Guide Negative Hitchhikers to a Different Galaxy

One never forgets the feeling of being a part of a group where the dynamic among each and every individual is at the highest level. It’s an environment in which every individual brings something positive to the whole. Everyone does their best work. Each person gives more than they take. There is complete trust, limitless potential, and a place you never want to leave.

Such an environment is a true gift and an exponential accelerator on the highway to becoming and performing our best.

To create and grow a great circle is a delicate process. We open ourselves to others and give up control with the belief that a stronger group raises stronger people.

But as we all know, it doesn’t always work out this way.

On our path to doing a little better, we encounter people who have parked themselves along the road. Sometimes in the middle of the road. They have little interest in going forward. And, they aren’t too concerned about blocking your path, being passed and left behind, or causing you to head in a completely different direction.

Continued investment of emotion, time, and energy resources into these individuals weakens our negativity filters. We convince ourselves that it is normal to give a “lift” to these people and then keep driving them around.

It is not normal. It is not acceptable. They hitch a ride on your life and then try to take you to a destination of their own liking.

Why aren’t we better at preventing the negative people from stepping off the curb and into our life? Why aren’t we better at taking control of our wheel to engage in evasive or go around action — or just freakin’ lock the doors. Click.

There are consequences to picking up and living with a negative hitchhiker.

I can hear my mom’s voice right now. It’s one of those Aga Rules. Think twice about picking up a hitchhiker. Why are they on the side of YOUR road in the first place? But then that small voice inside your head, or that habit kicks into gear:

Not bringing someone into our circle challenges our goodness and our attempt at *inclusion.*

Guess what driver? You can be a good person without shoving your goals into the backseat just to make room for a negative hitchhiker. You are not their life-driver who takes them anywhere they would like to go… especially a dead-end. There is no guilt, because they will get right back on the curb and flag down another driver.

So let’s change your repeat pattern. (And how I changed mine.)

Currency of Relationships:

Nothing allows you to slip around negative people like building and growing relationships with good people.

As many of you have come to learn about me, I write daily — with pencil and paper — my intention and attention for the day. This daily practice directs me towards good people. The more I do this, the more I ask, “Where did the negative people go?” This provides the time and fuel I need to serve the good people in my life well.

:: Always be on the look out for the good people in your life and spend time and energy to help them grow, succeed, and achieve. Good Relationships = Currency of life.

What I Can Control:

is a return to the basic sports psychology that I practiced in my days as a competitive athlete in canoeing.

:: You only can control what you can control → Your performance. Your choices. Your health.

Own Your Culture:

This spins off the above tactic and will be a fundamental component of my 5 With Joe program. We have to own our culture. Repeat — We have to own our culture.

:: First inside of you, and then outside of you.

Build a better engine:

Taking better care of myself — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually — builds the engine I need to handle the tough, external jobs. I talk about these almost every week.

:: You need (must) do them every day. Small steps. Every day.

Get Good at Saying No:

I remove negative people from my circles pretty quickly. It took practice to get here. That practice refined my *negative hitchhiker* identification skills.

:: Trust your instincts and put your “no thank you” into play. You will begin to recognize negative hitch hikers from blocks away, move into your straight-ahead lane and activate a powerful thought bubble: “no ride today, buddy.”

Identify the negative hitchhikers in your world…

and kick them out of your life.

Thank you for reading my post — I’m Joe.

After winning an Olympic Gold Medal for the United States, I followed an expected corporate path reaching the rank of CEO.

Following a long stint, I walked away from that job knowing there must be a better way.

I now travel the world presenting at conferences, as well as to work with corporations and their leaders, business owners, and influencers about performance, life purpose and serving to full potential.

In other words, I work with Leaders just like You.

You can learn more about me at

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