Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Energy Bus -- Reflection #1

Our superintendent gave us all a little homework for the summer -- he asked us all to read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. I just started it today, and I am already having a-ha moments. I'm the kind of person who likes to process things by writing about them, so I've been inspired to share some of my thoughts here as I read the book. I'm sure that some people will say this is all one big suck up to my boss, and to them I say, fine, feel that way if you want. But people who know me know that I look for reasons to write, so here I am, expressing myself the way I enjoy it best.

I didn't even get past the foreword written by Ken Blanchard before I got smacked with a truth. Written in the foreword is this: "Every morning you have a choice. Are you going to be a positive thinker or a negative thinker? Positive thinking will energize you." Now, I'm going to get a bit personal here, so I apologize for that upfront, and I hope it doesn't upset anyone who might happen to read it (spoiler: it has a happy ending).

I learned this statement to be quite true, and I learned it the hard way. In 2001, my mom and dad split up after more than 30 years of marriage. It knocked me for an absolute loop. That summer, I made a conscious decision to be angry with and actively hate my father, since he was the one who initiated the breakup. And I also allowed myself to feel the same anger and hatred toward my dad's girlfriend as well. At first, I felt really strong and powerful, spewing all the venom and vitriol I could about them. I had some pretty powerful emotions to let out, and I felt energized by releasing them.

The I woke up one day and realized how exhausted I was -- mentally, emotionally, and physically. I realized that it was a direct result of all the hatred I had been actively harboring. It was hard to get up every day and decide to hate my dad. It made me feel lousy. And as I sat there, thinking about how miserable I felt, I realized I was making other people miserable, too. Nobody enjoyed being around me -- not my husband, not my daughter, not my friends. That active hostility permeated outside the bounds of who is was meant for and poisoned every relationship I had. So that morning, as consciously as I had decided to hate my father, I decided NOT to hate him anymore. The situation with him was beyond my control, so I decided to let go of the hostility. I purposely decided to do and say things that showed my father I loved him. I wanted to have a relationship with him. I wanted my daughter to grow up loving her grandfather, not being poisoned by my awful attitude. I wanted to accept the new woman in his life; if she was important to my dad then she was important to me, too.

And by making that conscious decision to stop being negative and instead be positive, everything around me changed. I felt better, I looked better, my relationships improved. It has been 16 years since that summer, and I get along well with my dad and his girlfriend who is now his wife. I remember that summer of 2001 -- it was filled with angst, turmoil, and darkness. But somehow, someway, I found my way past all that. Positive thinking really is energizing. It is powerful. It is life altering. And it doesn't just happen. It has to be a choice, a decision you make. It has to be done deliberately.

I jumped on the energy bus when I made the decision -- and I didn't even know it!


  1. Great testimony to the power of choosing positivity! Now, stop kissing up! ;)

  2. I haven't yet read the book, but if the main message is "There's so much power in positive thinking!"...I could've written the book - I've been preaching that for years! #aintnotimefornegativity #positivethinker