A quarter of a century ago (I’ve always wanted to say that), when I was a young engineer with Texas Instruments, I had a manager named Dick Carroll. Dick was a big guy who looked a lot like Mr. Clean without the eyebrows.
One day, I was working on a drafting table in a large, open bay, when Dick walked up and started talking about how great his sex life was. That was more information than I needed to know, but I held my tongue. Conversations with the big boss were always precious, regardless of how they began.
On this occasion, Dick’s upbeat demeanor so contrasted with how crappy I felt that morning – how I felt every morning, in fact – that, instead of asking what middle-aged, wrinkly sex was like, I asked how he always managed to be so optimistic.
That’s when Dick explained the power of positive thinking to me. In a nutshell, when you whine and complain, you annoy people and they avoid you like the plague. When you’re positive and optimistic, that attracts people and opportunities.
The concept wasn’t new; the book by Norman Vincent Peale was originally published in 1952. But it was new to me.
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