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Building a Vibrant Community – It’s About Mindset

During the past few weeks, I’ve spent lot of time thinking about how we might be able to positively move our county and communities forward – making them more vibrant and livable. How can we as a populace make this area more inviting while encouraging growth that will benefit all our citizens? How can we inspire people to be more involved and connected to what is happening here?

As I pondered these questions, I kept coming back to a common element that is essential for the success of every concept, project, group meeting, and community development: MINDSET. I realize this may seem a bit simplistic but exhibiting a positive mindset as a daily standard is not as easy as it sounds.

Let’s start with three basic activities that cause a negative environment in all aspects of a person’s life. They are complaining, criticism, and gossip. All three of these are destructive to family interaction, community growth and creating an atmosphere where people want to live, work, play, and stay. It takes at least three weeks to master a new skill – and that includes how you think. Deciding to eliminate these three negatives is the first step. Often, people find that when they decide to eliminate them, making it through one day is harder than they anticipated … and making it through an entire week without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping is downright tough! It is important that we are all cognitive about how we react and interact with others if we want to see positive change in our community.

Imagine the type of forward motion we could make if we entered every meeting with a positive attitude and the desire to build stronger connections and relationships. By choosing to listen more intentionally, practicing patience and tolerance, and looking for a common vision and ways to collaborate, we immediately change the dynamics of the group. Sure, some people are going to be brought along slower than others, but those folks will soon come to realize that negativity has no place in the room. A few individuals may even decide to step away from the group, because they thrive on a negative atmosphere that no longer exists.

I realize that this transformation will not happen overnight, but, if each of us is more conscientious of our attitudes and reactions each day (not just for a day or a week, but for a lifetime), we will see major changes in our community. People will feel more accepted, they will appreciate that people are listening to them, and everyone will be working toward a more vibrant, inclusive, and thriving community.

This article is based on ideas from “Building a Vibrant Community” by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested. For more information, or to join the Vibrant Community initiative, contact the Chamber on Facebook, at chamber@erccc.com, or 304-636-2717.

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