It’s easy to resist the downside of human nature when all is well. 

When we’re reaching our goals, life can be great. And the very fact that life is great tends to beget even more greatness. Riding the natural high of success readies our mind for even more success. 

When we feel like we’re on a roll, that very feeling seems to attract even more of what we want into our life. Success breeds success. Indeed, success does snowball. It is a bit more difficult to rise above our lower self when we are mired in adversity of some kind.

The negative feelings of self-pity, anxiety, and blame can take over our emotional life and spread out of control like recent drought-fueled wild fires. Negativity breeds more negativity. Indeed, failure can act much like the snowball of success but in the opposite direction.

The person in the negative spiral hardly every accepts full and unqualified responsibility for his role in the situation and this lack of ownership stalls future progress and often damages important relationships. In my experience, at least two thirds of adversity is self-inflicted.

Of course, we all make mistakes and all mistakes produce consequences. Accepting responsibility, not just in word, but in deed, also means accepting the repercussions of one’s own choices. Until this is done, there is no freedom to focus on creating a future worth believing in.

Even the presence of just one chronic negative emotion is enough to hold you back and beneath the greatness God has planned for you.

In my New York Times bestseller, The 4:8 Principle, celebrating its tenth anniversary next month, I reveal the most common negative thinking patterns and what you can do to counteract them.

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