The Cost of Negativity

There are only a few things in life that we can’t control — the family we’re born into, the color of our eyes and skin, where we’re from. Everything else in life, it’s up to you. It’s a choice — the one undeniable right we’re all given.

Even when the choice isn’t clearly stated, it’s always there lingering beneath the decision to do, be, act, react. It finds a way to surface after it’s all said and done, and we’re left cleaning up the consequences.

And those consequences, they can be aggressive and sneaky as they infiltrate your life.

Some will smack you right in the face as your choosing them; while others, they subtly invade every inch of your life until one day it’s just a part of you and you’re not sure where it all began and how to shake it off.

This is something that I noticed in my life recently.

I live right in the middle of two grocery stores operating under the same brand. We’ll call them Store A and Store B. While both are the same distance from my house, Store A requires an extra turn when coming home from work.

And lately, I’ve been busy.

By the time I make it to my community, I pop into Store B since it’s right on route, and I can easily zip in and out with all the ingredients I need for dinner.

You’re probably thinking — What’s the problem? It sounds like a win-win.

You see, Store A and Store B are the same brand with the same products, but each store has a different personality. Store A is bright and friendly and helpful and welcoming; whereas, Store B is cold, impersonal, unsupportive and unappreciative.

Choose which way you turn. Don’t let it choose you.

While I’m getting the same products, the results aren’t quite the same. When I shop at Store A, I leave feeling happy, fulfilled and satisfied with my selections, and I carry those feeling out of the store. I may help someone return their shopping cart to the cart corral or wait for extra pedestrians to stroll across the parking lot into the store or make room for others to back out of their parking spaces in front of me — waving and smile along the way.

On the other hand, when I shop at Store B, it makes me feel irritated. I hastily bag my own stuff and race across the parking lot to my car, avoiding eye contact at all costs. After tossing the bags in the back, I curb the cart and am quickly out of the parking lot.

These experiences reminded me that every encounter with negativity has the potential to breed negativity into your life without consciously focusing on it.

Your only option, then, is to put the effort in at the beginning and set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with the people, places and things that create more positivity in your life.

Don’t let negativity rain down on your business.

The same goes for your business. One negative employee can greatly impact the fun, upbeat company culture you cultivated and easily swindle you out of hoards of happy customers.

Remember when your parents said, “You are the company you keep.” — you should definitely believe them. Keeping negative employees — no matter how indebted you feel to them — will affect your business.

Set yourself up for success by aligning with positivity. Go out of your way to shop at the store that leaves a smile on your face, and keep your business in good company by investing in talent who are excited to be there.

We only get so many chances to get it right — don’t forget that the power lies in your hands. The only thing you can control in this world is you and the decisions you make. Why not start out with a little sunshine to get you going in the right direction?