Throwing My Loop…
By: Michael Johnson
About twenty years ago, I did
something important – and something good. I made a decision
to do something different in my life. Things had not been
going too well for some time – as in not going well for ten
years! I still don't know exactly what happened or why, but
things just fell apart. From year one to year forty, things
were pretty good – then boom! Everything started sliding
downhill -loss of loved ones, divorce, job downsizing, house
fire, worry, anxiety, and on and on. No matter what I did,
it was the wrong thing to do. Found myself alone in the
woods wondering what in the world happened? I felt like one
of those characters in a Twilight Zone episode when the
fellow wakes up one morning...and no one is in the town. So
here I am sitting in the woods - at the bottom of the valley
- and I started thinking. Boy, did I do some thinking...
First, I read what Willie said. “I failed in Nashville
because I tried to do it their way. When I came home to
Dripping Springs, I decided to do what I loved.” Sounded
good to me – and that made me realize my first step was to
figure out what I loved. I did that. (Takes a while.) Second
step? Figure out how to make a living doing what you love.
(Also takes a while - but so highly recommend this step!)
Then that other thing I was talking about earlier. Don't
know where the idea came from – it just came. (Plato said he
didn't know where ideas came from – he just knew they didn't
come from here. I know what he meant.) I decided that
for the rest of my life...I was only going to hang around
with positive people! And you know what? That decision
without question, after marrying my wife and finding the
colt named Blue, is the best thing I ever did. Didn't cost
me a penny, gave me friends that I treasure and love, made
me behave better, act nicer, be much more productive...and
Here's a clip from the Good News Network...
“Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their
problems. They want people to join their pity party so they
can feel better about themselves. We often feel pressure to
listen to complainers because we don't want to appear to be
rude. But there is a fine line between lending a sympathetic
ear and being drawn down into the other person's negative
spiral. You can avoid that spiral by setting limits on
refusing to listen to toxic words. And you can always ask
the complainer what they intend to do to fix the problem.
That usually ends the conversation.”
So often I hear people complaining about the
government, about education, about how bad kids are, and the
terrible state of the world. Here's what's interesting –
these people never run for office, never teach school, and
don't do anything I can see, except sit in the cafe and eat.
Guess how I know all this?
Because I was the worst offender. I was one of them. But my
ways were changed when I made that decision to only surround
myself with positive people. Here's how it started...
I called a friend and said, “I can't get my books
published.” (Loud whine.)
He said, “You know why, don't you? You haven't tried
“No, no,” I said. “I've tried! I've tried seven times!”
“Oh,” he said. “Then I'm at a loss. If you hit seven
golf shots, surely you could qualify for the U. S. Open. If
you roped seven steers, surely you would make the National
(Okay, I forgot to mention hanging around positive
people can be a bit trying - and sting - at times.) But it’s
worth it. They are good for us. They encourage us to be
accountable for our own lives.
And by the way, all these years later, I now know why
my “slide” occurred. It was because of what George Bernard
Shaw said...”If you live long enough, everything happens
What brought me out of it? Several things, but none
more so than my decision. I should have known. My little
mama told me long ago. A line I heard her say many times...
“When you encounter someone negative in life, always treat
them with the kindness of Jesus...and then, get away from
them as fast as you can.”
Go out with joy. Lead with peace. And the mountains and
the hills will begin to sing – and all the trees of the the
field will clap their hands.
-- Michael Johnson
Sharon and Rowdy