Winners don't let negative thoughts take over their lives

By Bob Frisk
Think like a winner.

That’s sound advice for every high school athlete, but it’s also not that easy.

Winners understand the power of positive thoughts, but we’re living in a world filled with negative thoughts. They surround us every day.

I don’t know the percentage of your time spent watching television, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or magazines, going to movies or scrolling the Internet, but I do know the negative information you find there is overwhelming.

And not surprising.

It’s gotten so bad on the radio I listen to music stations or CDs in my car.

I also rarely watch TV news because I know they’ll spend most of the time dealing with negative stories. I can wait for my morning newspaper, which probably also will lead with negative news.

Maybe it’s just easier to digest in the morning.

Television and newspapers know a tragic accident grabs and holds more viewers and readers than a feel-good charity fund-raiser put on by an Eagle Scout.

Negative news — if it bleeds, it leads — sells better than positive news. It’s as simple as that.

It’s all about ratings and ad revenue and, frankly, considering the state of the newspaper business these days, I can understand that thinking a lot better now than I did even a year ago.

Talk radio is another source of negativity. I call it confrontational radio because the hosts usually are looking for ways to stir up their audience for some lively conversation. And there’s no accountability for the Joe Sixpacks who call in to vent.

You also have trouble escaping negativity in a theater. How many movies are out there with positive messages? Maybe that’s why the charming “Hairspray” appealed to me this summer even at my advanced age.

I read that 90 percent of the input we get in the world is negative. And 90 percent of the things we tell ourselves are negative.

Maybe those percentages are too high, but it would be difficult to dispute them.

Young people, beware.

It’s too easy to be easily swayed by all this negativity. Pessimistic people surround you, and if you’re not careful, their pessimism will start rubbing off.

As a high school athlete, you have to be very careful about letting all these negative thoughts take over your life.

I think four main obstacles tend to get in the way of maintaining a positive attitude — fear, worry, anger and doubt.

If you have a bad practice or game, your immediate response is to become fearful.

Fear triggers worry.

Fear and worry trigger anger.

Doubt follows all these negative emotions.

You must always focus on the future rather than the past. Don’t keep worrying about who did what or who is to blame.

If you are faced with a difficulty, you must focus on the solution and not the problem.

Doesn’t that thought process make more sense than rehashing the problem?

Solutions are inherently positive. They take you away from the negative thoughts.

The focus must be on where you want to be and what you want to do. And then begin moving in that direction … immediately.

Winners must learn techniques to replace the negative with the positive.

You have to work on yourself until you reach the point where you believe you will be a total success in anything you want to accomplish.

Commitment is the glue that holds everything together. It’s the most powerful tool you have as a human being.

The key to success is going from being interested to being committed.

It all starts when you roll out of bed each day.

Winners wake up every morning with excitement, enthusiasm and confidence.

Winners tell themselves that this is going to be a great day, good things are going to happen.

Winners feel that each day will bring success their way.

Winners set their minds for victory.

Are you a winner?

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

Positive or negative?

There’s your answer.

Sept. 30, 2007