Today is the 15th day of the New Year, also known as the Lantern Festival, the last day of the Spring Festival. Amid the festive atmosphere, I’d like to share some thoughts with you, perhaps some you may never have considered this time of year!




The Lantern Festival is a time to hang red lanterns, eat rice dumplings, and solve lantern riddles. Years ago, the Spring Festival was also a time to collect debts. If you owed money, the creditor would come to your home and collect any unpaid debt. If you weren’t at home at that moment, your family members would certainly be there, and the debt collector would just wait for your return. A saying has come about from this practice, “It’ll get you sooner or later.” Today, this saying means that you can’t avoid problems. If you dodge the bullet this time, just wait, as sooner or later you’ll get yours. There’s a similar expression in English: the cards are always stacked against me.


Cypress Falls morning power 

Good morning! 


I’m afraid this attitude will have a negative effect on your development. Some people can be paranoid, suspicious that everyone and everything is out to get them. But some people are just the opposite, optimistic and positive, believing that everything will work out for the best.


The Mall at University Town Center Sarasota UTC

Florida palm tree 


Many life coaches believe that maintaining a positive attitude is necessary to rise up in the world. This is known as the law of expectation. For example, if you always complain, “Oh, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” or “Some people get all the breaks,” then this worldview will cause you to “expect” failure. However, if you have a positive worldview, then you are “expecting” success. In this case, success becomes more within your reach. In other words, what you expect is likely what you’ll get.


Blind Pass Beach, Manasota Key, Englewood Florida 

Blind Pass Beach, Manasota Key, Englewood, Florida


I remember when I was working in a Wall Street law firm and was assigned a complex task. I was under a lot of stress and got a headache. I worried that the partners and clients would be disappointed with me, and this worry started to affect my work. I feared that all the other lawyers in the firm were doing great, just not me. What’s worse, I worried that my headache could become a more serious condition. My initial reaction was to complain that the fates were against me. So even though I had a great job, I felt I was falling behind.


Del Webb Lakewood Ranch 

Lakewood Ranch, Florida sky


When I hit this extreme, I sprung into action, saw a doctor, and ruled out any serious medical condition. With a clean bill of health, I put my focus on my work. The source of my stress really wasn’t the work, but rather the fear of failure. After facing this reality, my attitude improved greatly. I consulted with more experienced lawyers on how to handle the transaction, learned quite a bit in the process, and in the end delivered a work product that exceeded the client’s expectations. I kept calm, got to the root of the matter, and worked hard. This experience caused a breakthrough for me.


 Sand Hill Cranes, Cypress Falls, North Port, Florida

Auspicious sand hill cranes


And you? Are you dealing with some difficulties at work? Do you have limited resources, health issues, learning challenges, or a bad job? If you have a negative attitude, paranoid that the world is out to get you, then these issues may become worse. I invite you to consider the concept of “inverse paranoia,” which means that you believe everything that happens to you will sooner or later be for your good. This is a more positive, optimistic mindset.


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida 


My friend, I know that life is not easy. At the same time, you can turn a stumbling block into a stepping stone. This kind of a bright attitude will only benefit your growth. We all face many challenges, but how you deal with challenges is a choice that is always in your hands.


North Port, Florida sunset

North Port, Florida dusk 


Today I encourage you to try having an “inverse paranoid” attitude. Change your thinking, consider challenges as friends, and get to the root of the matters you face. If you do this, I believe that you won’t fear that the fates are against you. Your problems will become smaller, and your ability will become greater.


Enjoy the Lantern Festival!


Thank you for watching me to inspire, encourage, and accompany you on your journey forward. See you next time.

Please follow my blog on WeChat! Subscription account: laosangshuo


John Smagula WeChat channel blog vlog



积极乐观 Bright


今天 是正月十五元宵节,是大家庆祝春节的最后一天。在今天的一派欢乐气氛之中,我想从另外一个角度给你做一个分享,估计你可能没想到!


Southwest Florida dawn



元宵节是挂红灯笼、吃汤圆、猜灯谜的日子。在很久以前,春节其实也是收账的时节。如你欠债,债权人就会来催债,如你没在但家人都在,他只需要等待而已。有一个大家耳熟能详的俗语便由此得来,叫做“躲得过初一,躲不过十五”。现在这个说法比喻你无法躲避什么不良的事。如果你这次避免了什么麻烦, 等一会儿,你早晚都会出事。英文也有类似的说法,the cards are always stacked against me (我到东到西总是碰壁)。




很多成功人士认为保留积极心态是摆脱困境、提升自我的必要条件,这种心态也叫做期望定律 (law of expectation)。如老想,“噢,富人越来越富、穷人越来越穷,我没办法”,或some people get all the breaks (我只倒霉,别人走运),心中有这种消极的世界观,那你就在“期望”失败。相反的,如你有积极的世界观,你就是在期待成功,那成功就会离你越来越近。总而言之,你的期待思维会影响最后结果。


还记得我在华尔街的律师事务所工作时,有一次被分配一个非常复杂的任务。我感到压力山大,甚至开始患头痛,担心让合伙人和客户失望,影响了工作状态。我的感觉是其他的同事工作顺利,又认为自己不行做不到,怕头痛会变成更大的身体毛病。当时很郁闷,跟自己说:哎呦,the fates are against me (命运在与我作对),虽然有了好的工作,但早晚会有霉运降临。




那你呢?你正在面对一些不太理想的情况吗?有否感觉钱不够花、身体有些毛病、学习有障碍、工作不顺利? 如果你有消极的态度,并且保持这种多疑的心态,有可能这些问题会变成更大的问题。在这里,我想给你介绍一个新的概念,叫做inverse paranoia(逆偏执),意思就是心里认为现在发生的事情早晚会对你有所帮助,是一种更加积极、乐观的心态。


My friend,我知道生活不简单,同时,如你turn a stumbling block to a stepping stone (把绊脚石变成垫脚石),你这种态度一定会对你的发展有好处。我们都会面对各种各样的挑战,但如何应付痛的选择权,一直是在我们自己的手中。


Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida





元宵节快乐!Enjoy the Lantern Festival!




John Smagula WeChat Channel QR Code