No, Nay, never, No, nay never no more. Will I play the wild rover, No, Nay, never, no more …Irish Folk song

Negative thinking stops the flow:

I’ve worked as a professional improvisational comic and improv instructor for many years and I have personally seen many instances relating to the stories of Malcolm Gladwell, from his book “Blink”. He uses as an analogy that I can relates to in how negative words can stop the flow towards a goal. He tells about how while he was sitting in on a improv class, he watched first hand how the word “no” can stop the flow of a scene and how the that stoppage of flow was relatable to our everyday lives. In his story he describes a group improvising a scene that went something like this.

A: I’m having trouble with my leg.

B: I’m afraid I’ll have to amputate.

A: You can’t do that, doctor.

B: Why not?

A: Because I’m rather attached to it.

B: Come on, man.

A: I’ve got this growth on my arm too, Doctor.

The trouble with the scene was that by using a negative “You can’t do that, Doctor.” it gave his partner no were to go. It stopped the flow. The B player had nothing to build on, nothing to work with in creating a new thought. One of the very first things I teach my students is to “Never say NO! Never deny, always be accepting and always be building.”

If the player hadn’t used the stopping word “Can’t” the scene may have moved along and flowed something like this:

A: I’m having trouble with my leg.

B: I’m afraid I’ll have to amputate.

A: But it’s the one you amputated last week.

B: So you’re having problems with your wooden leg?

A: Yes, it’s hurts.

B: Let me take a look. Sure enough you have termites.

A: Termites! Is that bad.

B: It’s not good.

A: Can you fix it?

B: Sure, comeback on Wednesday, on Wednesdays I do wood work!

See how words can stop the thinking flow in others as well as ourselves? Did you see how using open words, allowed his partner to open his mind to the flow of creating?

How to stop a negative: By using a double negative against it? NO, NEVER!

I can hear what you are thinking right now. Your thinking: “I want to stop my negative thoughts so I will just say no to negative thinking!” Oops, using a negative to fight a negative is not going to work. But replacing a negative with a positive will. Don’t worry about the math, that’s for someone else to figure out. In removing negatives from our vocabulary and our thinking, you will be leaving a void that will have to be refilled with something. So we need to fill that void with something else. That something else is positive speaking and positive thinking.

Today’s Assignment: You are going to be conscious of how many times you use negative words. Right now, just say to yourself that this is what you’re going to do today. “I am going to be conscious of how many times the words no, nay, never, no more, are used in my vocabulary and thoughts”. (Okay, so you won’t use the word “nay” too much).

This doesn’t mean you can’t say the word no. Later we will even discuss when it is imperative to say no. Common sense will dictate your use of the word, but watch how many times you use the negative form of the verb. Then try to think about how you could have restated or to have inverted the sentence to a positive.

Example: “No Johnny you can’t do that.” USE: “Johnny instead of doing that, how about you doing this.

Example: “I can’t get this work done on time.” USE: “I can get this work done on time, but let’s take a moment to figure out how.”

Example: “I don’t have the money to fix this” USE: “So I need how much? Okay let’s find the money”

Example: I will not drink (Insert anything you don’t want to do) any more.” USE an alterative statement, “I am going to start “exercising” (Insert what you do want to do) more.”

Remember words are incredibly powerful. The uses of words affect our thought process and our bodies. The words you use can create a bad day or a fantastic, fulfilling, abundant day.

So go out and have a fantastic day! Remember; we’re all in this together!

P.S. The Irish Folk song “No, Nay, never, No, nay never no more.” was written by a Irishman that was about to be married. He used the negative words as a means to contemplate and keep his marital vows, which actually worked against him, as the negative thinking turned into reality. Not the positive outcome he imagined. He went on to later to pen a song for Brittney Spears named: “Opps, I did it again”

P.S.S Just kidding! Stephen James

Funny Business is a humorous look at some serious issues your business or organizations have to address.