‘Positive anything is better than negative nothing’ – Elbert Hubbard
Let’s be clear from the off. I am not a regular football fan, just one of those fairweather ones that gets into big international tournaments every couple of years. So note that this is a brief football analogy warning – but stay with me and I hope you will even find it worthwhile!
I have just been watching the World Cup and after what could have been a much stronger start, England seem to have got back their mojo and have just beaten Slovenia 1-0 to qualify for the next round and everyone is jumping up and down with joy. Or so would you think!
After huge criticism for poor performances and results in the first two games, England had to win this game to stay in the tournament. This morning and for the last few days, armchair managers and pundits all across the country have been saying that ‘if they don’t do this or that, then they may as well just pack up and go home now!’ Hardly the most positive thing that supporters can contribute but perhaps understandable given recent results.
So when England not only win the game but also put in a credible performance, it is perhaps surprising to hear that people are still unhappy. ‘They’ll just get knocked out in the next round now’ being a common theme already it seems. So what makes people say such things? They win the game. They play well. And still people are unhappy. What would they like the team to do? What would success look like to these fans?
It seems to be much easier for some to focus on the things that could potentially go wrong than on what could go right, as there is perhaps more at risk if you focus on what could go right. The England players focused on the positive. They had to. If you believe in the expression that ‘you get what you focus on, so focus on what you want’, then the England team did just that. The naysayers who are already saying that England will get knocked out in the second round could be helping the cause much more by being positive. Of course, we have to be realistic too, but why is it important for these people to be proved right by predicting a defeat? What would it really cost them saying something positive?
Have you ever come back from a fantastic weekend where you have had a really good time with friends, family and doing things you enjoy and then you go to work/college/school/uni on Monday morning and ask somebody how their weekend was and they complain about how awful it was? How does that make you feel? You have just had a wonderful weekend and yet, all of a sudden, a few minutes with somebody focusing on the negatives completely drains you of any positive energy you had!
So just think what could happen if they channelled all their reserves of negative energy into something positive? Think of the difference it could make! The team could progress in the tournament and more importantly, wouldn’t you want to be around people who are positive and a pleasure to be around? And wouldn’t the world be a better place?