“Oh, don’t be so negative.”

– that one weird aunt of yours, probably.

Sorry weird aunts: there’s real power in negative thinking. Not to be confused with defeatist thinking (i.e. “Wah, Cleveland will never win a championship…”), negative thinking involves consciously deciding what matters, and just as importantly, what doesn’t. Like minimalism for the mind, negative thinking frees up mental capacity to focus on what you’re truly passionate about (like, say, crafting brilliant business solutions to help brands rise above the blah blah). So, what do we cut out, and how do we do it? Let’s get negative!

Stay in the now. Instead of focusing energy on your hypothetical future, execute what you can do now. Amy Poehler says it best in her book Yes Please: “You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.” And guess what? All those little in-the-now moments will add up to amazingness.

Figure out what you don’t want to do. If you’re unsure what move you want to make next, simplify your process. Ask what you absolutely don’t want to do, write those things down, and burn them on a funeral pyre.

Cut corners.

Almost every ultra smart person says that time is our most valuable resource. So, make a conscious effort to save time (and make things easier for yourself where you can). Whether that’s starting a grocery subscription like Fresh Fork Market to shave off valuable store seconds, or utilizing sites like Thumbtack for help around the house. Know what your time is worth (tons) and treat it with respect.

Be a quitter.

In their ridiculously popular episode, The Upside of Quitting, Freakonomics highlighted the pros of not giving a damn and quitting things that are ingrained in your life (and possibly holding it back). Project not making progress? Quit, reassess, and take a small step in a new direction. Any direction, really. Because starting small can add up to big things, right Ajoyo’s new #ajoyostartsmall campaign?

Use your weakness (aka turn a negative into a positive).

Sure, RTA’s buses and trains aren’t exactly known for having ideal acoustics for live music. But that didn’t stop them from partnering with Sixth City Sounds to produce surprise pop-up Summer Jam Sessions.

So, when you and your brand are ready to take your next big positive leap forward, don’t forget to take a few moments and get negative.

Have a positively great weekend, everybody!

– Your productively negative friends at Brokaw.