In the 1830s, something happened that changed
the lives of millions of trout in the Great Lakes. The Welland
Ship Canal and the Erie Canal were built, allowing a fish called
lamprey to enter virgin waters, where they had no natural
predators and their prey had no natural defenses against them.
The sea lamprey had always been barred
from the Great Lakes by Niagara Falls. But after the canals were
built, the lamprey feasted and multiplied and spread up the lakes.
The trout population was nearly wiped out.
From 1937 to 1947, the trout catch in Lake
Huron fell from three and a half million pounds to almost nothing.
In Lake Michigan, U.S. fishermen caught five and a half million
pounds of trout in 1946. By 1953, the catch had dropped to four
hundred and two pounds!
The lamprey looks like an eel, but unlike
an eel, it lives on the fluids of other fish. It attaches to
a fish with its suction-cup mouth. The fish thrashes about wildly
but cannot break free. The lamprey not only has strong suction,
but its sharp rows of teeth grab the fish firmly. Resistance
The lamprey uses its sharp, bony tongue
to drill a hole in the side of the fish and then it drinks until
it drains all the fish's fluids. When the lamprey is full or
the fish dies, it detaches and goes looking for another fish
The lamprey is an apt metaphor for the
devastating effect of pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism on the
human mind. Negativity has a way of attaching itself to your
mind, draining you of your health and ability not metaphorically, but literally.
Scientific research shows how pessimism,
cynicism, and defeatism produce heart
disease and strokes, encourage the development of cancer, and even weaken your
bones. These three negative ways of thinking and perceiving the
world can take away your creativity, your persistence, and your
ability to achieve your goals. They undermine your relationships,
ruin your sense of humor, and destroy your ability to solve problems.
Taken together, pessimism, cynicism and
defeatism are a lamprey of the mind, a deadly parasite, and this
parasite uses your lifeblood, your energy, your mind, to breed
and spread to other minds, using and destroying life force wherever
You obviously care about having a good
attitude. I carefully chose the title of this article as a filter.
Rather than trying to appeal to as many people as I could, I
tried to create a title that would only attract a certain kind
of person: Someone who cares about the world, who tries to be
positive and who wants to have a good influence. You see the
destructive effects of negativity and you want to do something
about it. You are who I was looking for.
Good intentions and basic understandings
are a good start, but they're not enough to win a war against
so insidious an enemy. The lamprey has already invaded. We need
good knowledge and techniques to fight the good fight and win.
Removing the lampreys from your mind will
make you stronger, healthier, more motivated, more productive,
more persistent, and you'll feel better. Whenever you feel demoralized
or disheartened on your way to your goal, you will have the know-how
you need to undemoralize yourself. You will have more determination
than you ever thought possible. You will be more successful,
whatever your goals are.
The nuts-and-bolts of the whole process
of crushing pessimism is Undemoralize Yourself. It will show you how
to feel better more often, and how to help your loved ones feel
better without reducing your effectiveness in life. In fact,
you and your loved ones will feel better while increasing your
You will find the tools here to accomplish
something very specific. The tools will help you feel better
and do better by learning to protect yourself against pessimism
infections, and curing whatever infections you may have gotten
already. Result: You'll be happier, healthier, and more successful.
Even though I'm talking about something
very specific, it has a broad effect on your life. Your level
of pessimism influences every important element of your life.
The reason pessimism has so much influence on so many different
areas is that we're talking about the source of determination.
At each little crossroad of your life, at each little setback
you get several times a day, you will respond with either determination
or discouragement. Over time, your responses one way or the other
will have enormous consequences. You can learn here what causes
which response, and how to make your responses more and more
determined. It can't be done with willpower. You have to know
how it works. That's what this crushing pessimism is all about.
So let's get to it. Together, let us destroy
the lamprey of the mind and bring back the determination, the
positive attitude, the openness, the love, the accomplishment,
and the self-expression that was once native to our minds.
Read next: How to Stop Being Pessimistic.
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