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On Negativity, Old Habits and Unicorns

Updated on June 16, 2011

I dislike negativity. When I am told “no”, I immediately look for the reason behind why I was told “no”. Many times, I find that people will be negative when they see no way forward so, they say: “no”, “it’s impossible”; “there is no way” and “you can’t do that”. Yet, just because some people see no way forward (in whatever endeavor), that does not mean there actually is no way forward.

I first read The Secret several years ago and I enjoyed it. It was to a certain extent very similar to the “how to become a millionaire in twenty minutes” type of book. Something got my attention though. The book talked about being positive – something which I valued even before that book landed on my lap. After finishing it, I decided to eliminate “no” out of my vocabulary. I wanted to see if it was even possible.

Many years after, I can claim that I very seldom use the word “no”. Only when I am categorically certain of something, beyond any reasonable doubt, I use that word (or if it slips by mistake – mistakes still happen, I am not perfect). So, for example if I am asked whether or not I want to eat and I want to decline the invitation, I will say: “I already ate, thank you” or “Perhaps I will eat later, at the moment I have something else to do.” There is indeed in my opinion, always a way to express myself (if I take the time to think about it) without being totally negative and/or using the word “no”. “No” is just too easy and going through Life in the easiest way possible is detrimental regarding personal growth (I can elaborate on this if needed).

Personal growth is something which we should all strive for, in my opinion. Yet, if we always do what we are told by our superiors (be they our parents, our elders, our political leaders, etc.) there will be very little innovation in this world. Very little would change and at an extremely slow pace, if at all. Inventors throughout history have always been brave people who dreamed of a different future than the one most people could think of. Some old habits must be shed in order to persevere at times.

When Leonardo da Vinci thought about people flying (in the 1400s or 1500s was it?), most people probably thought him to be a little senile. And when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about his dream, it was only a dream. Now, we can see that his dream is reality (not in its complete form, as racism still exists) and so, I think dreaming is important. Da Vinci's dream about us flying is also a reality. Working for your dreams is even more important though because just dreaming is not enough. I encourage people to take charge of their dreams, to be fearless and know that they can do whatever they want as long as they believe in themselves. “Anything is possible, it just costs more” (here cost does not have to necessarily mean money – think freely!).

In conclusion, I have never seen a unicorn but that does not mean that I will never see a unicorn (I know what one looks like, supposedly). If that ever was to happen, I would most likely say: “I knew it!”


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    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Like you, I dislike negativity, and I strive to put a positive spin on things. I've never tried eliminating the word 'no', but it might be quite a good exercise. I've also read 'The Secret', and seen the film. I don't know what I think of it really, but I do know that it's always good to walk on the sunny side when things are at their gloomiest, and to seek the shade when things are hotting up!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "... dwelling on certain thoughts we increase the probability of experiencing feelings associated with those thoughts" - I think you nailed the point here.

      Thoughts trigger feelings indeed.

      Cheers and thanks for stopping by.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      9 years ago from Isle of Man

      I enjoyed reading this hub but unlike you I choose not to give meaningless thought any importance. The word "no" is a thought and like any other thought deserves no special treatment.

      The message in The Secret for me is, that by dwelling on certain thoughts we increase the probability of experiencing feelings associated with those thoughts. It is the feelings that attract the people and circumstances that create the reality you then perceive. Thoughts of themselves have no power but they do have the potential to trigger feelings that are the power behind our lives.

      I would also highly recommend you listen to the audio book The Power by the same author Rhonda Byrne.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mrs. Bobbirant, thank you for swinging-by. I have never seen the movie the "Yes Man". Sounds interesting, I will have to look into it.

      Mr. Feenix, I will have to quote someone who used to be on Hub-pages a year or two ago: "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." - Coldwarbaby

      Mr./Mrs. Eidwwen, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. All the best!

      Mr. Wesman, I am not sure of any psychological benefits for using the word "no" less but I am having fun with it so ... why not?

      Mr. Rev. Bill, I try to stay positive because I find it helps me - to each their own though. Cheers!

      Hey, little Midianite, I am very happy to find a comment of yours. I am glad you enjoyed this piece of writing. All the best, Amigo!

      Mr. Maplethorpej, I really like your quote: "Life is not for waiting" - very nice! Although, I think someone said to me not too long ago that: "Good things come for those who wait" ...

      Thank you everyone again for your time and comments. I am grateful.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I think you are fully right Kallini: acknowledging one's thoughts is critical. Once that is accomplished, in my opinion thoughts can be controlled and with that one's reality can be shaped and shifted at will: whichever way one wishes. I am not an expert either.

      I am a great fan of "now" too. I am also a fan of the past and the future: of all forms of "now"; of the "now" from before and the "now" which is still to come.


