If we don't want our energies and time to be consumed by unproductive negativism, we must proactively choose to starve the
energy vampire. I have learned that throughout each day, I often become involved with plenty of negative external events over
which I have no direct control. Therefore, when I look into the mirror at the start of each day, I ask myself, "Are you going
to work with me, or will your thoughts and actions work against me by empowering the energy vampire?" I then reflect on renewing
my commitment of trying to be positive — even when I face adversity. In fact, it is especially when we face adversity that
we need to conserve our energy by focusing on being positive. Especially then we must be careful not to let our appreciation
for what we have be soured by our preoccupation with what we do not have. Especially then we must choose to use positive thoughts
to free our minds of replaying negative energy draining thoughts about past, present and perhaps future external events over
which we have no control. If we can learn to be selective in how we choose to think and act, it will enable us to allocate
more of our precious energy and time to the people and goals that we cherish most.
By proactively thinking about our choices, we can change the effect negative circumstances have on us. We can minimize the
mental and emotional baggage that tends to drag us down. By choosing to think positively and transforming these thoughts into
positive actions, being positive will become a part of our personality. Why? Because we become what we repeatedly do. Being
positive will then be more than an act; it will become a habit — and good habits are as hard to break as bad ones.
Dr. Osborne, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department
of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.