Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011 - (Page 33)

THROWING MY LOOP… Positivity POSITIVITY — (POS’I-TIV’I-TY) noun. Tending to emphasize what is good or laudable. Faith and belief that events may have positive benefits. Math: BY than zero. A quantity greater MICHAEL JOHNSON BY MICHAEL JOHNSON AT ONE TIME in my life, I thought I invented that word. (Can you believe that?) After all, it wasn’t in the medical dictionary. Wasn’t even listed. “Negativity” was listed, so I just assumed no one had ever used the word “positivity.” Indeed, on this day, when I use the word on my computer, it shows to be misspelled, as if it’s not a real word — but it is. While I didn’t discover a new word, we can say that most of us have heard of negativity, but far fewer are familiar with positivity. One explanation for the lack of popularity of positivity might be that higher academics has always sneered at most “positive thinking” and “self-help” books. Their complaint is that authors who wrote about that subject almost never performed scientific experiments to prove their point, but rather relied on personal beliefs and anecdotal “self-reports” from others — considered “poor research methods.” As a college freshman, I learned very quickly not to mention the subject of “positivity” or “positive thinking” in class because the professors would respond with statements like, “If you plan to waste your time on that drivel, Mr. Johnson, graduation for you will be most unlikely.” That shut me up for an entire year. But it bothered me. For most of my early academic life, I made Cs, Ds and Fs. Then, because of a bull-rider named Gary Laffew, I stumbled on to Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Then I read Dale Carnegies’ “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” That led to Gallwey’s “Inner Game of Tennis,” and a host of others. To my surprise, those books were not full of mystical mantras and far eastern nonsense — as my professors had claimed — but rather simple practical suggestions like, “Show up every day,” or “One must exert effort and spend time at study to do well.” They suggested that instead of spending all our time saying, “I can’t,” to try instead saying, “I might be able to…if I tried.” For me (and countless others) the resulting change was dramatic. My I.Q. did not increase; my behavior changed…and so did my life. Not because First Quarter 2011 • 33 True happiness comes from working at a task you love, and if you ever surpass what you thought was your potential…the result is intense life satisfaction that never wanes. To do that, optimism is required.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011
From the President
Engineering Contracts 101
Design-Build is New and Different, But it Works
A New Angle: Environmentally Friendy Angle Well Construction
This Ain't Business...It's Just Personal
Fill Up Your CUPSS Today!
Regulatory Update
A Joint Letter to NRWA and AWWA Memberships
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011