Stop being a hater. (17)

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I was lying in bed last night and couldn’t sleep, so I decided to scroll through the good ole book of faces (Facebook). There’s nothing like social media on a bright, shining electric device, on the night of a political debate, only inches from your face, to help you get some shuteye, right?

Well, since I made the original post, I have been on Facebook an exorbitant amount of time. Seriously, it’s been ridiculous, but I’m really enjoying talking with all the new people and hearing all the new stories. I never expected the blog or the post itself to garner near as much attention as it did; however, I’m incredibly thankful for the support by the way. Although, I now have a few hundred new friends and it has completely changed the landscape of my newsfeed. To be clear, this post is in no way directed at only those new acquaintances. But, the newsfeed shake-up got me thinking about other things that I have noticed lately. Also, my outlook on life and things in general has changed quite a bit since I was diagnosed. And, luckily, this is my blog so I can write about whatever I want.

Anyway, I was just laying there scrolling away and everything that I kept seeing was pretty negative in nature. It was littered with the whole “this sucks and that sucks and everyone is stupid” kind of thing. Complaining is easy. I get it. We all do it. I like to think I’m pretty fantastic at it. The one skill that everyone I have ever come across has seemed to master is the ability to whine and complain. Some people do it in a way more entertaining fashion, but that’s a different story.

Yes, life can just flat out be crap from wall-to-wall sometimes, so try looking at the damn ceiling. Do something different. Change your perspective. Leave the room. Nobody wants bad things to happen to them, but they do. Guess what? They’re going to keep happening too.  How you manage the bad things will directly relate to how happy you are. Work sucks, school sucks, and your bank account probably mocks you regularly, but you’re not alone. The world is not out to get you. Life isn’t fair. That’s something we tell children in order to get them to share their toys. Deal with it.

I sure as hell didn’t want stage 4 cancer in my butt, or any of the super duper cool stuff that comes along with it, but here I am. I’ll still be cheesin’ every single time you see me. Do you know why? Because I really enjoy being happy and nothing gets to decide how happy I am except for me. Undoubtedly, the same goes for you. The only thing that is completely in my control right now is my attitude and the things I do to give myself the best chance to overcome this oh so totally neat gift I’ve been given. The rest I’ll leave up to the marvel that is modern medicine.

Nevertheless, every day I choose to  make the conscious decision to look at a situation that is, in a manner of speaking, crap from wall-to-wall and find a different perspective (I guess I’ll never be too old for poop jokes). You don’t have to have cancer to look on the bright side of a situation. Really, you don’t. I promise you that looking at things positively helps. I’m not sure if it’s scientifically proven, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it is, but we’ll call it “Zach Approved” for now.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is why all the negativity? What good can come of it? I’m sure all of this positivity stuff might get annoying to some people, but I don’t really care…you’re probably the negative one. Stop it! You’re dragging those around you down with you, and it’s exhausting. I’ve always heard you become the average of the five people you hang around with most. Block out all the haters!

Do you know what happens when you walk into a room with a big smile on your face? People smile back! What a dang revelation! I’m no happiness savant, but I can tell you that if you walk into a room with a huge smile on your face that ten times out of ten it will put everyone in a better mood. Don’t believe me, try it.

Having a bad attitude and spreading hate and negativity is a real loser way to go about your day if you ask me. Plus, it accomplishes absolutely nothing. Everyone needs a little reminder sometimes, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! If you don’t like the way something is going in your life, find a way to change it. Be proactive. People will respond to that. Try a positive mindset. What would Gladiators do? (WWGD! Maybe I’ll make little rubber bracelets!). After all, we are all Gladiators, and Gladiators were superheroes long before superheroes were invented.

 Do you dare? I challenge each of you to spend ONE entire day being as positive as you can this week. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but try to find the best part of every situation. It’s like five degrees outside? You own a jacket and probably have a heater in your car, maybe even butt-warmers! Work is too early? You’re lucky and have a job! Homework isn’t fun? You’re in the minority that gets the opportunity for an education! Can’t find a boyfriend/girlfriend? It’s probably you and not the entire opposite (or same, depending on what you’re into) sex! Nobody likes a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nick. You have cancer? I don’t give a sh*t! Smile!

Smiling is contagious and nonverbal communication conveys more to others than the words you actually speak. Start by smiling at everyone you see. I promise that if you make a serious effort throughout your day to avoid the negative thoughts, emphasize the positive ones, and turn that frown upside down, you’ll have an awesome day. Who doesn’t want a life full of awesome days? Like I said, it’s “Zach Approved.”

Try it out and send me an e-mail through the website or a FB message about how your day of positivity went. I want to know! Finally, check out the video below. It’s a really interesting video from a brilliant woman and Harvard (I think) professor.

Positive vibes to you and yours!

6 thoughts on “Stop being a hater. (17)

  1. Well said Zack! I could not agree more. No one wants to be around someone who is negative all the time. I accept your challenge to smile all week when I meet with my students. I hope our paths with cross in Cornell so we can smile together.

    one of my favorite quotes is “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde …..I hope I’m the former!

  2. Such a beautiful message, Zach. It is true that there are problems in our world but moment-to-moment, day-to-day, there is much beauty and joy. We often fail to see and embrace the happiness that makes life so much richer. There is a cardinal outside the kitchen window bringing his color and song as a celebration in the sparkling new fallen snow. There is a toddler giggling in the theater (and this is a joy rather than an annoyance!). There is the embrace of a family member. There is the delicious warmth of a brownie coming right out of the oven. There are any number of examples of human creativity everywhere we go. Life is a great gift. Let’s celebrate it every day!
    I have always felt quite joyous and grateful for life but since my diagnosis of stage 4 brain cancer in August, I am far more cognizant of the beauty of life and the gifts of love from family and friends.

    1. Mrs. Rahm,
      I recently heard what was going on through the grapevine. I’m really sorry to hear about what you are going through. Cancer just plain sucks. I love your attitude though. I couldn’t agree more that the diagnosis changes our perspectives. I wish everyone could just appreciate the little things more. Thanks for being such a great English teacher. Sending lots of love to you and yours.

  3. Good thoughts = good outcome
    If not me then who will start ?
    My mom’s mom (my grandmother who died 10 years(1930) before I was born) always told my mom ” Yes you can, just keep trying” Love to you all !

  4. I came here to read your blog. Thought I would try to offer some kind of inspiration. I’m leaving here inspired. Your optimism, your attitude, your approach are inspirational. It’s infectious. Keep on, sir! I will be thinking about you. All the best.

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