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 is futile.
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 to drain.
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 it goes.
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 effectiveness.
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.
Adam Khan is the author of Antivirus For Your Mind: How to Strengthen Your Persistence and Determination and Feel Good More Often and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.