Return On Negative Emotional Investments

I stole the idea of mindset, skill set, and toolkit from Gerhard at Selling Power. There is a reason that mindset comes first in this triumvirate: without the right mindset, your skills and tools are worthless.

Right now, too many people are full of fear, cynicism, and negativity. They expend a tremendous amount of emotional energy on things that are negative, draining themselves of the energy they need to produce the results they want in their lives. Most of this fear, cynicism, and negativity is around things over which they have absolutely no control. Yet that is where their focus goes.

I know this. I was once infected by the very disease I am writing about here.

The Investment in “Those Guys”

The return on the emotional investment you make in worrying about, criticizing, or being frustrated by what other people do, say, or believe is 0.0%. You can double, triple, or quadruple your investment here without producing any positive return.

Some people feel it necessary to argue that other’s beliefs on race relations are wrong, that it is unfair how wealth is distributed, that “those guy’s” political beliefs are wrong, or that some people’s religious or spiritual choices are incorrect. They believe that their problems are “those guys,” ignoring the fact that they themselves are the source of their challenges. Look at your Facebook feed.

If you want to make change around some cause about which you have strong feelings, go work to make a difference. But otherwise, stop investing emotional energy on “those guys” and ruining your mindset.

The Investment in Past Crimes

There are some people who carry the heavy burden that is the collection of past crimes they believe others have committed against them. Some of these crimes are real, and many are imagined. Each time these “investors in past crimes” perceive that someone has wronged them, they scratch a little line in their imaginary book next to that person’s name. They relentlessly and meticulously keep score.

By investing in past crimes, you walk around assuming that everyone has bad intentions. You trust no one because no can be trusted. Everyone is suspect, and everyone has questionable motives. Even people who love you and who you are supposed to love.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. If you are human, you will make mistakes, some great and some small. You are going to need to ask for forgiveness.

Your return on investment in keeping score of past crimes is 0.0%, compounding annually.

The Investment in Fear

Some people love to be frightened. They watch a lot of television. They get their news and information from sources that feed their fears. Because they feed their fears, the investor in fear sees the world as a dark and dangerous place. They believe that things have never been worse than they are now.

Because they are so deeply invested in the scary stories they tell themselves, they refuse any information to the contrary. To those who invest in fear, the world is a carefully constructed series of conspiracies designed to ruin their life—or worse.

Most of what these people fear isn’t worth fearing; none of it will come to pass. Some of what they fear may happen, but won’t have any appreciable impact on their life. But they can’t help themselves from sharing their fears and infecting others.

Bad things happen. But that isn’t what your life is made of. Most of the good things that happen go unreported.

Your return on investing in fear is something less than zero.

The investment in believing that your problems are “those guys,” “past crimes,” or feeding your “fears,” is a life that is less than it should be. You can choose what you focus on, and you can choose what you manifest in your life. It starts with your mindset and how you invest your emotional energy.

  • Who are “those guys” for you?
  • What past crimes do you need to let go?
  • What fears are you feeding?
  • Where do you need to make investments?

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