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  • James McNeil

What dead batteries and negative people have in common

Have you ever been around someone negative; someone so negative that their negativity started to rub off on you? What do you do in those situations? I’m sure if you can, you leave quickly. But what if you can’t? What if the negative person who’s affecting your day is someone with whom you work? What if it’s a family member? What do you do when you can’t get away?

One way to handle this is to find someone positive. When I was starting the countdown for the launch of Finding Your Personal Mission, I was excited, and I wanted to share that news. I went to some friends with whom I shared a few classes. (I was a college senior at this time.) A couple of those friends were supportive and pledged to buy a book when it was published. One of them, however, was more critical.

“Publishing a book in this economy?”

“Do you know anything about publishing?”

“There are hundreds of books out there like yours already!”

These are all things this one person said to me. And they all had a negative effect. I knew that I was doing something good in the book, and I knew it could help people tremendously. But the negative comments made me start to doubt myself. So I had a choice. Would I quit? Or would I find a way to continue?

Actually, I did neither. I contacted a friend and mentor about the book, and he gave me some of the best advice I had ever heard. He said, “He’s reacting that way because he needs the book, but he doesn’t know it yet.”

Now imagine if I’d gone to someone just as negative. Would that person have uplifted me? I’m sure you know the answer to that. It would be like trying to jump a dead car battery by hooking it to another dead car battery. It simply would not work.


In the same way, you need to be careful about who you ask for help. Someone who is negative cannot help you find the positive in life. They simply can’t. Do you know someone who can help boost your spirit when you’re down? That’s who you need to find.

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