Positive Thinking Made Simple

Overcome Negative ThoughtsOne of the habits that I wanted to let go of in my life was that of thinking negatively. For most of my life I had a struggle with how to overcome negative thoughts. I was raised in a family where every day was a struggle with the activities of daily living and the idea that the Universe was kind and benevolent was simply not taught in my house as a kid.

It took some doing for me develop the habit of thinking in a positive manner; in a way that allowed me to enjoy my life. The truth is, that I really wanted something more positive for my life but I wasn't quite sure how to get it.

The steps to becoming a positive person are relatively simple, but are often in direct opposition to what we are taught by the authority figures in our lives.

  • First we have to want something different.
  • Then we have to find an example of that new idea.
  • Then we have to practice the new idea until it becomes a new habit for us.
  • Then we pay attention to that new habit in our lives and give ourselves a reward to reinforce our new habit.
  • Then we wonder how we ever thought any other way.


Those are the steps I took to make "positive thinking made simple" become one of the core ideas of my life.

And what I really found that keeps many people from changing in this way is enough of the "gotta wanna" quality. The results of the change have to become important enough to be worth the energy we put into changing. So you really have to "gotta wanna" to allow that change to occur for you.

So yesterday, I was cleaning out some clutter from my closet and I came across this poem I wrote almost 20 years ago about this very subject - positive thinking made simple and I thought it might be kind of cool to post it here for you to read.

Please take a look and let me what you think in the comments below. And if you really like, please consider sharing it with your friends.

I Just Don't Care

When I don’t care how others look
It’s easier to see
Inside their hearts to find the way
Their souls want them to be

When I don’t care what others say
Its easier to hear
Their truthful pains disguised inside
Their words of doubt and fear

When I don’t care what others think
It’s easier to pay
Attention to the important things
That show up every day

The world turns on, it does not stop
For oiling or repair
And I’ve much to gain, with less stress and strain
In my life
If I just don’t care


It's not that I never get negative thoughts, it's that I know how to let go of them; quickly and easily. I can overcome those negative thoughts because I can practice the idea of


Positive Thinking Made Simple


That change became a part of my life, and it has been so much better to think positive thoughts as a habit. I takes some doing, but it surely is worth it.

85 Comments on “Positive Thinking Made Simple”

    1. Michael

      It’s funny, Joanne, sometimes I look back on things I have written and I think “What was I thinking?” and sometimes I think “Wow, I wrote that?” The first is usually when I have been struggling with something and the second when the words just flow.

  1. Kitty


    Your poem is a great reminder to me to let go of the small annoyances in life and focus on what matters most. As I have been practicing being kinder to myself, I find I am more tolerant of others as well. And I agree wholeheartedly, that becoming positive is a journey, but one so well worth taking. Thanks for shining your light and love into the world!

    Love and peace,


    1. Michael

      Thank you for your kind words, Kitty. Becoming positive is a journey and each day that we can enjoy that trip and find new ways to be even more positive is a delightful day. And you are right, letting go of the small annoyances makes our journey so much lighter and delightful :-)

    1. Michael

      Thank you Adrienne for your kind words. I did write it 20 years ago and those ideas really helped me in teaching and in getting along with all kinds of people from around the world. And now the online world. :-)

    1. Michael

      It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Chery. :-)

      Gotta wanna is kind of like talking about your “why”, don’t have a big enough one, no change is coming down the track for me. 😀 Well, I guess it might be coming, but I don’t have a ticket to ride.

  2. Donna Merrill

    Wow You wrote that 20 years ago Michael and it “randomly” popped up? Hmmm I wonder why?

    I wonder if it came to you as a good “reminder” that you have done some hard work to grow to where you are today? Maybe you are ready for the next step, the next big adventure in your life. If that is so, go for it. If I’m off point, think about it.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Personal Development BlogsMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Spring cleaning, out here this is really when spring starts to bloom. Earlier than in many places and almost ironic with Nemo just storming by, but spring it is here.

      Not off point, I think my friend, letting go of stuff and chipping away at some of the things I have left to let go of are work. I’ve been doing that for a while and yes it is true, adventures have started and are growing bigger and more , well adventuresome each day. :-)

  3. Dick Ingersoll

    What a wonderful poem Michael!

