self image with a series of short steps.
- Join the smile and compliment club (like Mother Theresa)
- Do something for somebody else.
- Be careful of your associates. Deliberately associate with people of a high moral character who look on the bright side of life.
- To build your self image, make a list of your positive qualities on a card and keep it handy for reference
- Make a victory list to remind you of your past successes.
- To build a healthy self image, there are some things you must avoid such as pornography, violent T.V. programs or movies, negative music, drugs, etc.
- To improve your self image, learn from successful failures.
- One of the best, quickest and most effective ways to improve your image and your performance is to join an organization with worthwhile goals that requires you to participate by speaking.
- Look you-and them-in the eye.
- Alter your physical appearance when possible, practical, and desirable.
(To get the full effect of the new Marco watch this video)