My mother was a Judge.


A real one.

Before she was a Judge, she was a lawyer. So was my Dad, and my Uncle.


Lawyers are highly trained in the art of looking for what is wrong or what could go wrong. Before leaving the house we were duly warned about everything that could possibly go wrong on the 3 block walk to school.


Between my Italian family and the nuns at the Catholic schools I attended, I picked up the bad habit of judging – myself and everybody else.


So, at one time, a walk down the street might (in my head) sound like this: “Her hair is awful, what makes her think she can pull off that shade of red?”

“Oh, he is one ugly man but if he dressed better at least it would help.”

“THOSE pants are WAY too tight.”


When my brain wasn’t giving me specific negative feedback like that, it was labeling things.


Good or bad.


It’s raining (bad). It’s sunny (good, until August when it’s a bad thing.) There’s traffic (bad). Wow! Look at all those people (bad thing or good thing depending on what you think about crowds.)

That chair is comfy (good) so comfy in fact it’s hard to get out of (bad thing, better not sit there!)

My brain – and maybe yours – is in the habit of labeling things good or bad – all day long.


That’s because our brains are actually not wired to keep us happy, they are wired to keep us safe, so we are constantly scanning the environment for things that could be “bad” or unsafe.

What’s interesting is that, according to Dr. Srikumar S. Rao, labeling something as bad almost guarantees you will experience it that way.


To make it worse, most people use the “bad thing” label 3 – 10 times more often than the “good thing” label. Oy. You can see the problem, I’m sure.


Every time you label something as “bad” you put a little more stress on your system. Then of course to relieve that stress, people like me tell you to do more “positive thinking.” And while positive thinking is good – it requires effort.


So here’s a positivity practice for you – pay close attention to your habit of labeling things. Notice how often during the day you judge and label things good or bad, right or wrong.

Notice if there are more “wrongs” than “rights.” (I’m sure there will be.)

And then adopt a “Not good, not bad, just so” attitude.


Critical thinking is not necessary every minute of every day to keep you safe, make you smart or give you a competitive edge.

It’s not good, not bad, it’s just so.


Save your good positive thinking for the real problems, not the ones in your imagination.


And if you’d like to find out more about using your busy brain to your advantage gift your employees with my “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” lunch and learn program. It’s a great way to get your remote and in person teams together to expand, relate and pick up practical tips for creating a reality they’ll love.


Call me – you know I love to find out more about what makes you tick!



PS More about the esteemed Dr. Srikumar S. Rao



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