    A lot of what I heard in that poem was a decision not to be judgmental. I have found that once I stopped judging others I became much happier. Once I began to see the spirit of the person, or the interior not the exterior it made a significant difference in my life. Thanks again for the reminder.
    Dick Ingersoll recently posted..Five Tips for Finding Your Life PurposeMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you for your kind words, Dick. :-)

      Absolutely right. That kind of judgmental attitude about other people leads to nothing but heartache and letting go of the need to do that brings so much freedom and enjoyment of life. And seeing the spirit of of a person brings so much joy and peace into our lives. :-)

    1. Michael

      Thank you, Justin. :-)

      I grew up with constant negative chatter and I learned that was the way the word really is. It took some doing to unlearn that idea and get another idea firmly in place. But it was “oh so worth it” 😀

  4. marquita herald

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational poem Michael. You know, we hear stories about perfect loving families, but truth be known they’re probably a much rarer breed than we might imagine. What’s really sad is when people choose to carry their childhood burdens with them throughout life. We may not have had control over the quality of our lives as children, but like you, I believe we surely do as adults.
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    1. Michael

      Thank you Marty for your kind words. I know that in my time working in schools I saw many families that had negative outlooks on life and some that had very positive outlooks. And for sure, it is a difficult thing to see people continuing to live their childhoods all over again. Way better to live each moment as it appears in our lives. :-)

  5. Leslie Denning

    I enjoyed your poem, Michael. It is a good object lesson. I try to manifest gratitude and positive thinking in my life. Doesn’t work at every minute of every day, but I keep trying. My upbringing was similar to yours – a lot of negativity. It took a lot of years to change my attitude. Thanks for this post. I appreciated it.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning recently posted..The Skinny on Skinne – Garcinia Cambogia and MoreMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you Leslie, and you are very welcome. :-)

      My Mom and Dad lived through WW2 and the Depression and I grew up in a time of practicing air raid drill sin school and going to sleep wondering if the Russians were going to kill us all with missiles from Cuba. There was a lot of fear and negativity in my life, and it took a while to let it go. Old habits dying hard and such. But it sure is worth living in a world of positivity and gratitude. And a lot more fun besides.

  6. Sylviane Nuccio

    Hi Michael,

    Thinking negatively is a real poison and I’m glad that you understood how you needed to stop that. I did come to such realization myself a few years ago.

    I’ve seen people totally destroyed by negative thinking, and that’s the truth. Negative thinking can just eat you away like cancer. It way more serious than people want to believe.

    So, thank you so much for spreading the good positive word out there!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Why Being Closed-Minded Won’t Serve You Well And How Can You Tell?My Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Sylviane,

      Negative thinking is like a poison or a cancer that starts out inside and pretty soon is wrecking our entire life. I have seen people too who have had their lives destroyed by their own negative thoughts. Often while denying that they have any ability to live life any other way. That is fabulous that you have let go of that negative thinking form your own life. :-)

  7. nick catricala

    Thank you very much for sharing such an inspiring poem Michael. It is amazing how many times we hear about how families are loving each others, but most times they are not, only pretending in public. Carrying the childhood burdens with us, is not a good idea and taking control of the present, would be a greater choice.

    You have such a deep understanding of how to be happy and loving.. I am honored to know you and be able to read all your stories.
    Thanks so much once again my friend.
    nick catricala recently posted..Everything Happens For a ReasonMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you very much for your kind words Nick, you are so right that it is important to let those childhood burdens stay back there in the past where they belong. No need to go cluttering up the present with them. There are plenty of good times and positive ideas to fill our days up with right now.

      It is amazing how many times we see people who are determined to live in the past, not just to learn a lesson from their past actions that they can apply to their present, but to actually spend their time dwelling back there. There is so much joy and delight to be found in our daily lives, and if we fill our time up with those ideas, then there will be very little room left for negative thinking at all. :-)

      1. nick catricala

        Michael, here is me again, come to your blog to see what is new and once I seen your reply to my comment…. I stopped and wrote this… wow, first of all, you are welcome, I am glad that what I wrote was kind for a change haha :-) second.. I like to say more about WHY I am aware of the situation of people living in the past… I have 3 sisters, one older and two younger then me and you guessed, all 3 of them at some degree live in the past, especially the childhood.

        I would say it is fine to do that up to 20 and probably 30 years old (I am generous) but after 60, I believe it is tome to let go BUT some how they just cannot even so sometime they say that they are… I can clearly see that they still stick to it, actually one of my younger one does not talk to me because I commented to her and mention that I am tired of listening the same things that happened 50 years ago, and that was the last time I heard from her… I still love her as my sister but cannot do more than that, she need to work on it and I pray to God she does it before her days are up.

