Drop out of the “Ain’t it Awful Club”

There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want
to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors
are going somewhere and they’re having more fun.
The anchors will just drag you down.


When I was a first-year history teacher in a Chicago high school, I quickly stopped going into the teachers’ lounge, which I soon dubbed the Ain’t it Awful Club. Worse than the haze of cigarette smoke that constantly hung over the room was the cloud of emotional negativity. “Can you believe what they want us to do now?” “I got the Simmons kid again this year in math. He’s a holy terror.” “There is no way you can teach these kids. They are totally our of control.” It was a constant stream of negative judgments, criticisms, blaming, and complaining. Not too long after, I discovered a group of dedicated teachers that hung out in the library and ate together at two tables in the teachers’ lunchroom. They were positive and believed they could overcome and handle anything that was thrown at them. I implemented every new idea they shared with me, as well as a few more that I picked up from my weekend classes at the University of Chicago. As a result, I was selected by the students as teachers of the year in only my first year of teaching.”

Jack Canfield, The Success Principles