Recently an analysis was made of 100 of the most successful people in the world. Their ages ranged from around 21 to over 70. Their level of education extended from grade school to the Ph.D. level. Many of their other traits and characteristics varied greatly, but they all had one thing in common: all of them were “good-finders.” They could see the good in other people and in every situation.

There was once a little boy who, angry with his mother, shouted at her, “I hate you!” Afraid that he would be punished, he ran out of the house to the top of a nearby hill and shouted into the valley, “I hate you!” Back from the valley he heard, “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” Startled, the boy ran back home and told his mother about the mean little boy in the valley who had shouted that he hated him.  His mother led him back to the hillside and told him to shout, “I love you!” He did as he was told and this time heard a nice little boy saying, “I love you! I love you! I love you!”

Looking for the goodIn order to find the good or ability in a person, all you have to do is look for it.

Life is like the echo in that valley. Whatever you send out comes back. You reap what you sow. What you see in others exists in you. These successful people saw the good in every person and in every situation. They were able to identify and use the good in themselves because they saw it in other people. Having a positive attitude can completely alter the way your life’s events affect you.

You treat people exactly as you see them. In order to find the good or ability in a person, all you have to do is look for it. Once you find that good or ability in the other person, you treat him better and he performs better.

If you always jump automatically to the negative perception of a person or a situation, think about how that makes you look to other people. They only hear negativity and believe you are a negative person. When something good happens or a great opportunity presents itself to them, will they want to share that positive experience with someone who is always negative?

How you can find it

Here’s a good exercise that you can do with your family at home. Every time something bad or negative happens, write down the date. Instead of writing the negative thing, write down something positive that came out of it or could come out of it with the right mindset. When you look at the list, you will only see positive events and that will be what you are able to focus on.

If your child complains about someone they don’t like at school or on their baseball team, ask them to name one good thing about that person. Remind them, too, that a lot of times people are negative, mean or unhappy people because something or someone in their life made them that way. They shouldn’t jump to judge someone they don’t know because they are only seeing part of the picture. Not only that, but by returning their negativity with kindness they are more likely to receive kindness in return.


Contributed by Solomon Brenner master instructor Action Karate and Author of Black Belt Parenting. The art of raising your child for success