The Power of Positive

Posted on Posted in Lessons From the Trail, Uncategorized

Today’s post is a part of my “Lessons From the Trail” series where I take a look at some events from my time on the Appalachian Trail and the life lessons I have carried with me….

At this point in my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail the end of the trail was within reach.  Just two states remained of the fourteen states a thru-hiker would pass through on the 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail.  Some of the toughest trails lay ahead in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We had all been hiking for months now and our bodies were pretty much programmed to get up and walk north every morning.  Like most challenges in life. the trail was 90% mental and attitude was key to success.

Around this time on the trail some guys I had hiked with started getting restless and were ready to be done with the trail.  They were really good guys but their negativity started to wear on me.  A short time off the trail with my family put a bit of distance between us and I was able to meet back up with Almanac, Profile, Little Bear and Zoom.  All of these folks were really positive and excited to be on the trail but Zoom was probably the most enthusiastic because he had realized that once the trail was done it was back to reality.

Hiking with these guys was a blast!  Joking around, exploring side trails and having some fun.  There was also a lot of “trail magic” on this section of the trail.  Among other things there was a large gathering in CT that was hosted by EMS, a regional outdoor gear store.  It was a big enough deal that the local paper even did a story on the gathering.  Positive people and helpful souls helped push thru any pain or weariness that tried to slow me down.

A little “trail magic” can go a long way! The EMS trail magic gathering.

The same is true today.  We either surround ourselves with positive, creative and optimistic people or we listen to those who have succumbed to the negativity and fear that suck so many in.  There are a lot of things that can bring us down in this world.  I’ve known a good number of people who are facing serious struggles and battles for their lives who are among the most positive people I know.  They aren’t delusional or living outside of reality, they recognize the value of life, the importance of time, and the need for a positive outlook.

The power of a positive community seems to be vital and viral.  It starts at home.  If you have kids you know exactly what I am talking about.  It is easy to get worn out and pushed to your very last nerve.  If Mom and Dad are in an out of control negative spiral it has an impact on the family.  We have to back off on the self applied pressure to be perfect and realize that our families need the real and positive love that only parents can give.  This love and positive energy spreads out into our friendships, communities and churches.

We were created to do good works and I think that sometimes we forget that.  Find yourself some super positive people to hang out with.  Not the annoying ones that are actually kind of scary but the ones who are genuinely happy and moving forward with their dreams and goals.  Try your best to limit or cut out negative messages.  Turn off the news, look at Facebook a little less and get out and move and enjoy life.  Thanks for reading!