It was the summer of 2004 when I finally decided to live a positive life. In fact, I'll never forget the day it happened.

It started off like any other summer day. After lunch, I decided to take my boys to the neighborhood pool. They were excited because the pool had just opened for the season. When we got there, I quickly found some chairs near some acquaintances of ours, and as the boys swam, we started to chat.

About 20 minutes went by when I began to notice that everything my friend talked about had a negative slant to it. First it was complaining about a particular teacher at school, then it was about the lack of time in life in general, and on and on it went. She said nothing positive. all negative, complaining about this and that. When she got to politics, I decided that it was enough and quickly excused myself and jumped into the pool.

As I swam around the pool, I couldn't help but hear other conversations. Imagine my surprise when I found that they too were mostly negative! Curious now, I walked over to the soda machine and said, "How are you?" to some other neighbors. Their reply? "Tired. You know how it goes." Not exactly negative, but certainly not positive either.

So now I was REALLY curious! Was it just that it was the end of the week and everyone was tired and grumpy? I decided to test it, so for the next few days I really paid attention to everything I saw and heard to see how much negativity there really was.

Let me tell you I didn't have to try very hard.

First I went to the grocery store. As I waited for the clerk to tally my groceries, I started chatting with her and soon I was being told a story about when she was in Japan. Since she's a blond, she complained that her trip was horrible because all they wanted to do was touch her hair!

That evening I switched on the evening news and was presented with 30 minutes of rape, murder, robberies, drownings, child abductions and a story about Martha Stewart. In between these heartwarming stores, I listened to commercials about weight loss, adult ADD and a new drug that they said everyone should take (but had some small side effects like nausea and sometimes death).

Alrighty then!

After the news, I flipped around and found more heartwarming stores on television such as "Law and Order", "ER" and "CSI Miami". All great shows but hardly positive. It seems I was surrounded by murder, rape and the dregs of society - all in primetime! I settled for a "Touched by an Angel" rerun and went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning, I continued to pay attention. The first thing on my agenda that morning was a visit to the post office. As I drove, I flipped on the radio to my favorite radio station and what do I hear? I hear a woman singing the following lyrics: "Wounds won't seem to heal, the pain is just too real." I switched to another station.

At the post office I was greeted at the door by an identity theft poster. I then went to Target to pick up a new bathing suit for one of my sons and noticed that they had TV monitors all over the place. As I looked at it, I saw a story about how to prevent your child from being abducted.

Are you seeing a pattern here? I am not making this up; it really happened.

OK, let's try the computer. Maybe that's better.

After logging on, I took a look at my homepage at MSN and I saw a story about Al-Qaida, another about a woman found strangled and a weather related story about a nasty tornado.

And don't forget my email. I had my usual number of SPAM emails, which generally includes sales pitches, porn and various offers about Viagra. Oh, and don't forget the email from Nigeria who wants to wash one million dollars through my checking account and wants me to send him the number. Of course he'll give me half.

Uh huh. I totally believe you.

Later that day, I went to get my mail and saw my neighbor outside doing some yard work. When I stopped to say hello he asked me how I was doing. So I replied "No worries mate, I am doing really great today!" (I just love that Australian expression). I really don't think he was expecting me to say that because he stopped what he was doing and looked at me like I had just escaped from an insane asylum. I just laughed, told him I would see him later and went into my house.

When did it become politically incorrect to tell people something positive??

I have to tell you all that by the end of the second day I was physically feeling sick and incredibly tired. So tired I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. and asked my husband Ron to put the boys to bed. I just wanted to lie down and pull the covers way up over my head and forget about it all.

So what did I learn from this little test? I learned that you can mess up your mind with this stuff! I felt like I had been dragged into a negative world filled with greed, fear and hatred. A world where you always lack money and never achieve your life's dreams because you're too fat, too thin, too sick, going to be sick, need a job, lost a job, and on and on it seemed to go.

I felt that my brain had been so saturated with negativity that I was in danger of becoming physically sick! By the end of the second day I was yelling at my kids, bickering with my husband and was generally grumpy to everyone.

So I had a huge bowl of ice cream (which I am convinced cures everything), took a hot bath and went to bed. The test was officially over. Two days was more than enough for me.

