Focus on these people for a better life...

In life, you must always remember to focus on the right people.

Whom do I refer to when I say "the right people"? Those who inspire you, of course.

Whether it's a parent who raised you all by herself, a teacher who taught you a valuable lesson or two, or an important figure in history whose contributions have resonated deeply with you, these are the kinds of individuals who deserve a permanent place in our thoughts.

On the other hand, we must resist the urge to ruminate on people who engender in us a sense of negativity that's hard to shake off -- the ones who bring us down the very second we think of them. That may include an obnoxious boss, a jaded ex who can't take no for an answer, or a friend who only reaches out to you when she needs you.

Your mind is cluttered enough as it is. Why waste whatever mental real estate you have available on people who simply aren't worthy of your thoughts? They sure as hell aren't thinking of you, so why should you grant them that satisfaction? They don't deserve it!

Many of our health issues -- from depression to stress and low self-esteem -- can be traced directly to our mental preoccupation with negative people. If we only spent less time thinking about the bad eggs in our lives and more time contemplating those who ultimately fill our lives with love and positive energy, we'd be a lot better off.

I, myself, have a tendency to harp on how annoying my boss is. It isn't long before I recognize my behavior and shift mental gears to something or someone more positive.

People who inspire me include my mother; those who work for great charities like The Humane Society; the brave men and women in the military; and the scores of brilliant inventors and statesmen whose contributions forever changed the world, like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

When we think of such people, we feel positive, hopeful, empowered. When we instead focus on those who upset us, we give them too much power over our lives. The mere thought of them ruins our day.

Most of us underestimate just how powerful the mind can be in regulating our mood and emotions. The more we can focus on a positive stimulus, the happier we'll be. Whether it's your wife, kids, or Superman that brings a smile to your face when you think about them, don't ever let negative people hijack your thoughts.

Think about good things and great people in your life; leave all that baggage behind!

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