Negativity : Second- Hand Smoke For The Mind, by Dave Durell

Imagine yourself sitting in a closed room, alone. Maybe you are on your computer, reading a book, or writing a letter. Next thing you know, somebody enters the room, closes the door, sits down right across from you and lights up a cigarette. Since you are a non-smoker, this bothers you. Pretty soon the smoke starts to fill the room, and to make matters worse that person is blowing the smoke right in your face! Eventually you feel like you can’t breathe, like this environment is very unhealthy, so you decide to pack your things and leave.


As soon as you are outside the room, you instantly take in a nice, big, deep breath of fresh air, and you immediately feel better. You are glad to be away from that nasty, unhealthy smoke, and you resolve to avoid being around it in the future.

How did you feel reading the preceding paragraph? Could you feel the urge to get out of that smoky room, and take in that big breath of clean, fresh air? Did you fell like the other person was being rude-even disrespectful-for blowing smoke in your face? Would you probably be likely to avoid being around that person in the future, or at least limit your exposure to them.

Of course, a few minutes in a smoky room is not likely to cause you to drop dead on the spot. And even if you were in that situation repeatedly, you probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference. However, research shows that repeated exposures of this nature can cause serious health problems-even cancer! This means that each of those exposures really did have a detrimental effect on you, even though you didn’t feel it immediately.


I believe that exposure to negativity can have a similar detrimental effect on your attitude, which of course effects everything you do. And just like the second-hand smoke example, you probably won’t feel a dramatic, immediate effect (unless you have become hyper-sensitive to negativity, as I have). However, repeated exposures will have a crippling effect on your ability to gain and maintain a positive mental attitude, which I believe is absolutely essential for success in any aspect of life, including your exercise program.

The risks and dangers of second-hand smoke have been widely publicized. Recently, many laws have been passed which serve to limit non-smokers’ exposure to second-hand smoke by restricting smoking to designated areas. The non-smokers are then assured of a smoke-free environment, provided they avoid the designated smoking areas.

This is where the analogy between second-hand smoke and negativity ends. Negativity is present all around us. It comes from people we come in contact with, television, radio, newspapers, billboards, bumper stickers, magazines, movies, the internet; political campaigns-negativity has literally infected every aspect of human life.

Make no mistake about it-the cumulative effect of negativity will destroy your spirit. Your only defense is to build around you a “wall of positive” that is so thick and strong that the negative is unable to penetrate it. You do this by consciously, volitionally cultivating a positive mental attitude; and you do that through the use of a massive, constant, never-ending self improvement program.

Components of a solid self improvement program include: using positive affirmations; setting written goals; reading books and listening to CD programs on self improvement and/or personal development; and, of course, proper exercise-all repeated regularly and consistently like it is done at Rock Solid Fitness Florida.

Every time you repeat a positive affirmation, set a new goal, read a self improvement or personal development book, listen to a CD program, or complete a workout, you are adding another brick to your “wall of positive”, and with enough of those bricks in your wall you will be able to repel the forces of negativity which are all around you.

If doing all of these things sounds kind of corny to you, or sounds like too much work, I imagine you are the type of person who would stay in that smoke-filled room for fear of looking foolish by leaving. That’s okay, it’s your life-just remember, choices have consequences.

I hope you will choose, as I have, to develop yourself into a positive, optimistic person, who constantly strives to improve themselves and get the most out of life, and refuses to allow negativity to pull them down. I hope you will decide, as I have, to leave the smoke-filled room-and if you have to go back in, to hold your breath until you get out.

Imagine how the world would change if everybody did that.

Stay “smoke free”!



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