96. Make gossip positive.
We all do it. I do it. We do it so much we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Gossip is deeply intertwined in our daily fabric and almost impossible to avoid. What is under our control is how we choose to engage in this almost inevitable ritual of daily life. The first thing to identify is why we gossip. We gossip because it is much easier to talk about the lives of others than to work on our own lives.
Gossip makes our shortcomings more tolerable, but in doing so does little to improve our own situation. We can change this by making gossip a positive interaction. Meaning, if we can flip gossip from being a session of focusing on the negative aspects of others to defending or offering other perspectives to a situation, we can enhance the possibility or probability of making a gossip session a positive session.
There are many advantages to approaching gossip in this manner. By making an effort to make gossip a positive event, you may influence the perception that others have of you. If people perceive you as finding the best of a bad situation, it will definitely increase your ability of personal success. This Tool will also help you. By mentally making the effort to not find the worst in others’ situations, you will increase your ability to work on finding solutions to your present challenges. By now you must have the understanding that there is overlap in many of these Tools and it is almost impossible to avoid how they are intertwined. Shortly, you will discover Tool 100, Focus on yourself. In making an effort to avoid gossip or making it as positive as possible, you enable yourself to accomplish both.
Lastly, we are doing our best to become hammers and build our own project. We can’t build what our blueprint calls for when we are constantly focusing on the flaws of someone else’s. If you would like to increase the value of the home you are trying to build, it would only stand to reason to help your neighbor build their house as well. Those in history who are defined as leaders and winners have earned that title by helping those not able to help themselves.
WARNING: This Tool is hard to use and can cause injury while learning how to master. This is one of the hardest to master in the book and simply the attempt to use it shows a great effort on your part. While I believe we can almost never master the art of this piece of equipment, I know it can never work until you decide to pick it up. Sometimes you will use it quite well and other times you will forget that you even have it in the bag. Using it may cause you to lose some friends and family who don’t believe it even works. Proceed with caution understanding many have never even seen it. To even choose to use a Tool of this magnitude will require both a little courage and some sanding against the grain. A secret that can make this Tool easier to use is to believe that courage can be defined by helping those that can’t (or aren’t present) to defend themselves. Making gossip positive carries the same weight as standing up to a bully.