Learn to be Positive
The Berkshire Eagle, January 11, 2007
By Lesley Ann Beck, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Jerry Posner's infectious positive attitude not only makes him a happy guy — it's his business.

"I'm an entertainer — and I'm a salesman." Posner says. "I have a few ideas that I enjoy selling. One of them is after you have thoughtfully set goals that are important to you, you must focus on — that is, remind yourself of — the goal every day. That would be daily. Did I mention ... every day?

"Most people don't create their dreams because they forget what their dreams are. Without the daily focus, they get lost."

Posner's business, the Posner Group, offers, according to his card, "motivational programs to empower individuals and businesses." He gives talks and workshops for corporate clients, all kinds of groups and organizations, and is a regular speaker at Canyon Ranch in Lenox.
Posner's message, communicated with gentle humor, is that a positive attitude, coupled with positive actions, can result in — you guessed it — positive change. His new book, "Attention Late Bloomers: You're Right On Time," published locally by the Posner Group, contains many of the tips and tools Posner shares in his popular talks.

But he did not always have his current sunny outlook. During a recent interview at Chocolate Springs in Lenox, Posner shared his story.
Posner, born in 1953, grew up in Teaneck, N.J. "It was not an abnormal suburban childhood," he said. Posner had a talent for playing musical instruments and at one time thought he might be a professional musician. He found radio broadcasting interesting, so he went to Emerson College in Boston and earned a degree in mass communication. He worked at a Boston recording studio as a producer and engineer.

The turning point in Posner's life came the night before his 23rd birthday — June 29, 1976. He was assaulted and badly beaten, a victim of mistaken identity. Posner thought he was going to die, but he heard a voice in his head. The voice said, "Stay calm. Everything will be all right." His assailants left, and Posner did not die. As far as the origin of the voice, "I'm not speculating as to exactly what happened," he says.

"After this happened," Posner says, "for two weeks I was grateful for everything. Then I started going back to my old self. But I liked the optimistic world view. An optimistic world view allows for more happiness and productivity. So I began my search for the information or methods that people use to be more positive."

Posner went to California for 11 years, where he investigated gurus, ashrams and checked into some "human potential movements." He ended up as program director for an all-comedy radio station, and did some stand-up as well. But when the station changed its format to all-Spanish, Posner was laid off.

"I ended up hiring and training salespeople to sell products in military base exchanges. I traveled all over the country — it was like a vision quest, hiring and motivating and teaching people to be positive."

In 1989 Posner moved back to the East Coast with plans to publish a magazine about being positive. "I wanted to teach people to be more positive," Posner says, "because I wanted to learn to be positive." He settled in Berkshire County, staying at the summer home of some friends.

The magazine, The Positive Times, was published quarterly from 1990 through 1995, though it was not profitable.It was during this time that Posner began to develop and promote his workshops and seminars.Posner got his lucky break the day he got a call from Canyon Ranch, inviting him to present his program for the guests. The first talk he gave at Canyon Ranch was called, "Your Brain is a Computer: It's Time for a System Upgrade," in 1994. Since that first talk, he has presented his lectures about 600 times at Canyon Ranch. Sometimes he offers workshops as well as lectures — the most popular is "Ways to Create Miracles in Your Life."

Posner's book, "Attention Late Bloomers," reflects the content of his Canyon Ranch talks. Although the tone of the book is humorous, Posner is serious about the techniques he shares.

"The most violent, darkest thing I ever experienced was the impetus to learn practical optimism and mood management techniques. It's not Pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky optimism. It's practical. If it's not practical, I'm not interested. I'm interested in things that work.

"I talk about these techniques to increase the likelihood of success. There are no guarantees."

Posner says his list of inspirations is extremely varied and eclectic, from "classical works by Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie to the incredible, focused work ethic of the late Frank Zappa. I find inspiration everywhere — cancer survivors, marathon runners, entrepreneurs, artists and musicians — people who do the seemingly impossible. Most all of them have specific goals and most of them remember them every day — that would be daily.

"I'm big on affirmations. They remind you. Repeated work with affirmations exercises the subconscious areas of the mind to help you make choices that result in the manifestation of that statement — whether a change of habit or change of job or change of perception."
Choosing the affirmation to use is important. Posner says the affirmation should be well thought out and reflect an outcome you desire strongly and is in the realm of possibility.

"If I affirm, 'I am 6 feet tall,' the affirmation may not make me grow 5 and a half inches, but perhaps I will find ways to feel 6 feet tall," Posner says. "Affirmations help you change your perspective, your point of view."

"Attention Late Blomers: You're Right On Time" is Posner's first book. He wrote it, in part, because since he started his career as a speaker and trainer, he says, people have asked him if he has a book. The book is available at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, the Bookloft in Great Barrington, the Red Lion Inn gift shop in Stockbridge, the Purple Plume in Lenox and Bellissimo Dolce in Pittsfield, as well as at www.amazon.com.

"I'm hoping a major publisher will be interested," Posner says. "I'm working on a second book already, called 'Love Changes Everything.' It's the second volume in the 'Late Bloomers' trilogy."

"I think it's a wonderful book — if I didn't, I wouldn't put it out there. So far, the response has been very good."

Posner thinks the timing of his new publication is excellent. "It's a new year," he says. "What do we want to be different? What do we want to improve?

"I'm a motivational entertainer," Posner says. "Not a psychologist, not a doctor. Just a regular guy who really likes to talk about these things."

Try these New Year's resolutions
Suggested resolutions from Jerry D. Posner:

To make 2007 my best year yet ... I RESOLVE TO:
• express gratitude for the past, enjoyment of the present, and enthusiasm for the future.
• to be on time ... at the very latest.
• quickly "get past the grudges" to the realm of unconditional kindness.
• communicate with clarity, congruence and consideration.
• make choices based on the best end results imaginable.
• have a series of perfect days ... every week.
• avoid the road bumps ... especially when I see them coming.
• beware of "neurotic negative word association disorder."
• be the "experience maker" not the "order taker."
• throw out stale assumptions.
• remember: even when it IS all about "me" ... it's really all about "us."
• measure my wealth by how much I'd be worth if I had no money.

Some ways to increase the likelihood of your resolutions coming to pass:
• Choose carefully and consciously.
• Pick a resolution or resolutions that you have: strong commitment to achieving, powerful desire for, a clear, non-conflicted picture of.
• Every day, remind yourself what you want and practice an optimistic attitude towards it.
• Imagine (visualize) the outcomes you most desire, for (at least) a few minutes every day.
• Put your resolution(s) on your "to do" list.
• Give yourself permission to make it so!

© 2007 The Berkshire Eagle. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.
Record Number: 4991953



P.O. Box 627 Sheffield, MA 01257• 413.441.6361 • 2005-2014©Copyright, Jerry Posner. All Rights Reserved.