On the third day, I decided to visit the same places I had gone during the last two days to see what positives I could find there. First, I went to the pool and sat down in a chair. As I watched, I saw people laughing and smiling, and children playing in the pool with huge smiles on their face. The sound of happy children playing is really one of life's greatest sounds and put an immediate smile on my face.

I then went to the grocery store to pick up some milk, and saw aisle after aisle filled with food, supplies, drinks and fresh produce. Now here was abundance and prosperity! I saw people chatting and smiling, and two children happily eating a messy chocolate doughnut.

I went back to the Post Office and started to chat with the woman in front of me who was mailing a package to her son in Iraq filled with things she thought they might need.

I logged onto the Internet and received a wonderful email from a friend entitled "The Positive Side of Life." I then received an email from an old friend of mine whom I have known for over 30 years now. It always puts a smile on my face when I hear from her.

As I was leaving the house to pick up my boys from school, I saw my neighbor again. So I asked him how he was doing. He turned and looked at me with a big smile on his face and replied "No worries mate!". As I drove away, I flipped on the radio and immediately heard a song called "I'm on Top of the World!"

That evening, I turned on the evening news, and heard an extremely beautiful story about a woman moving into her first home - built by the wonderful organization Habitat for Humanity. Then the weather came on and I was told that bright sunshine would be in our area for the next few days. Later that evening, I watched a rerun from that great show on ABC called Extreme Makeover Home Edition. In 7 days they completely change a needy families home and life. What an act of kindness!

Now there is a spiritual principle out there that says what you put your attention to grows. Certainly the case here!!! I put my attention to all the negative "stuff" that I was assaulted with for a few days and it slammed into me so hard that I wanted to cry from it all. It got so bad that I saw it everywhere I went. From the grocery store to the post office to my own home. It could make a person seriously paranoid!!!!!!! When I placed my attention on the positive, it grew too. It was like it had suddenly stopped raining and the warm sun came out.

So how do you remain positive, healthy and prosperous in a negative world? Here's what I do.

1. Surround yourself with positive people. Treat others like you want to be treated -- positively! With positive encouragement and thoughts!

2. Read positive inspirational books

3. TURN OFF THE NEWS as much as possible.

4. Try and avoid newspapers, although you should scan the headlines so that you know what's going on in the world

5. Write down all the positive things that have happened to you in the last month and post them where you can see them. "See" your life as a success! Don't "see" your life as a failure! Look at all the positive things that you've done!

6. Put a positive/inspirational poster over your desk. You can also put a "plus" sign, or the words "stay positive" over your desk to remind you to be positive.

7. Read some inspirational books like the new one from my friend Connie Domino called Develop Irresistible Attraction.

8. Turn someone else's negative day into a positive and help them out!

Now please know that I am not telling you to blindly ignore the reality of the world. I am telling you that you can see that reality and also see the POSITIVES as well. The world can indeed be a cruel place. Crime, poverty and illness seem to be everywhere, but the world can be a beautiful place filled with love, warmth, compassion and prosperity.

Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty?

Negative things will happen in the world. They happen to all of us! But look at it this way. Positive things will happen as well. Good things will happen to you. Joy will find you!

It's goes back to the law of physics...

1. Every action causes a reaction

2. We attract like energy

So if we put out negative thoughts and actions and constantly focus on the negative, we will ATTRACT negative back to us. It will be all that we see!! Conversely, if we put out positive thoughts and try our best to see the positive, then we will attract the positive back.

We live in a negative world. So be it. I, however, refuse to be negative and will continue to try and remain positive as much as possible. I've had my share of bad times, trust me, I wrote the book on that one. The good news is that I don't have to stay that way if I don't choose to. I choose prosperity, love and compassion.

I choose to look at the glass as half full, one day at a time.

copyright 2010 by Katharine C. Giovanni

Author's Bio: 

Katharine Giovanni is an international Concierge Training Expert, Award Winning Author and consultant, Certified Concierge Specialist (CCS) and Speaker. She is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of ICLMA - The International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association as well as President and co-founder of Triangle Concierge, Inc. Katharine can be reached via her website at