Some people default to the negative.
You know them. They say things like “that will never work here” and “we tried that before and it didn’t work.”
It can be difficult to reason with that group of people, referred to as ‘the committee of negativity’. Nothing you say will be taken seriously. There’s an argument for every reason you give. There’s examples for them too. If you continue to hang around with this committee you might just find yourself one of its members.
I have a solution.
Let the committee of negativity meet somewhere else. Let them follow their own path. You don’t need to travel on it too.
Start gathering your own crowd, surround yourself with people who are more positive. Find those people that want to do things, that want change for the better, that are already doing things.
- store owners who do fun and new things in their stores. Is their window changed often? Are they online doing promotions too? Do they smile and greet you when you walk into their establishment? Chances are they are someone you should know better.
- letter to the editor writers who send thank letters instead of complaint letters. See how they notice when someone is doing good? Learn from them, gratitude goes a long way.
- city council members/government people who sharing exciting new ideas. Fixing up the old parks, wanting to have more events, hosting ‘get to know me’ meetings, are visible in the community — these are just a few clues they may be part of your crowd.
- volunteers who are happy. The next event in town you go to, look for the happy people. Those that are excited to be helping, and are genuinely happy to be there. They can introduce you to more of their kind of people – the happy ones.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare said it well. You choose your outcomes. You can make choices that will change your course. I’ve chosen to be relentlessly optimistic, to stand with a crowd that wants to see good things happen, to see our small towns renewed and growing.
September 7 at 6 pm Becky McCray and I will be sharing the Idea Friendly framework and we will be talking about Gathering Your Crowd, Making Connections and Taking Small Steps. Are you interested in helping to make your small town a vibrant town to live, work and play in? Take our webinar!
Great, great piece. Cannot be said often enough. Your seminars should also be also be attracting big city people like me – who use this thinking in our neighborhoods. We have lots of small towns in our big city.
thanks Erin — I’ve always said Chicago is a city of small towns!
I love how you describe the people to look for. And you’re smart enough to look everywhere, even among the existing formal leadership.