        Thanks for writing this blog once again.. I hope people like my 3 sisters read it and do something about to make life better for themselves and others around them.
        nick catricala recently posted..Spring is Here… What’s Your Plans?My Profile

        1. Michael

          Hi Nick,

          I don’t know why people want to live try to live in the past, it doesn’t work really well and besides that we already went through those experiences once. Today is full of new excitement and possibility, new adventures and even more of things we know we like and want to do again.

          It is infinite, this perfect present moment, a time which never ends and always leads to a new one. A continuing stream of fun and delight. Lots of life to live, and when we live that life everyday we make room in our hearts for the life that is going to come around in the next present moment.

          Thank you for coming around again, it is always a pleasure to read what you have written. I hope your family members find peace in their lives. :-)

  8. Raena Lynn

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve been working on positive thoughts and I am in the “gotta wanna” stage. Your steps for positive thinking made simple are doable if I’m willing, which I am. I’ve had to work hard to train myself to change my thoughts when negativity creeps in. It takes practice, and I am getting better. Thank you for sharing this very powerful poem. I read it about three times to really absorb it’s meaning.

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn recently posted..The Prosperity Game Journal Part 2My Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Raena,

      “Gotta wanna” is a good place to be in the journey. Way better than stuck in the past with your shoes nailed to the floor. We live in such a negative-leaning world that it does take a lot of work to make that change to the other side of the scale, but it is so worth doing.

      I think that is wonderful that not only are you changing but that you know it and are encouraging to yourself. Rock on Raena. :-)

  9. Rachel Lavern

    Hi Michael,
    Proceeding from the decision to change and the action that backs up the decision, your life has most likely already started to improve. I always say that when we want to experience more good in our life, start thinking more positively. As we think more and more positively, more abundance flows in.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..I’m Looking at the (Wo)Man in the MirrorMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Rachel,

      Its that moment of decision that makes such a difference, that time that we know in our hearts is the exact right moment to change. Important to know and important to act in that moment. You are right, as we start to think more positively, more good things of all sorts make their ways into our lives. It is a great way to live.

  10. Jacqueline Waters

    Hi Michael,

    This is actually my first visit to your blog. You have some really great content here and I will be sure to check it out more.

    Positive thinking is so important, especially when you set out to be an Entrepreneur. It seems like every person that discovers that you are breaking free from the rat race will always have something negative to say. Others can really bring you don’t and lead you to doubt yourself. Once that doubt enters in your mind, it can really hinder your ability to succeed.

    Equipping your mind with a positive mindset is the only defense against allowing others opinions to defeat you. It seems as though the more success that you have, the more the haters appear and try to tear you down.

    Thanks for the great post. I will be back!
    Jacqueline Waters recently posted..Does Adsense Make Any Sense On Your Blog?My Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      You are right, for sure about people trying to saddle you with their negative ideas, especially when you are trying something new and different outside of their comfort zones. I think it is not so much that they wish us harm, but that they don’t want to have to learn something different about the way we fit into their world. (I am guessing, here, there might very well be people who really simply delight in handing us negative stuff).

      Interestingly, today’s February 19, 2013 daily message dealt with exactly what you are saying here. And it is precisely true, that the best way to keep negative thoughts out of our minds is to fill ourselves up with positive thinking.

      See you soon. :-)

  11. Stephen Borgman

    Thank you, Michael, for the reminder. Your poem reminds me of people pleasing. So many times in the past I’ve been so focused on looking a certain way or not speaking my mind, not wanting to upset others, versus paying attention to truth, and to my thoughts and needs. When I can express those clearly and listen in the same way, life and relationships are much more real and authentic.

    1. Michael

      Thank you, Stephen. :-) People pleasing does not work out so well for us when that is our primary way of interacting with the world. We set ourselves aside, maybe intending to come back to check on ourselves but then never do. We are really the only ones who can take care of ourselves, we are the experts. And real authentic relationships begin at home in our hearts.

  12. Yorinda

    Hi Michael,
    thank you for sharing your steps for positive thinking.

    I can see how your poem would have helped you to overcome the distorted version of relating to others by adapting and pleasing them and all the while buying into their limited conditioning.

    For me, I would probably rephrase it to “All I care about is seeing beyond outward appearances and listening ‘between the lines. This is probably what you meant since you do strike me as a person who does care.

    Love and Light
    Yorinda recently posted..Loving Kindness PrayerMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you Dena Lynn. :-)

      You are so right, it is important to let go, especially of those things that just do not serve us, and fill our lives with the things that do.

