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I mention often, that if you read my column weekly, you get to know me personally. I am frequently writing on a subject I need to hear.

Last week, I wrote about the different voices we all hear in our heads and how it is important to listen to the voice of truth. You will recognize it because it is positive, encouraging, optimistic and uplifting. I wrote about standing atop Vail Mountain on my skis and looking down at the challenging slope. I began listening to the voice of gloom and doom and ended my ski vacation.

I penned that column last week from a hospital waiting room while awaiting surgery, where once again, the negative voice inside my head started telling me all the things that could go wrong. Last week’s column was written to encourage us all, but it was something I needed to hear myself, which is usually the case.

I was encouraging myself.

I am sharing this today for two reasons. First, it would be easy for you to assume that I am different. I am not. I also fight the negative voices and suffer the same doubts. The only difference is that I have spent a lifetime learning to overcome them. I have disciplined myself to hear the voice of truth and not the destructive negative voice. It is up to you to choose the voice you listen to.

The second reason I am sharing this, is to once again point out, the therapeutic effects of writing. I have in the past encouraged everyone to journal your thoughts, feelings and fears. It helps you sort out truth from fiction, positive from negative and healthy from destructive. Organizing our thoughts and feelings on paper or on a computer screen helps us make better life decisions.

I ended the column last week asking you to put down the newspaper and pick up your sling and stone. When I was called into the prep room to get ready for surgery, that’s exactly what I imagined doing. I was mustering up the courage to stand before the giant I was facing.

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From the volume of email I’ve received, I know the column was successful at encouraging many readers to listen to the positive words and not the negative voices that tell you why you will fail. I was talking about the conversations we have between the outer you and inner you which is often a conversation between your head and heart. I am delighted so many found it helpful, but now you know why it was written and from where.

I am home, healing and writing. There may be one more surgery, but I am expecting a full recovery and a long, fruitful life. Expecting otherwise would be self-destructive. Countless studies over the last decade verify the importance of a positive expectation and optimistic outlook of treatment for healing. To believe otherwise is dangerous. I always listen to the voice of truth. I want to encourage you to always do the same. Be positive and optimistic, no matter what you are facing, always.

So now what? Are you facing a health challenge? Is your marriage on the rocks? Are you out of work and in need of employment? Is your small business in trouble? Only speak positively about yourself and your circumstances. Journal and write about the obstacles you face, finding positive outcomes you can place on paper. Seeing your issues with a possible positive end gives you hope. Without hope, how can you find joy and happiness in life? Without hope, how can you continue to fight your battle to a successful ending?

If you did not catch last week's column, I encourage you to go back and see it. I have never asked you to do this before, but I truly believe last week's column, published a week ago today, is worth the effort to find and read.

And if you did read it — read it again. We all need positive reassurance and encouragement. I always do my best to provide it for you here weekly, but you cannot rely solely on external sources to provide encouragement. You must take the lead in self-encouragement and seek out the good and positive in each situation. It is easier to collapse and give up under the weight of negative pressure but for every problem there is a solution. For every obstacle there is an opportunity. For every loss there is a potential gain.

Listen and believe the voice of truth. Connect your outer and inner self and enjoy the fruits of the optimistic spirit.

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Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com.

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