Yeah, get outta here with your positive thinking blather…the real power is in negative thinking! I was already planning on this blog post when my tennis partner gave me added incentive this morning. After he made a nice drop shot, after missing several other tricky ones, he exulted at “finally” hitting the shot. I pointed out the one he made was a different style than the two he had previously missed and he then thanked me for the negative encouragement. Need I more evidence this post was well-timed? The most powerful employment of negative thinking is something called the “Jewish Curse”. You don’t have to be Jewish to employ it, but it helps in the fine-tuning. I’ll demonstrate its use with an example from my old bowling league days. Let’s say we’re heading into the tenth frame and we’re trailing by 40 pins, total. Our anchor bowler has to spare the ninth and throw at least two strikes in the tenth for any chance. He steps on the lane, rolls a beautiful hook ball and watches in horror as the ten pin wiggles and waggles like a Weeble (“…but they don’t fall down!”). The team groans. His hook has been ferocious all night and he hasn’t closed a ten-pin spare yet. There is never a more foregone moment for the ringing of the Jewish Curse: “He hasn’t hit one of these all night. We’ve got no chance.” Summoning the powers of 6,000 years of suffering, vast forces coalesce around our anchor bowler as he releases his ball. These forces defy all known physics, preventing his ball from leaning into the gutter and, paradoxically, stopping the rotation that should carry the ball away from the pin. Bam! Spare. Bam! A turkey in the tenth. Bam! We’re going to Disney! And that’s the power of negative thinking!
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