    • kallini2010 profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I am sorry to disagree - positive thinking is overrated - you should acknowledge your thoughts first - become aware of them. Don't change your thoughts - watch them - it is difficult - it is called meditation.

      I am not an expert, but this is my goal.

      I am a great fan of the NOW concept - there is nothing but NOW.

      Good, bad, everything is perfect as it is.

      Positive thinking when you are drowning in sadness is denial - not good.

      I am working on it.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 

      9 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Great hub! I love positivity, and I believe more people should really focus on it by keeping it conscious.

      The other night I was contemplating my bad habits and why I hadn't yet done away with them. Then, I wrote down the sentence "Life is not for waiting." It is simple, but every time I am tempted, I think it to myself. Why wait when all we have is the moment?

      Anyway, thanks for the hub! I look forward to reading more.

      P.S. My girlfriend loves unicorns, and she thinks I am one hahahaha

    • Midianite profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Great hub dude Mr Happy. I really love how you take a certain stance on everything you've published to this site - its not just another boring publication, instead, its a concept or idea that you relay/convey.

      : )

    • Rev Bill profile image

      Rev Bill 

      10 years ago from FORT WHITE,FL

      You are right. I agree Positive Thinking is the key to our success.

    • kallini2010 profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It's an interesting twist in perception. I have never tried to eliminate this particular word.

      However, there is a theory that all people fall in two categories only - yes-people and no-people.

      Yes-people are immediate co-operators. They do what they are told, they co-operate willingly. Good girls and good boys. I have to admit that I was a yes-child.

      Co-operation is vital for growth and survival of humanity - it is our advantage over animals. We all co-operate.


      no-people are those who test the rules, push limits, go their own way. It is harder. My son is a no-person. There is no way you can make him do something he does not want.

      I now realized that I have to find creative ways into getting him to want to do things that he does not want to do - by creating a challenge where he can push the limits until they cannot be pushed any longer/further/farther.

      On success - we may eliminate the word "no" from our vocabulary, but there is another component -

      when you hear "no" from others - tolerate rejection and failure. Develop high tolerance for failure, negativity, expectations. It takes time, wisdom and courage.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      10 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Very interesting! I wonder if there are psychological benefits more for a person such as yourself for eliminating (as much as is possible) words such as "no," or if the benefits are more in the direction of persons who received a less negative answer/explanation than they would have with a simple syllable answer word such as "no."

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      10 years ago from Oakland, California

      "The difficult we do immediately,the impossible takes a little longer'- — World War II military slogan

    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      Another great read from you.

      I am catching up on reading hubs this afternoon and I'm glad I called round yours.

      Take care


    • feenix profile image


      10 years ago

      W. B. Isley, and bless you.

      Writing on HubPages about whatever ails you is very good therapy. I have written a number of hubs about my trials and tribulations and that has helped me immensely, not to mention that I have received a great deal of encouragement and support from other contributors to the network.

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 

      10 years ago from Monett, MO

      Bless you Sir. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

      I am working through my version of despair. I am uncovering the little piddling messages that I internalized and forgot about decades ago. The ones that let us know we are less and we choose to believe. I've been working on writing them down so they are outside of my subconscious where I can see them and work through them.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • feenix profile image


      10 years ago

      Mr. Happy,

      I, especially, identify with this hub.

      You see, up until not so very long ago, I was mired in misery and despair, largely because I was addicted to alcohol and other narcotic substances.

      However, I am quite pleased to say that today, I am happier and feel more content than I ever have in my adult life.

      And one of the primary reasons why I feel that way is I greet each day with love in my heart and with nothing but positive thoughts. I try to live my life based on the message that you conveyed in this post.

      Thank you.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      10 years ago from New York

      I love the movie "Yes Man" when a person joins a support group and cannot use the word no. Great hub, being positive does allow positive things to happen.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha ... shameful of me to not think much about that, especially since I speak at least two other languages beside English.

      It is very true what you say Mr. Diogenes, in French "je" (meaning I) has small letters. In Romanian the word is "eu", again small letters. In German one would write "ich" (I used to speak some German in another life-time). So, I guess English is for some reason different in this aspect. I am curious why that is now.

      In respect to using the word "I" - I use it a lot. I sign with it. I am just that: "I" and when you think about yourself you are "I" too. In that, we are the same: we are both "I" and ultimately, I could/can be You and You can be I.

      Great comment, thank you very much. I greatly appreciate it.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Totally agree with the word "No," and (you may not like this); this writer tries pathalogically to keep the pronoun "I" out of writing and convesation, too. Especially the capitalising of it. English is one of the few languages which does this...Bob


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