Negativity is Like the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill – The R.A.F.T Approach

Believe it or not, you can control your emotional connection and your emotional reaction to outside stimuli. No, I’m not saying you should act like a Vulcan… but you should develop a certain amount of emotional disconnect between your circumstances and your professional activity.

Let’s face it, life happens and it’s not always rosy…as a result, we often start to put out ‘negativity’.  What happens to negativity once it’s ‘out there’?  It expands, it spreads, and it grows, and becomes all-encompassing.  Take for example the current Gulf Coast oil spill.  Once the disaster occurred, and the oil began to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, it was determined that something had to be done…in this case, time is not only money, but it could mean the lives of thousands of ecosystems and industries along the Gulf.

What would have happened if the governmental powers that be had just sat back on their heels and done nothing in the wake of this disaster?  The oil, which was already spreading rapidly, would have continued to float on the current killing animals, plant life, industry, livelihoods, and ecosystems all along the way.  Instead the government and people in the Gulf area identified the problem areas, accepted the current situation, focused on the controllable factors, and was able to somewhat contain this colossal event.

By the Numbers to Date:

  • Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 10,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
  • More than 290 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
  • More than 1 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and more than 1.3 million feet are available.
  • Nearly 3.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 500,000 gallons are available.
  • 14 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).

Negative reactions to life’s circumstances work much the same way…once it’s out there, it swells and even becomes contagious.  Negative people ‘infect’, for lack of a better word, other people.  Not only will your friends and family recognize it and become affected by it, but your customers and clients will as well. 


In reality we can choose to take a negative event such as an oil spill, flood, bad economy, or just a bad day and turn it into positive momentum.  Positive momentum can move mountains. 

Imagine you’re floating down the current of a river in a raft and all of the sudden your guide is thrown out of the raft and disappears down the river.  You now have 2 choices:

1. You become scared and do nothing and let the current slam you into some rocks. 

2. You take over the paddles and Navigate your way down the river to safety.

Here is an example of how to become a master Navigator and RAFT your way out of negative situations; this is a process appropriately titled “R.A.F.T”.  Please enjoy this audio clip.  Hopefully it will help you make the change, or motivate you, to develop a positive attitude. 


2 Responses to “Negativity is Like the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill – The R.A.F.T Approach”

  1. John Riley Says:

    Say what? You can’t possibly be congratulating the administration for how they are handling this. This will be the biggest disaster our country has ever seen. They can’t even figure out how to stop the feakin leak!!! Who cares about your fancy stats.

    • John, I apprechiate your comments. I’m in no way saying that the administration has done everything right. The point of this article is that when disaster strikes or when bad events happen most people focus on being mad and negitive… versus taking action and doing something about it. Did you listen to the audio recording on RAFT?

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