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POSITIVELY SPEAKING: Be known by what you are for

We’ve all been told to “Be part of the solution” and “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Both statements are good and true. Most people holding elected office and almost all of those running for president, apparently didn’t get that memo.

Beto O’Rourke recently dropped out of the race. I can tell you almost everything he was against but would be hard-pressed to tell you what he was for. Screaming against or at issues is not the same as proposing and selling solutions. My suggestion to all of those running for office, and especially those holding power is to be for and not against something.

You may say Beto was for gun control … but I never heard him articulate that. Instead I heard him attacking the National Rifle Association and saying he would seize guns from law abiding citizens. I never heard him propose a positive plan for legal immigration but instead he said he’d abolish ICE and he was against a wall. Attitude of your approach matters. Beto never got his message across because he was negatively attacking rather than positively proposing. He spent all his time telling us what he is against instead of what he is for. When you are against something, you come across as negative. When you are for something you come across as positive and Americans almost always vote for the candidate who gets their positive message across.

Like him or not, Donald Trump won with a simple and positive message. Make America Great Again. His opponents attacked his slogan by calling it racist, homophobic, misogynistic and worse. Instead, maybe they would have been better served by being more “Pro-America” and less “Anti-Trump”?

A positive message sells, while a negative message repels.

This is not a political message nor am I taking a side. I am strongly stating that people who are for something move their agenda forward and attract followers, while those who are against something are obstructionist and attract negative people. You may say, “I’m against racism” and I’ll respond by saying “try being for unity and to love your neighbor regardless of race, color, religion or nationality.” You may say you “are anti-drug” and I’ll respond with, “be pro good health and clear mind.” How we approach our problems matters because people respond to and are drawn to a positive message and approach and turn away from the negative. As such, I believe the negative approach of those who want Donald Trump out of office are assuring his reelection. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were both elected because of their positive and optimistic messages.   

So, my message to those wanting my vote is “I don’t care what you are against. Tell me what you are for.”

It’s not only true in political elections but also in the workplace and in our homes. Our children need to understand what their parents are for. When a parent is always telling their children what they are doing wrong, they are damaging their child’s self-esteem and teaching them to communicate the negative. Certainly, we must correct our children, but the power of motivation is in building the child up, not tearing them down. Correct them positively.

Employees need to understand the same from their business leadership. Screaming at an employee for making a mistake assures they will never take risks but will also turn them against the boss and the company. When that happens, the employee may work to sabotage their boss and turn down the quality of work they perform. Positive always trumps negative. Employees need to understand what their leadership and their company values. Then, the leadership must model those values in a positive and easy to understand way.

This is a difficult point to make in under 800 words but let me try with this simple story.

Mother Teresa is known worldwide for her work with the poor and the tremendous legacy she left behind. If you are ever tempted to ask if its possible for one person to make a difference, remember Mother Teresa. She is credited with saying …

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

What did this kind, gentle and positive person who made a profound difference in the world say?

Anti-anything never works. Be pro-something.

I want to be known by what I’m for.

How about you?

GARY W. MOORE is a freelance columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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