  13. Joanne

    My mom and I had a ROTTEN relationship most of the time and it has taken MANY years to come to terms and deal with it all. And to understand that it just doesn’t matter any more. I’m finally starting to understand that it was all a learning experience and to be grateful for it.

    1. Michael

      Thank you for being willing to share your experience, Joanne. Those things are in the past and you are so right. We can spend our time being angry or sad or upset with things in the past, or we can learn from, give thanks and do something great in the present.

    1. Michael

      Thank you Sarah. :-) I have found in my own life that the benefits of a positive mindset are absolutely incredible. It is a wonderful way to live.

  14. nick catricala

    I am back here to re-read your wonderful post (written 20 years ago.. wow!!!!) I come back to recharge since all your writings recharge me in some ways and also, I come again to congratulate you for working so hard to grow at the level that you are now and to constantly improve to arrive where you are today… I know you via B3 for a year or so, and I noticed that having you as a friend is very empowering and love it… hope I can do the same to you and others soon.
    thanks so much again.
    nick catricala recently posted..Everything Happens For a ReasonMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you very much, Nick. :-)

      It has taken a bit of concerted effort to become a positive person. Someone whose primary thought is of a positive nature. Definitely well worth it, that’s for sure. I think your writings and your coaching do inspire people. You are a positive person and that is something you definitely transmit to everyone who reads your blog and works with you. 😀

    1. Michael

      So true. We have a choice between thinking of things in a positive way or a negative way. After so much time in my life spent in contemplation of negative things, I would much rather spend my time seeing the positive.

  15. Michael Levy

    I loved the poem Michael and loved this post as well. I want to share your post with my friends because this is so uplifting. I know many on here are touched by those powerful positive words. Thank you for sharing this. This seriously was one of my favorite posts to have read. Have a great day!
    Michael Levy recently posted..Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!My Profile

    1. Michael


      Thank you very much for your kind words. The truth is, I didn’t always live my life from a positive perspective, but I do now, way more often than I did before. Thank you so much for sharing it with your friends, that is a very kind thing to do. :-)

  16. William Earl Amis Jr III

    Michael, you keep it going in that direction to keep positive thoughts flowing and dominate those negative ones.

    As I was reading your article it came to me that you never mentioned changing your environment is a key factor. Leaving those people no matter who they are alone that are negative. It is your life and you must take change and want to change.

    Michael, great insight and you have inspired this reader to keep it moving forward with nothing but positive activity and thoughts. Thank you Michael I really appreciate you getting directly involved in our lives.
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..Getting It Done Right The First TImeMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi William,

      Thank you so much for your kindness. You are so right, changing your environment is a big part of changing your life. It is definitely easier to change your life when you are in a different environment. For myself, I moved to southern California from upstate New York and left my entire life behind when I did. It was an important thing to do.

      I am humbled and I sincerely thank you for your kind words. :-)

  17. Rick Lelchuk


    This is really a fun post and I enjoyed it a lot. I’d bet I have some sort of a poem or essay I wrote in a similar vein. I’m glad to see another who is willing to admit that negative thought creep in from time to time. It’s the nature of being human and it will happen. Yes, the treatment of those negative thoughts are the key to living a happy and positive life.

    Appreciate your contribution.

    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..Life’s Secret Sauce – GratitudeMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you Rick. :-)

      That would be great to read a poem or essay you have written. It does happen on occasion that negative thoughts creep in and change my experience of my day. But truthfully, that happens less and less and when it does, I can usually see it right away and get myself back on the positive track pretty quickly.

  18. Melanie Young

    I know many people who go through life with nothing but negative stuff to say all the time and then they wonder why life keeps beating them up. You have to break the cycle by changing your outlook or you will never experience anything different. I learned that lesson the hard way myself.
    Melanie Young recently posted..Facing Down FearMy Profile

    1. Michael

      You are so right, Melanie, you have to break that cycle yourself. I see people, especially online, who are filling their lives and the lives of the people around them with negative ideas and thoughts and then they can’t figure out why icky things keep happening to them.

      It takes some doing, but boy oh boy, is it ever worth it to live a life full of positivity rather than endure a life of negativity. :-)

  19. Lesly Federici

    Hi Michael,
    You’ve written about something very profound and indeed life changing. Lots of reseach is showing that changing how you think, from negative to positive, can actually chage structures in the brain that enhance positive thinking. When you learn how to change your thoughts it’s powerful. You can then begin to let go of all the stuff that has hheld you back in life.
    Lesly Federici recently posted..A Solution For Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Leslie,

      Thank you for your kind words. I do believe that we are in charge of the way we think and because we are, we can change that process. Having that kind of power is awesome, and knowing it is awesomer, and doing that is awesomest.

