Notes From Ed Text

Which Voice Do You Listen To–Mr. Positive or Mr. Negative?


Do you have a little voice in your head? I’m not talking about mental health issues here, I’m actually talking about the voice that we have that can give us positive affirmation and encouragement… or negative, discouraging thoughts.

The topic today is that little voice and how to put it to positive use–and, more importantly, how to keep it from undermining your goals and success. 

In his book, “Relentless Optimism: How a Commitment to Positive Thinking Changes Everything,” author Darrin Donnelly writes, “Your mind is the most powerful weapon you have. It affects everything. Everything.” 

Positive mind vs. negative mind Ed Kopko

Our mind is very powerful. Yet, how many of us have allowed that little voice in our head to alter our behavior, or stop doing what we know we should?

How many have listened to Mr. Negative when they should’ve listened to Mr. Positive?

How many times have we stopped for reasons that are not always in our best interest?  

Previously, I have discussed how a positive mindset can lead to better relationships, career promotions and a happier life. It’s one of the most important secrets to happiness.

Yet, somehow, we still can allow the Mr. Negative voice to undermine our success.  
Donnelly writes, “Success begins in your mind.  Failure does too. Optimism is self-fulfilling but so is pessimism.  The choice is yours and you own the outcome.”

There is overwhelming research that shows success follows optimism. That’s right. A positive mindset comes first, not the other way around. So why do so many people allow themselves to fixate on Mr. Negative’s pessimistic message instead of Mr. Positive’s encouragement?

I know one argument typically put forth is that people will say “I want to be a realist not an optimist. I do not want to deceive myself.”  

But that little pessimistic voice can undermine every chance of your being successful.  

In an interview, Donnelly said, “I think the first step in handling anything is to recognize that there are some things I can’t control. All I can do is control what I can. Lou Holtz likes to say that life is ten percent of what happens to you and ninety percent of how you respond to it. I agree completely. That’s the message. What we do control is our attitude and our effort.” 

For someone looking to achieve Bold Goals, the stakes are even higher!  

Your mindset can not only make the difference between success and failure–a negative attitude can prevent you from ever starting going up the Bold mountain of success.

If you want to prevent yourself from falling prey to Mr. Negative, here are a few tips:

  1. Make a choice. Mindset matters:  All endeavors have risks and challenges. Will you choose a positive mindset and manage those risks or will you adopt a negative mindset to not even try? Or worse, start but with failure always part of the equation which will become self-fulfilling.
  2. Warm up your day with positive affirmations that get you started in the right direction.  It works!
  3. Have Faith:  When the going gets tough, tell yourself that not only will you get through this, you will be better for it!
  4. Don’t fear failure:  Setbacks are not failure if you regroup and start anew.  Setbacks are opportunities to learn and improve.  They also at times can be messaging to you that the universe is advising you to modify your approach.
  5. Enjoy every moment.  Life is short.  Outcomes are not guaranteed. I can’t guarantee what will happen, but I can guarantee that I will live in the moment, rise to the challenges and happily accept the  outcomes.  The bold journey is what makes a Bold Life.

Said Donnelly: “Love what you do, and attack each day with joy and optimism.” 

He’s correct, but you should also ignore Mr. Negative’s voice!

If you want to read more from Donnelly, check out his “Sports for the Soul” series, starting with this one:



P.S. PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success is a complete system for planning your life to get what you want, and has been a top seller in three categories: “Motivational Growth & Spirituality”, “Personal Success & Spirituality” and “Management Skills”. I hope you check it out if you have not purchased a copy.

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Ed Kopko

Project Bold Life

Ed Kopko with his book Project Bold Life
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