The Power of Negativity

In a previous post I stressed the Power of Positivity. Now, to drill things a little further, I want to talk about the power of negative forces in your mind.

the bright side of darknessLet me begin with an analogy. Scientists studying motivation in rats put rats in a maze. When the prospect of tasty food and the smell of it is the motivation, the rat scurries through the maze at a respectable pace. BUT, note the capital letters, when the rat has the scent of a cat at it’s tail as it’s motivation, the speed in which it scurries through the maze is doubled! Scientists then tried both methods at the same time, having the scent of food ahead and the scent of danger behind, and the rat’s motivation was tripled!

What does this tell us? It tells us that there are two factors to any goal. When we want to reach a place, we must remind ourselves of all the positive reasons why reaching that goal would be great. And when we also remind ourselves of all the negative things that could happen if we don’t push toward out goal, our reasons for getting there are even greater.

In this sense, even negativity has a positive aspect. It was my habit of seeing the silver lining in everything that helped me see the silver lining in worrying about our greatest fears. I believe that if you have a clear image in your mind of the place you DON’T want to be alongside the place you DO want to be, you’re twice as likely to reach that positive place. When oblivious to the opposite end of your goal, there’s only half the motivation there could be to reach that goal. Therefore we have the potential to take advantage of negative thinking by, just every once in a while, maybe once a day, reminding ourselves of not only where we’re going but what we’re running from.

Running toward something at the same time as running away from something is the power that negativity can add to our lives. Thank you!


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