Our Worst Rival

Duke’s Worst Rival Has Some Good Advice


I know, I know. Duke’s nemesis is Bob Knight, the head basketball coach of Indiana.  But I found his slant from his book, The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results, interesting.

He is well known for being awarded National Coach of the Year honors and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, four and eight times, respectively. So regardless of how we feel about him on the court, Coach Knight must have been some valuable advice.

And here it is: Negative thinking can be good.      

Negative thinking?

We all know no one ever became a leader by being a pessimist. So what is he saying?

As one reviewer put it: “Negative thinking is not about giving up or being a pessimist. Instead, it is about NEGATING everything that can get in the way of victory.”

That is an interesting thought. Let’s say you have a challenge. Examine anything in your life that can prevent you from reaching your goal. Are you in shape, did you get the right training, are you getting sleep, eating well? Or do you have a degree, a business plan, have you done your financial models,  built out a team? The key in my mind is that you aren’t dwelling on negativity; you simply are being proactive to root out any obstacles, or weaknesses.

So then positive thinking can go in hand with “negative thinking.” This “negativity” ultimately paves the pathway for you to succeed. We get all the roadblocks out of the way so the positive thinking, and its results, can flow.

Coach Bob Knight said, “Having the will to win is not enough. Everyone has that. What matters is having the will to prepare to win.”

Let’s prepare now to get rid of every obstacle. Then with perseverance and positive thinking, we will succeed. Onwards!


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