Don’t Let Negativity Bring You Down

Some people say that California’s drought could be part of a long-term weather cycle that could last hundreds of years. This story has cropped up in various news media in the past couple of years, like this article from the San Jose Mercury News.

Bad news like that bums me out, as I’m sure it does many of you. But I try not to let it get to me deep down. Although the news media tends to emphasize bad news, there is plenty of good news around as an antidote if you look for it.

For instance, even if our region’s drought persists, that cloud may have a silver lining in that it has led most of us to adopt a conservation ethic so that we can stretch our water supplies farther. Also, it has led the scientific and engineering communities to investigate other ways to conserve and replenish our water supplies. Here’s an example from an article I came across recently about researchers investigating ways to collect water droplets from thin air that would otherwise be lost to evaporation. That’s how cacti and some desert insects survive. Soon they may figure out ways to develop technologies that mimic nature to dramatically increase our water supplies.

Drought aside, the world around us is filled with both negatives and positives. The news media is so filled with stories about terrorism, murders, natural disasters and political shenanigans that one can easily fall into thinking the world is falling apart. But it all needs to be put into perspective. It doesn’t make for an exciting headline to read that more than 100,000 commercial airline flights take place each day around the world without crashing. Yet that’s what the data shows.

Nor does it make headlines that every day thousands of people in our local communities are doing good deeds, donating to charities and raising families of upstanding citizens. It can really drag you down if you only pay attention to the handful who get caught doing something bad.

Same thing happens at work with many people. Most organizations have at least one or two employees who are always complaining about something. In some cases the complaints may be valid, and if that’s the case my recommendation would be to look for another job. But if there are good things going on where you work as well as a few negatives, don’t let the whiners drag you down.

This is something we strive hard to prevent at Dutton Plumbing. Attitude is a prime criterion we look at before hiring someone. People from some other plumbing companies constantly complain about their bosses, co-workers and customers. That makes for a bad working environment, especially when it comes to bad-mouthing customers.

I’m not saying we’ve had a pleasant experience with every single customer we’ve dealt with over the years. I am saying that we have great relationships with 90%-plus of the customers who patronize us. My life would be miserable if I chose to dwell on the handful of people I’ve had trouble with. Instead, my life is enriched beyond measure knowing that every day when I come to work, I’m most likely going to deal with bosses, co-workers and customers who are friendly, reasonable and deserving of respect.

That really cushions the occasional bump in the road.

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