    1. Michael

      Thank you Beverly. :-)

      Absolutely right, it is a great power we wield in our words. Speaking positive and surrounding ourselves with more positive people will change us in a enay.

  20. Willena Flewelling

    I like your poem — it is both simple and profound. It reminds me of something my mentor often says… “It’s none of my business what others think of me. The only thing that is my business is what I think of myself.” This assumes that I have an honest view of myself, and as a Christian I would add “before the Lord”. It’s rather freeing, isn’t it?

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    1. Michael

      You are right, Willena, it does assume we have an honest view of ourselves. It makes so much more sense to pay attention to how we are treating ourselves with our thoughts and our opinions, now those we have control over. :-)

    1. Michael

      Thank you for your kind words, Steve. I have been a fan of the Four Agreements for a while now and even though I hadn’t read that book when I wrote this, it kind of lines up. I think it is important to care about things that are important, and most things we use to differentiate ourselves from others, really don’t fall into that category. And for sure, if we don’t take care of ourselves, there won’t be anything left over to care for anyone else. :-0

  21. Patricia Gozlan

    I smiled when I read the title of your poem Michael!

    10 years ago I branded the name of a line of exclusive, hand made shoes for ladies
    ” chisenefrega” which in Italian means “Who cares”, or “I could not care less” a fun daily expression we all use while speaking!

    The message behind it is that life is too short if we focus on what others, say, think or do.
    Real prosperity starts form inner freedom and if our goal is to attract more of what we love easily we need to start here, where your poem starts and make it a .. mantra!
    Thanks for this beautiful insightful poem and reminder.
    Patricia Gozlan recently posted..Diminishing The Fear In 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Hey, nice shoes. :-)

      It is true, what you are saying Patricia, our real journey and our connection to the world start inside our hearts with the thoughts and feelings we have. And if we have less about worrying about what others do or think or say, it frees up our energy for creating our own wonderful world. <3

  22. Evan

    Nice nice nice, your posts are always so inspiring! Like to read them at the beginning of the day! Actually positive thinking is like good health you MUST have it in any case in any situation. And due to positive thinking you will always get good health! Paradox, right 😉
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    1. Michael

      Thank you for your kind words, Evan. So true, good health and positive thinking are completely interrelated. Like two sides of a coin. And both sides equally valuable. :-)

  23. Gene Call

    I always appreciate an opportunity to stop by your posts Michael. As one who circulates in Christian circles, I am always hearing those that are for and against the impact of positive thinking. Some will say it is not scriptural and points towards magical thinking. Others think it does act almost like a magic!

    I believe we must approach the use of positive thinking with balance and realism—-which I think your posts do! It is not magic! It is powerful! Our minds are proven to go where we feed them. If we feed them trash and negativism, that’s where they end up! That’s what we will continue to bring into our life’s. I f we stay positive, even though we know we will have negative circumstances, our reactions will find ways to deal with a negative circumstance to maintain a happier, healthier life—-which is as what you pointed out—what God wants for us!! God bless

    1. Michael

      Absolutely right about that Gene, we are what we eat. if we our minds a steady diet of garbage and junk food thoughts, we are going to wind up creating our lives out of that.

      On the other other hand, filling our hearts and souls up with good thoughts, with positive thoughts allows us to create a wonderful life for ourselves.

      Staying positive is a great way to live, and it is much simpler to think like that once we get into the habit of doing so then to always be on the lookout for bad thoughts and icky things to stay away from. :-)

  24. Shawna Mejia

    Every self-help guru on the planet will tell you that the way to experience happiness, prosperity, and health is through the doorway of positive thinking. And while that’s easy to talk about when all is going great in your life, it may not be much comfort to you if things are crashing and burning all around you.
    Shawna Mejia recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    1. Michael

      Hi Shawna,

      I suspect that a pattern of negative thinking when faced with problems in your life doe snot lead to much help or happiness about anything. Many of us are taught from an early age that if things go well, they just won’t last; but if things go poorly, then they are only going to get worse.

      So we wind up losing either way and then because we really do see more of what we focus on, negative ideas appear at almost every turn. The way to change that is to think positively more often with more emphasis. In the post I said it this way:

      “It’s not that I never get negative thoughts, it’s that I know how to let go of them; quickly and easily. I can overcome those negative thoughts because I can practice the idea of positive thinking mad simple.”

      It does take some doing to learn this as a new habit, but it sure is worth it. :-)

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