Being negative and saying no are two of the most important ingredients for success.

Negativity is your best bullshit detector. It seeks out “what’s wrong with this”. Negativity calls out the shit that just doesn’t work. It encourages and causes inquiry rather than blind ignorant acceptance. It protects you from what I call the “Fakers” in life.

No is your best filter. No ensures you curate your life, your business and the use of your time, mind and words down to the essential. It protects you from what I call the “Takers” in life.

No helps you achieve your goals by creating focus.

No allows you to just be associated with the very best in life. You are faced with a firehose of possibility, options and information every day. No is the funnel, filter and tap to control that.

Negativity and No are seen obviously as bad by society but that is because it is an opposite to the alternative, it isn’t compliant, it disagrees. You could rethink your association with No to be simply a choice not to, a decision to disagree.

Seeing “No” as bad is in the eyes of the beholder. People see rejection, argument, disagreement and pessimism. They could choose to see these in an alternative way. Choice, challenge, alternative and risk aversion.

If you are positive with a child constantly they stop hearing it. You’ve unwittingly devalued positivity. You will turn them into a snowflake with little resilience and little reason to improve themselves. They will positively agree with everything in life, without a filter. Instead, when you are careful with your use of positivity, and thus you really mean it from the bottom of your heart, they will feel it in theirs and it will be seen and felt as the authentic reward and recognition that it is.

Anyone can influence people, children or animals to comply with positive reinforcement but that in itself can be inauthentic if not done carefully. You are removing the opportunity of that person to learn from failure or do something from their own conclusions and motivation. You are replacing that with a reward that taps into motivators like desire, addiction and recognition to achieve your end. Like giving a child a lollie to get them to comply to your command.

The so called positive approach of using intrinsic motivators against a victim (often unaware of whats being done) for self gain actually feels quite dark when you look at it from this perspective.

So embrace you negativities and your no’s as close friends. Use their power to ensure you are focused on what works best for your life goals. A form of productive pessimism. That is what is in the best interest of those people around you that you care for the most.

Sure be positive when you embrace your few great friends, experience something in life at the peak of performance or win at achieving your goals. Be positive then, intentionally and appropriately. 

People abuse positivity and yes through over use. The positive and yes should be seen as rare scare gems admired and shared at the height of success and not frivolously devalued into the mediocrity of every day use.

Story photo by Mattia Ascenzo

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