Lou Holtz tells about a crucial play where he told his QB, “whatever you do, concentrate on not getting an interception!” Result interception. After that, he always told the QB “concentrate on getting it to one of our guys.” He felt it worked much better that way.

I’m skeptical that making the orders positives instead of negatives is really life-changing. But Holtz was a championship-winning coach and I am not. One minor way this type of advice is provably useful is in keeping your balance and walking straight. If you focus on the goal instead of on avoiding the sides, you keep your balance better. Find a log or low wall, try it and see.

One type of order or direction is a religious commandment. We have a number of them. Some negative, as authored by the Lord, who presumably knew what He was about.

Even so, its interesting to flip commandments from negative phrasing to positive phrasing.

Look at the chart above. Anything stand out to you? To me, its that we define ‘being chaste’ as ‘not having sex outside of marriage.’ It’s only pseudo-positive. Real positivity would be purity. Purity is not just the absence of stain. It is a glowing, vital thing. Chastity is sex within marriage. It is earthy and sacramental. It is the music of the spheres.

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