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William L. Shannon, Editor

William L. Shannon, Editor of CISCA

Let's Get Positive!

for the July / August 2004 Issue, CISCA's Interior Construction Magazine

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of the non stop negativity rampant in our society today! Whatever happened to the famous American Spirit?

This column is not intended to be a political diatribe, but an observation about the current state of virtually all areas of our society.

The subject matter is not even important. It doesn't seem to matter if one is a Republican, Democrat or Independent; Christian, Jew, Muslim or Atheist, our society seems to be mired in constant complaint, criticism, second guessing and negativity. It seems that regardless of the issue, people are lined up to criticize everybody and everything. Generally with no concrete means to improve the situation targeted by the naysayer.

What a depressing environment to live in. It's difficult to find a positive, upbeat headline. "Everything is wrong", "there is no hope", "all is lost". Holy smoke, is it all really that helpless? Seems as if we have taken a collective step backwards to the early 1980's doom and gloom! Remember those days? Anybody in a rush to return to them?

What's the problem? Have we all forgotten the attitude and spirit that has made us the great country we are?

It's about time to become part of the movement to shake off this cloud of doom and gloom. Lift our heads up and push forward to new heights of success and prosperity. It really doesn't matter what political or religious point of view appeals to you. Constant spewing of negativity is detrimental to us all!

Let's get positive! In place of non stop criticism, come up with your own solutions. Bring forth a positive approach to seemingly perplexing situations. Use your personal creativity to better our lives. Don't participate in demeaning every step taken by those trying to lead.

It really doesn't matter if we are analyzing a family, town, state, or our country, the world is so full of those willing to criticize. We are all too familiar with those who criticize every move within your own organization or family, without any attempt to offer a positive, unique or new approach to solve the perceived problem.

Positive attitudes can start with a small spark and become hard to stop. Why not make a personal goal to always offer an upbeat alternative to anything you are criticizing. Take a moment to think carefully about the issue, it is understandable and commendable to disagree with a point of view, but, if you force yourself to take the next logical step, coupling your positive alternative to your criticism, you may be amazed at the outcome. People will tend to respect your point of view and possibly agree to give it a try!

How often have we heard people complain about the quality of leadership available today? Not just in our government, but in the corporate environment as well. Why in the world would any sane individual want to tackle a job where in their very best day fifty percent of the people not only disagree with them but criticize them non stop and personally demean them, day in and day out? Seems to be a recipe to guarantee mediocrity in leadership! It's really doubtful that anybody makes it to the top leadership position in any organization or government purely by chance. Maybe they have a legitimate point of view, even if it differs from our own.

The best and the brightest succeed by not only creating a positive approach to a situation, but following up with careful planning, competent articulation of their program, and flawless execution. Note, nowhere in this recipe is there a requirement to create an environment of negativism.

The greatest accomplishments are created by upbeat, talented, hard working, people. The most successful people are generally people of average intelligence who work harder than most. Refuse to let defeat get them down. Ignore the negativity surrounding them. Just won't give up! They do not succeed by tearing down others, but by building upon their own vision. Don't let yourself be infected by the purveyors of negativism! Their point of view will add nothing to the success we all desire for ourselves and our families!

Look at the world with a positive point of view. Try your utmost to provide a meaningful contribution to your fellow citizens. Disagree and debate, it is healthy, but balance your point of view with a positive suggestion to improve our lives. Don't be afraid to compliment your competition, believe it or not, it may put you and your point of view in a more powerful position!

William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award

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