I assert the negative / positive dichotomy, as much as
we're thrown to use it as a measuring implement, isn't useful when
gauging the power of conversations. It's especially not useful when
gauging the power of
What's a useful measure of the power of conversations and of the power
in particular is when you're engaged with them, whether or not
who you really
is authentically brought to bear on the matters which concern you.
brings forth the possibility of massive, discontiguousbreakthroughs
across the board in Life - often unexpectedly. Gaping
magically appear in the
pour. The impact of something negative may change the way things are
headed, just as surely as the impact of something positive may change
the way things are headed. But whether it's a negative change in the
way things are headed or whether it's a positive change in the way
things are hearded, it's still nonetheless a change which occurs
within the same
Negativity is opening the refrigerator and seeing nothing to eat.
Positivity is opening the refrigerator and seeing something to eat.
on the other hand, is opening the refrigerator ... and seeing the
GrandCanyon in there ... (as
may have said).
The thing is you can neither get
by avoiding the negative nor by accentuating the positive. In fact,
avoiding the negative and / or accentuating the positive are the
surest ways of keeping yourself stuck.
Gee! I hope you get that ...
I was sharing with
one of my coaches
about a negativity bordering on a
total unworkability within a group of people I know,
with, and love. At about that time, I was also making travel plans to
go visit with them. Given the triumph of
over circumstance, unworkability is never an obstacle ... except
when it is. This was one of those occasions when it was.
said to me "Here's my
worth Laurence: it's your call whether you don't go or
whether you go ... and given the way things are, if it were me I
was one of my closest, most trusted advisors doesn't mean I accepted
said blindly without consideration. Soon, outside of
advice, I got in touch with that I didn't want to go given
the way things were (in other
was confirming what I already knew). So I canceled my travel
plans. It was the right choice. I was at peace with it. It was
Months passed uneventfully. Then one day I got that if I could allow
the negativity, the total unworkability to be whatever it was, without
trying to fix
it, without trying to change it when I was away from it,
then I could equally allow it to be whatever it was without
trying to fix
it and without trying to change it when I was with it.
I have an undeniable affinity with that group of people - that is to
say I have an undeniable affinity with and I love each of them
individually. I noticed in spite of the pervasive unworkability,
I'd never lost sight of
who each of them really are,
who each of them really arefor me. As soon as I got that, I made new travel plans.
Although nothing had changed, I could be with them after all. I went.
It was great. In fact it was probably greater than if I had gone when
I'd originally planned to go, and simply tolerated the
Looking back on the sequence of
I first got the no. Then, instead of
or trying to change it (which would have been my usual temptation), I
let the no be, before I got the yes which came later
out of letting the no be. Had I not gotten the no first, I
would most certainly never have gotten the yes later. Tolerance maybe -
but not the yes.
This is what
stood for. This is what
really stood for me having. Whether I didn't go or whether I went
wasn't the point. That was incidental. Saying if it were her she
wouldn't go, was an access at best. She was pointing to
something. But what she was pointing to wasn't what
shestood for. She didn't stand for me not going. What
stood for was the possibility of me being great with the people in my
One other thing: from the conversation between
and I, and from the way this episode turned out, I stopped being
concerned about being stopped. Being stopped is my no. Instead I
can adjust my trajectory for each no (as in being stopped)
to have the possibility of it becoming a yes soon, or not. And I
don't need to know what this will look like ahead of time before I
to it. What I do know is when it happens, it will be something great.
That fact that it will be something great isn't simply
positive thinking. The Grand Canyon is in the fridge.