Exceptional Leaders have learned to avoid the inundation of negative messages.
To hear local or national daily news of any community or nation, one would be afraid to make any of them their home. We have bad news coming at us from all over the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with everyone and their cousin feeling the need to report the crud they see or hear about. It has now become common place for people to capture the sensational and post it online for the world to view. It is enough to lead even the most optimistic people to depression and to make the rest want to find a place to hide until it is all over. I am sure that I don’t have to reiterate the statistics here about the regular diet of sex, violence, murder, rape, and general depravity that is served up on your television or the internet on a daily basis.
When was the last time you tuned in to the News in your local community and heard about all the good things that are happening, the thousands of dollars individuals and local businesses have given to charity, the hundreds of volunteers that have recently served the needs in your community, or the larger and smaller acts of kindness that are performed by members of your community every day? Unfortunately, in our voyeuristic society, good news seldom sells.
Have you noticed that Exceptional Leaders spend little time filling their minds with the negative messages that are thrown at them from all corners of the earth? They likely keep up with current affairs, news related to their business, community or industry and possibly a few items of personal interest such as sports and entertainment. However, they do not allow themselves to be inundated by the plethora of negativity that can be so destructive. Instead, they focus on the things they can control and embrace the things that lead them to the outcomes they desire. They actually go out and create good news, such as jobs and opportunities. And they refuse to allow the negative messages around them to keep them from moving forward in a positive direction. The following story was given to me by a Wal-Mart Executive, and serves as a reminder of the power of buying into negativity.
The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers. But he sold good hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were. He stood on the side of the road and cried: “Buy a hot dog, Mister?” And people bought. He increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade. He finally got his son home from college to help him out. But then something happened. His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspapers? There’s a big depression. The European situation is terrible. The domestic situation is worse.” Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the papers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know.” So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway to sell his hot dogs. And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight. “You’re right, son,” the father said to the boy. “We certainly are in the middle of a great depression.”