Powills: Although We Should Focus on Positives, Negatives Can be Great Fuel
Powills: Although We Should Focus on Positives, Negatives Can be Great Fuel

Photo Credit: Dennis Ku / Shutterstock.com
I don’t know if you are anything like me – but I remember the negative. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I hold grudges, but I certainly do remember. Forgiven but not forgotten. That remembrance fuels my daily activity. Right, wrong or indifferent, the nega.....

Photo Credit: Dennis Ku / Shutterstock.com


I don’t know if you are anything like me – but I remember the negative. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I hold grudges, but I certainly do remember. Forgiven but not forgotten. That remembrance fuels my daily activity. Right, wrong or indifferent, the negative moments in my life have helped shape the person I am today.

My wife recently asked me if I could do it all over again would I attend Drake University. I paused for a moment to host an internal debate whether the school that, for the most part, did not embrace my determination to be the best, was ultimately the right choice for me as a high school senior. The answer I said was yes, yes Drake University was the right choice. Certainly not for the lack of support, but more so because each negative experience I went through helped drive me to the success I have achieved thus far.

Don’t think of this as whining. It certainly is not. It is simply finding your inner drive.

My drive was first being fat. As the fat kid, you have nothing but fuel. You are teased, poked, harassed and bullied. You have two choices as the fat kid: stop eating so much, lose some weight and have a smoking hot personality; or continue over eating, continuing the harassment all while living an unhealthy lifestyle. I am still battling this one – but my fuel is being called elephant and bitch tits by my college fraternity – that shit sticks with you.

When it came to my dreams – I really had one to start – be Frank Thomas. My dream of being a great, Hall of Fame ball player was greatly injured by the fact that I wasn’t a great ball player. My drive to be the best, though, took me from being cut by the high school baseball team to offering a travel team coach the opportunity to have me star on his team all while agreeing to run a mile before every practice. That negotiation worked and despite having an awesome season of travel ball going into my junior year, my career had ended. My love for sports, though, carried into a dream of being an awesome sports writer.

While I took major steps toward becoming that awesome sports writer, I took many punches on the chin – by teachers, peers and friends. The lines, “you are not a good writer” or “you write for a kindergartener,” will always stick with me. Well, although that may be true, it looks as if I have found a way to at least build an audience.

All of those negative moments are bottled up in me. Each time I earn another, I add it to my fuel. I don’t know if it is my desire to show all of those haters that I truly did have some great skill sets, or if it is a self-esteem issue, but it works for me. Negative energy is potentially trying on an individual’s ability to see sunshine. For me, though, it works.

In my never ending search for perfection, each negative moment helps me inch one step closer to whatever perfection is for me. To all the haters, thank you. For everyone else, whether it is the fuel of negativity, the fuel of perfection or the fuel of moving up the executive ladder – find your fuel. Use it to drive you. Don’t settle for not being the best. Each and every day you should feel like you did something positive – something that moved you forward in life. If you do – and if you truly feel that way at the end of the day – you will have found the right fuel for you. No fuel is wrong – in fact, most likely everyone’s is a little different. Just find it. Embrace it. And leverage it.

Drake University had incredible moments for me. I surely remember many of them. But those negative moments helped shape me and prepare me for many of my every day wins.

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