Dark Thoughts

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where there is light, darkness flees; so if last week I talked about good thoughts, this week its about the evil siblings of those thoughts. Over the last week I had a few dangerously dark thoughts as it relates to my professional and personal life. You know the ones I mean. The ones that speak in absolutes, and that have the potential to lead to darker and even more dangerous thoughts; “I’ll never forgive him/her; this is the last time I trust him/her; I don’t even know why I am doing _____; why am I here, wouldn’t things be better if I weren’t; those people are all ______”. These thoughts transcend mere negativity into the realm of dark thinking. They are where stereotypes, prejudice, dis-trust, and ultimately failure are born.

Like weeds, they are ubiquitous and unassumingly natural. They are poison to the soul, and are seeds of self-loathing that have only one purpose – death.

Death in this case can mean a lot of things; spiritual death, academic death, death in relationships, death in ambition, passion, goals, you name it. A colleague and I recently discussed a student who, in the course of a 10 minute advising session, actually said that they are thinking about not coming back next year. Let’s examine that thought for a second: you have already thought and spoken into existence in September 2011, that you are probably not coming back 11 months from now? How did a hopeful and talented college student get there so fast?

We have all been there. This kind of dark thinking only has one possible path, and if it is not handled like the weed it is, then all is lost. Next post let’s look at my lawn as an example of how to treat these thoughts! Yes I said my lawn. In the meantime, identify the darkest thoughts you’ve had lately. Call them out for what they are, and start thinking about how your new thinking is going to change everything, forever.

Published by Dr. Michael D. Anthony

I currently serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL. I served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Louisville and Loyola University in Chicago, IL. In order to expand my life's work beyond my day-to-day job, I started my own consulting work in leadership and diversity in 2008. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville, where I also earned my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. A native of Charlotte, NC I am passionate about leadership development, organizational change, and the ability of effective leaders to transform their communities. During my professional career I have made it my personal goal to be a strong and vocal advocate for students, faculty, and staff, and have a life-long vision to empower others to affect positive change in their community. I live in Rochester, MN.

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