The Power of Neutral

A Motivational Message from Leadership Expert Jim Stovall

We have a tendency to think of events or happenings in our lives as either good or bad. Although it’s difficult to do, this should be avoided whenever possible as it is a counterproductive habit.

Think of all the events in your life that started out as a disaster and ended up being a positive experience. As a blind person myself, I can assure you that while I find nothing inherently good about being blind, there are an overwhelming number of positive elements that have come into my life as a result of my condition. I know people who have experienced disabilities, divorce, bankruptcy, job loss, and other seeming catastrophes who, with the benefit of time passage and a new perspective, would tell you that it all turned out for the best.

My late, great friend, colleague, and mentor, the legendary Coach John Wooden, often repeated, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” While this may seem like a trite platitude, it is among the most important foundations for success. We don’t always have a choice regarding what is going to happen to us, but we can always choose what we are going to do about it. Coach Wooden went on to teach me that the only two things we can control are our effort and our attitude. For everyone destroyed by an event that seemed negative, I can show you someone else who went through the same event and turned it into an absolute positive.

I’ve been studying a number of historical figures who labeled themselves as stoics. I will admit that it took me some time to see and understand the benefit of stoicism; however, after much study and reflection, I have come to understand that stoics see the world in neutral terms. Their emotions are never too high and never too low. They are willing to take everything at face value. If you were to combine this philosophy with the immortal words of Napoleon Hill, the most influential success author of all times, who said, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of a greater benefit,” you would be in a powerful position to shape your future.

If you accepted every event, occurrence, and happening that came your way in an unemotional, neutral fashion, you could ask yourself some powerful impact questions such as: What has really happened here?  What does this mean to me? How can I turn this into a positive benefit?

We need to look at our lives as a feature-length film, not as a single snapshot.  While you may have temporarily stumbled and fallen under the weight of an immediate challenge, if you will keep your eyes and your mind focused on your destiny, you may look back on the temporary disaster as a huge asset that has reaped many great rewards.

As you go through your day today, keep your emotions in neutral as you focus your mind on your goals.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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One Response to The Power of Neutral

  1. Johnadeen Albertini March 10, 2020 at 4:19 am #

    I am going through some challeneges, and this article has really helped me. Thanks.

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